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Wellington’s Digital Twin takes out top honours in Global Mayors Challenge

The capital has been announced as one of 15 winners in the Bloomberg Philanthropies’ 2021-2022 Global Mayors Challenge.

The competition champions bold and inspiring ideas that support economic recovery and inclusive growth; health and wellbeing; climate and environment; and gender and equality. Selected from 631 entries, and pocketing the US $1 million in prize money, the win is a coup for the city.

Wellington’s winning project is a virtual model of the city complete with real-time data. The ‘Digital Twin’ encourages coordinated community engagement on issues such as climate change. It is designed to help the community to understand the challenges at hand to make better decisions on how to plan for the future. The project also aligns with the city’s goal of being a net-zero carbon capital by 2050.

Wellington City Council Mayor Andy Foster was delighted with the announcement. “Our success goes beyond Wellington’s boundaries; the open-source code we’ll use will be available for other coastal cities to access and utilise for their own purposes. This is a win for the capital, but also a win for the country!”

Michael Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg Philanthropies and former Mayor of New York City noted the power of community change. “Our 15 winners offer bold, achievable plans to improve health, reduce unemployment, empower women, and more. Collectively, they have the potential to improve millions of their residents’ lives – and the most successful solutions will inspire cities around the world to embrace them.”

Work on developing the Digital Twin will be led by Wellington City Council’s Digital Innovation team. It is expected to take three years to complete.