Cities of the future

3D-enhanced maintenance and centralized management of structures in the cloud environment will open up a smart construction industry.


Arup is a global firm of designers, engineers, architects, planners, consultants and technical specialists, leading the study of cities. It has operations in more than 140 countries and its teams combine knowledge of the built environment with new technologies in order to design a better world in the digital era. Its Smart Green Resilient strategy aims to reduce demand for resources, promote a low-carbon economy, make business more productive, improve the quality of urban life and increase climate resilience.

In October 2019, Arup and Dassault Systèmes formed a strategic partnership: the 3DEXPERIENCE platform is giving Arup the benefit of virtual twin technology for cities, and now offers a collaborative solution that is enhanced by Arup’s experience. The two partners are taking part in Hong Kong’s plan to unify data representations and systems in order to improve the way the city functions and, therefore, the quality of life of its inhabitants.

Hong Kong’s government is encouraging the creation of shared infrastructure consisting of spatial data, with innovation and technology being used to meet urban challenges and improve quality of life, sustainability and efficiency, with the ultimate goal of increasing Hong Kong’s appeal. The project has two phases: the first focuses on devising a global framework, including targets and a roadmap with the aim of creating a smart city.

The second showcases several applications in four areas: urban planning and the use of space on the ground, through pedestrianization and urban design, for example; infrastructure and engineering, such as the visualization of underground spaces and water, electricity and wastewater services; the landscape, the environment and their conservation; and the combination of working processes. The platform has already shown its great potential in fostering collaboration between the public sector, private sector and academia.


Pacific Consultants is a construction consultancy founded in 1951 to support the nation‘s development of post-war reconstruction in Japan. They have been involved in urban development in Japan and overseas, like transportation infrastructure such as roads, railways, ports and others. The civil engineering industry in Japan possesses world-class technical capabilities of earthquake resistance technology and seismic technology against tsunamis and heavy rain, and the professionalism of engineers involved in the projects is very high.

However, because competent technology often depends on personal skills, there are problems that skills are not handed down if engineers retire. Therefore, it will be necessary in the future to digitalize processes and share knowledge. Pacific Consultants has adopted the 3DEXPERIENCE platform with the aim of improving productivity and reforming work styles on projects like bridges and sand control dams. In order to determine effective positions and structure, calculation and trial and error are repeated, but quick design is possible by changing conditions and positioning using CATIA design templates. Since design templates can be reused, projects can be continuously improved.

In the future, with the aging of structures, the issue will be how to maintain and manage them efficiently. In addition to the structures that will be built in the future, 3D-enhanced maintenance and centralized management of structures in the cloud environment will open up a smart construction industry.

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