Call for Abstracts: Workshop on Digital Urban Twins, February 28th and March 1st 2023, Munich, deadline November 15th 2022

Digital Urban Twins (and related terms capturing the phenomenon, such as Urban Twins, Digital Twin Cities, City-scale digital twins, …) are emerging phenomena in the context of urban planning and governance. The term refers to a set of projects and technologies seeking to digitally replicate entire cities – or part of them – through the digital mapping of infrastructures and processes. They are used to digitally visualize and interact with the city, for example to develop future scenarios and test them virtually before implementing them in the ‘real world’. Often associated with discourses and promises around ‘smart cities’, Digital Urban Twins are currently being discussed with regard to numerous functions – from complex control systems and governance tools in urban and mobility planning to new possibilities for citizen participation. In this context, the study of Digital Urban Twins allows for the exploration of  not only processes of digitalization and datafication, but also broader questions of urban development-related questions, e.g. concerning sustainability, new mobility options, resilience, modeling and simulation, participation and cooperation.

With its meaning and purpose being negotiated by a variety of stakeholders in different contexts, the concept of Urban Digital Twins is exciting for many disciplines. The goal of our two-day workshop is to bring together social science researchers and diverse social science perspectives on Digital Urban Twins. We invite a variety of disciplines, including STS, Urban Studies, Sociology, Mobility Research, but other complementary perspectives are equally welcome. Both empirical and theoretical contributions are welcome too. Potential themes, depending on the research interests of the participants, could include:

  • historical, linguistic derivation of Digital Urban Twins
  • their role in the governance of cities 
  • political, ethical, social, and regulatory aspects of Digital Urban Twins
  • questions of representation and participation, public engagement
  • digitization and datafication in urban structures
  • programming, constitution of software, Human Computer Interaction (HCI)
  • urban data platforms and their governance
  • development and evaluation of Digital Urban Twins
  • future-making, modeling and simulating urban futures

We hope that our workshop, with its multiple perspectives and interdisciplinary exchange, provides an insightful space to better understand this emerging phenomenon and build a network with scholars working on Digital Urban Twins across different disciplines. 

The workshop will take place in Munich on February 28th and March 1st 2023. To apply for the workshop, please provide an abstract of max. 500 words that briefly outlines the approach and focus of your research on Digital Urban Twins, which should be submitted to Michelle, no later than November 15th 2022. Notifications of acceptance/rejection will be sent by the end of December.

More information can be found here.