Urban planning – Siradel simulation tools seduce the world

From Santiago, Chile to the suburbs of Chengdu in China, via Monaco and Paris, Engie’s subsidiary sells its know-how all over the world. Its strength: combining 3D modelling, geographic data management and simulation software publishing – helping to build the city in all its dimensions.

Digital evolution leads to a considerable increase in the data produced by cities and their inhabitants. “This data, once aggregated, cross-checked and analysed, makes it possible to think of building neighbourhoods in a sustainable and collaborative way” explains Christophe Papin, Vice President in charge of Business Development at Siradel. In this way, new ways of working notably based on urban planning tools using three-dimensional (3D) modelling, appear. Many companies are positioning themselves in this market, which is set to explode in the coming years, as metropolises become more densely populated and need to simultaneously face urban transformation, sustainable development, transport management and the deployment of communication networks. To rise to this challenge, “Siradel is developing a geographic data and 3D modelling platform used to support cities in their local planning policy, and which makes it possible to share urban data with the population, and more generally between all economic players in the area” continues Christophe Papin.

Christophe Papin, Vice President in charge of Business Development at Siradel.

10 million mobile phones “tracked”

Based in Rennes (Ille-et-Vilaine) and with offices in Canada and Hong-Kong, Engie’s subsidiary since 2016 is, according to Christophe Papin, “probably the only company in the world that masters the entire chain of value, from the production and management of 3D data, to its use in visualisation and simulation software “. In terms of mobility, Siradel was part of the “Mobility nation” think tank created in 2017 by the Boston Consulting Group to think about mobility in the Ile-de-France region by 2030. A white paper was produced which puts forward 24 recommendations particularly in anticipation of the 2024 Olympic Games. Siradel’s mission was to simulate the impact on traffic in the Paris region of new modes of transport. “We have mapped movement in Ile-de-France from the GPS data generated by 10 million mobile phones, in a totally anonymous way” explains Christophe Papin. “We then tested different scenarios, for example, by virtually integrating private autonomous vehicles into Parisian orbital traffic, and then incorporating these elements on a 3D web platform to visualise the impacts on traffic during peak hours and travel times”. The same approach was taken with the introduction of shared shuttle services on the Saclay plateau.

3D modelling of the future neighbourhood and simulation of public lighting In the Franco-Chinese eco-district near Chengdu in the south of China.©Engie Siradel

Variable geometry

Urban planning follows a similar principle. “The platform makes it possible to integrate 3D models of a city, to aggregate and simulate different urban factors (power, movement of people, public lighting, etc.) in order to verify the impact of urban transformation and optimise decision making before changes are made”, explains Christophe Papin. This technology was tested in 2015 in a 3D simulation of a sustainable city for Santiago de Chile (see opposite). In Monaco, Siradel is working on a map of the lighting network of the Principality in anticipation of future developments. In the Franco-Chinese eco-district (22 km2) near Chengdu in the south of China, the aim is to demonstrate the use of such a platform in the deployment of intelligent public lighting systems, but also in the design of IoT (Internet of Things) networks that will allow it to become a “smarter city”. With variable geometry, this approach can be scaled equally as well for a building and its immediate environment, or an entire neighbourhood, like the University of Ohio in the United States (or much larger areas).

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