Digital Twins: a Fitbit For Cities & Innovative Lean Principles

Calayde Davey is a Co-Founder & Director of Urban Strategy at Regen 50 and Co-Chair of the Lean Built Environment Afrika. She is also post-doctoral researcher in African Digital Twin Cities with the University of Pretoria. We explore Digital Twins: a Fitbit for Cities, lean design and construction, her vision for future cities, better industry collaboration and maintaining a work-life balance.

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Key Takeaways


Digital Twins: Fitbit for Cities

  • Virtual simulation of the real world.
  • It’s like a Fitbit for Cities, she explains how it works.
  • BIM is static where with Digital Twins the environment is dynamic.
  • She explains that Digital Twins is also like a Google Maps type innovation.
  • Uses include real-time flood management, crime control, and more.
  • The biggest challenge is open data that is accessible and at scale.
  • We can fix this by acknowledging that data isn’t private anymore and we should be much more open to sharing data between institutions.
  • Data isn’t power, it is how you use data that is power.
  • We are underutilising universities to a great degree. Students can update public data via the education process.
  • Calayde explains what international countries like Singapore and New Zealand are doing in terms of Digital Twins.
  • There are diverse use cases.
  • Digital Twins could have helped with being better prepared for Covid-19, she explains how through education, anything that ‘clusters’ and Digital Twin Communities with incentive procedures.

Lean design and construction

  • Lean originally from Japanese industrial culture.
  • It’s a way of working that teaches people how to innovate while working, not before or after.
  • Focus on the moment and processes.
  • It’s important in the African context because the education system does not gear us well enough to adapt to work changes and be innovative in our works settings.

Her vision for Future Cities

  • A mixed bag of views as each city has different environments and political structures and needs.
  • Those cities that want to engage and visualize the work they do through instruments available to them will have a competitive advantage and will be successful.
  • In New Zealand they ‘trimmed the fat’ by cutting 17000 transit-related jobs to 7, enabling workers to go into the private sector which was more rewarding and innovative. The government was now cheaper to run.

Stakeholder collaboration challenges

  • People do not understand what problem they are working on.
  • Usually from a personal perspective as opposed to a collective perspective.

Managing a work-life balance

  • Calayde plays the violin and is from a musical and artistic family.
  • Do not work if you are not adding value.


About Calayde

Calayde is a post-doctoral researcher in African Digital Twin Cities with the University of Pretoria. She holds a Ph.D. in Environmental Design, Economics & Planning from the USA, and a Master’s degree in Architecture from South Africa. She has worked internationally in architecture, real estate development, Lean construction management, corporate strategy, urban planning, and policy development.

Calayde has worked in the role of project architect on high-rise projects in South-East Asia, and Lean facilitator for the world's largest Passive House (90% energy efficient) residential project in the United States.

She is Managing Partner and co-author of "Mastering Lean Leadership" and "Mastering Kaizen" with Hal Macomber.

Qualifications
Ph.D. Environmental Design, Economics & Planning.
Arch & Planning, Kansas State, USA
Masters in Architecture, University of Pretoria, South Africa

About Regen50
Regen50 is a think tank for responsible urban development.  We believe there is a new way of engagement within our cities — one that is focused on strategic interventions with a big picture view of urban development.

We call this Urban Strategy.

This practice calls for a new generation of urban thinkers - at the convergence of knowledge in sustainability, architecture, urban design, landscape, public engagement, policy, and economic development. Urban Strategy seeks to dissolve the silos of traditional thinking and practices into a shared vision between public, private, and community stakeholders. Through aligning and amplifying these efforts and concerns, Urban Strategists work to unlock projects that effectively address the ever-increasing complexity of our cities.

At Regen50 we believe in regenerative urbanism. Our work seeks out catalytic interventions that can bring lasting sustainability in pursuit of building better cities and healthier urban communities.

Web: https://www.regen50.org/


About Lean Built Environment - Afrika
Lean Built Environment - Afrika is a non-profit organisation, dedicated to the continental improvement of people, processes, projects, and development in Africa.

Web: https://www.lbeafrika.org/

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