In 2014 the Alliander innovation satellite ‘SIM-CI’ – Simulating Critical Infrastructures was launched. During visits to countries like Japan, Korea and the United States, persons involved witnessed the consequences of natural disasters such as earthquakes or major storms and were astonished of the vulnerability in our society and especially critical infrastructure failures.  These visits gave food for thought on how to make smart cities more resilient against all forms of crisis such as earthquakes, floods, power failures and gas explosions.

A new study area was initiated and was labelled as a ‘resilient city design’. Given the complexity of this matter, several knowledge institutions got connected to SIM-CI. Various knowledge exchange programs and work packages for universities helped to deliver the first draft of our multi-utility simulation platform.  

Critical infrastructure systems are the lifelines of our safety and prosperity, nerve systems facilitating communication, transportation, trade and financial transactions. Building alliances between business, research and government, enables us to share our insights and accelerate Resilient Smart City design to the max.

Creating simulations of critical infrastructure networks requires detailed knowledge about operations. It was clear that gas, electricity, water, telecommunications networks all behave differently. Looking at the number of possible cross-connections, and exponential number of models have to be developed it is an enermous challenge to take on.

Hence, we have established a collaboration with TU Delft, University of Twente, TU Eindhoven and the Center for Mathematics and Computer Science. These institutions now assist in developing infrastructure models which SIM-CI converts into practical simulation applications.

What initially started as a research project, quickly turned into a ground-breaking simulation suite. Our current ‘Digital Twin City’ technology enables us to visualize exactly how vital infrastructures such as transport, communication and utility networks – the lifelines of society – affect each other. These networks are interdependent and play a crucial role in how urban processes function. Therefore, our primary goal is a protection of critical infrastructures and keeping them safe and secure. Our secondary goal is set as a streamline of facilitation and simplicity of the exchange of information among various stakeholders, with the ultimate goal of creating physical safety together.