Digital Twin Smart Cities for Disaster Risk Management: A Review of Evolving Concepts

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Wedawatta, G 

jats:pNatural hazard-induced disasters have caused catastrophic damage and loss to buildings, infrastructure, and the affected communities as a whole during the recent decades and their impact is expected to further escalate in the future. Thus, there is a huge demand for disaster risk management using digitalisation as a key enabler for effective and efficient disaster risk management systems. It is widely accepted that digital and intelligence technologies can help solve key aspects of disaster risk management such as disaster prevention and mitigation, and rescue and recovery. Digital Twin (DT) is one of the most promising technologies for multi-stage management which offers significant potential to advance disaster resilience. Smart Cities (SCs) use pervasive information and communications technology to monitor activities in the city. With increasingly large applications of DTs combined with big data generated from sensors in a SC, it is now possible to create Digital Twin Smart Cities (DTSCs). Despite the increasing prevalence of DTSC technologies and their profound impact on disaster risk management, a systematic and longitudinal view of the evolution to the current status of DTSC for disaster risk management does not exist. This review analyses 312 titles and abstracts and 72 full papers. To begin with, a scientific review of DT and SC is undertaken, where the evolution of DTSCs is reviewed. In addition, the intelligence technologies used in DTSCs for disaster risk management are assessed and their benefits are evaluated. Furthermore, the evolution and technical feasibility of DTSC-driven disaster risk management is evaluated by assessing current applications of DTSCs in disaster risk management. It was found that despite the significant potential benefits offered by DTSCs, they also add a new layer of complexities and challenges inherent to these technologies to the already complex web of complexities involved in disaster risk management. These challenges can be addressed by understanding how the process of utilising DTSCs in disaster risk reduction and sustainability is designed, which is essential for comprehending what DTSCs may offer, how it is implemented, and what it means to all involved stakeholders. This paper contributes to the knowledge by improving the understanding of the current status of DTSC technologies and their impact on disaster risk management, and articulating the challenges in implementing DTSC, which inspires the professional community to advance these technologies to address them in future research.</jats:p>


Peer reviewed: True

digital twins, disaster risk management, preparedness, smart cities, resilience, natural hazards, vulnerability
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Sustainability (Switzerland)
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