Siemens: A Glimpse of the Sustainable City of the Future

Siemens' AI-generated vision of a new sustainable city
Siemens is using Siemens Xcelerator’s end-to-end digital twin and artificial intelligence to design a sustainable city of the future in Berlin

End-to-end digital twin technology and artificial intelligence have been harnessed by international technology giant Siemens to help design part of a sustainable city of the future in Berlin.

A groundbreaking ceremony took place in the German capital city for Siemensstadt Square, an urban development that will eventually house 35,000 people.

Siemens Xcelerator’s end-to-end digital twin technology has been used to integrate all aspects of one district of the development, including campus, buildings and energy, which will include Europe’s largest wastewater heat exchanger of its type, to enable net zero.

By 2035, Siemens will invest US$800m and develop Siemensstadt Square into a hub for partnerships with a total project volume of up to US$4.8bn.

Germany's Chancellor Olaf Scholz

A brownfield blueprint

Siemens executives were joined by German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and the Governing Mayor of Berlin, Kai Wegner, for the groundbreaking ceremony.

Around 35,000 people will live and work at Siemensstadt Square, which will have an area of roughly 188 acres and floorspace of more than a million square metres.

A Siemens spokesperson said: “The project is a blueprint for the effective design of urban brownfield development projects and industrial transformation worldwide.

“Digital technologies from the entire Siemens Xcelerator platform – from an end-to-end digital twin to artificial intelligence (AI) – will make the district liveable and fit for the future.”

Siemens' city of the future

District of the future

The “district of the future” at the more than 100-year-old industrial site in Berlin’s Spandau area will bring together manufacturing, research, learning and living.

Living space for up to 7,000 people will cover a total area of 270,000 square metres.

Thirty percent of the space will comprise social housing, while numerous companies and partners will create up to 20,000 jobs.

Olaf said: "This laying of the foundation stone is encouraging because it shows what we can already achieve in Germany today - in urban planning and in the construction of modern neighbourhoods.

“Siemensstadt will remain what it has been for 125 years - a place of new beginnings, a place of the future and of confidence.”

Siemens Chairman and CEO Roland Busch

Sustainable growth and competitiveness

"Siemensstadt Square will be the blueprint for the city of the future," said Roland Busch, President and CEO of Siemens AG.

He added: "The project will combine artificial intelligence, digital twins and other technologies from the Siemens Xcelerator platform to transform an industrial brownfield area into an engine for solid, healthy growth.

“Net zero will be ensured through automated production and building technology, optimised energy management and green mobility. It will be a blueprint for sustainable growth and competitiveness through digitalisation."

Kai Wegner, the Governing Mayor of Berlin, said: "The future is being made at a new location in Berlin. As we lay the cornerstone for the new Siemensstadt Square neighbourhood, we are marking the start of an exciting urban development project: an advanced, sustainable smart city in the middle of one of Berlin’s fastest-growing areas for new construction.

“It will significantly help Germany’s capital city to reach its climate targets and attract skilled workers, in part because the neighbourhood will offer housing with a high quality of life.”

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Digital transformation breaks down silos

Siemens said Siemensstadt Square will “demonstrate how technologies from the Siemens Xcelerator platform can combine digital and sustainable solutions at all levels of the city: from intelligent sustainable buildings with photovoltaic roofs to AI-optimised biodiversity monitoring and solutions for electric vehicles”.

It added: “At the heart of the planning, optimisation and operation of the urban infrastructure is an end-to-end digital twin, which consolidates all data points from a campus twin, a building twin and an energy twin.

“Through the intelligent connection and utilisation of this data, a complete virtual image of the district is created and data silos are broken down.”

This means errors can be detected in the digital city and avoided in the real world.

Potential for improvement can be continuously identified in the digital world and implemented, so that even visionary concepts can be tested and a livable future actively shaped.

Cedrik Neike, member of the Managing Board of Siemens AG

Three twins

The Siemens Xcelerator technology makes uses three twins:

  • Campus Twin: developed in collaboration with Bentley Systems, it acts as a digital real-time master plan and brings together all relevant data – everything from building information to planning status
  • Building Twin: part of the Building X software suite on the Siemens Xcelerator platform, it is used to carry out the photorealistic replanning of the existing area. Siemensstadt Square is “customer zero” for the project. Industrial buildings have been integrated into a “walk-in” twin without interrupting their ongoing operation.
  • Energy Twin: to optimise the district’s power supply, the energy twin is used to generate forecasts in the virtual world and to monitor supply variants. Integrated AI optimises energy efficiency, traffic and waste management and enables forecasting.

Cedrik Neike, member of the Managing Board of Siemens AG, said: "I started my training and career at Siemensstadt 30 years ago. Today, as a member of the Managing Board, I’m laying the foundations for a district of the future.

“After more than 100 years as a closed production site, Siemensstadt Square will become an open meeting place.”

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