Recent Publications

We used the past months to publish some of our current research topics and results that deal with the effects and chances of the digital transformation, the transport and energy transition on urban and regional development. They all have the application of digital tools in common – for example digital twins – as well as collaborative planning and citizen participation in virtual and augmented realities (AR/VR) and they all are the outcome of our research at the High-Performance Computing Center Stuttgart (HLRS) in collaboration with other research institutions and partners from practice.

The renowned journal “Sustainability” (MDPI) published an article on Digital Urban Twins, which not only triggered great scientific feedback but also international media coverage. Dozens of specialist media and news agencies worldwide were taking up the highly topical issue — from Reuters to Cities Today. This was triggered by a supplementary article by Eric Gedenk for the Gauss Centre for Supercomputing.
The article is open access:

Dembski, F., Wössner, U., Letzgus, M., Ruddat, M., Yamu, C. (2020): Urban Digital Twins for Smart Cities and Citizens: The Case Study of Herrenberg, Germany, Sustainability 12 (6), (2020) 2307,

Which role do digital tools play in public participation within the framework of the energy transition? Can digital tools like simulation and visualisation techniques in virtual reality improve such collaborative and participatory processes? In a book chapter we shared our view and experience. The book by Ortwin Renn, Frank Ulmer and Anna Deckert (eds.) was published by Academic Press and is available as hardcover and ebook. You can purchase the book on the Elsevier website.

Deckert, A., Dembski, F., Ulmer, F., Ruddat, M., Wössner, U. (2020): Digital tools in stakeholder participation for the German Energy Transition. Can digital tools improve participation and its outcome?, Academic Press, Chapter 9, In: “The Role of Public Participation in Energy Transitions.”, Renn, O., Ulmer, F., Deckert, A. (eds.); pp. 161-177, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 2020.

For the Word Urban Forum (WUF) in Abu Dhabi, organised by UN Habitat (United Nations Human Settlements Programme), Dembski was invited to write an expert note within a global perspective. This was published in the printed version of the discussion paper “Future Cities – New Economy and Shared City Prosperity Driven by Technological Innovations” by UN Habitat:
“Digital twins of cities and regions can help us understand and solve today’s complex problems and assess risks and scenarios for the future. It is important to not only understand the physical and phenomenological aspects of a city, but to also integrate social and economic data as well as “human scale” factors into our research.
This requires interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary approaches. Cities around the world face similar challenges, but in different social and cultural contexts. It is important to understand this to design more sustainable and people-oriented cities of the future.”

Dembski, F. (2020): Expert Note on Digital Twins. In: L. Guo, S. Onasanya, M. Zhao, H. Zeng (Eds.): Future Cities, New Economy and Shared City Prosperity Driven by Technological Innovations. Discussion Papers. United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat), Nairobi GPO Kenya, p. 165

A book on recommendations for action in participation processes in the context of urban planning has just been published, in which Dembski together with other authors contributed a chapter. “Kommunale Planung: Bürger erfolgreich beteiligen” (in German) was edited by Gisela Wachinger et al. and published by Verlag Kohlhammer.

Benz, T., Berke, R., Bohlmann, R., Carius, R., Dembski, F., Drobnik, R., Erzigkeit, I., Fauth, E., Fritz, R., Goder, Henke, C., Köppel, M., O’Brian, C.,  Peschen, C., Schaffrin, A., Schlagwein, W., Schüler, R., Wachinger, G., Wist, S.-K. (2020): Partizipation in der kommunalen Planung; in: “Kommunale Planung. Bürger erfolgreich beteiligen.”, Wachinger, G., Wist, S.-K., Goder, J., Schaffrin, A. (Ed.); Verlag W. Kohlhammer, Stuttgart, pp. 70-86.

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