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Article

Digital Twins: A Critical Discussion on Their Potential for Supporting Policy-Making and Planning in Urban Logistics

1
Faculty of Logistics, Molde University College, 6410 Molde, Norway
2
Department of Political Sciences, University of Roma Tre, 00145 Rome, Italy
3
Department of Civil Engineering and Architecture, University of Catania, 95123 Catania, Italy
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2020, 12(24), 10623; https://doi.org/10.3390/su122410623
Received: 17 November 2020 / Revised: 10 December 2020 / Accepted: 14 December 2020 / Published: 18 December 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable City Logistics and Innovation)
Poor logistics efficiency, due to low load factors caused by high demand fragmentation, will have relevant negative consequences for cities in terms of pollution, congestion and overall city liveability. Policy-makers should equip themselves with appropriate tools to perform reliable, comprehensive and timely analyses of urban logistics scenarios, also considering upcoming (i) technological changes, (ii) business model evolutions and (iii) spatial-temporal changes these innovations will produce. This paper discusses the Digital Twin (DT) concept, illustrating the role it might play and clarifying how to properly conceive it with respect to urban freight transport policy-making and planning. The main message is that without a sound theory and knowledge with respect to the relationships linking contextual reality and choice/behaviour, it is not possible to make sense of what happens in the real world. Therefore, the joint use of behavioural and simulation models should characterise a DT within a Living Lab approach so to stimulate effective, well-informed and participated planning processes, but also to forecast both behaviour and reactions to structural changes and policy measures implementations. View Full-Text
Keywords: digital twins; urban freight; living lab; behavioural models; policy; planning digital twins; urban freight; living lab; behavioural models; policy; planning
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MDPI and ACS Style

Marcucci, E.; Gatta, V.; Le Pira, M.; Hansson, L.; Bråthen, S. Digital Twins: A Critical Discussion on Their Potential for Supporting Policy-Making and Planning in Urban Logistics. Sustainability 2020, 12, 10623. https://doi.org/10.3390/su122410623

AMA Style

Marcucci E, Gatta V, Le Pira M, Hansson L, Bråthen S. Digital Twins: A Critical Discussion on Their Potential for Supporting Policy-Making and Planning in Urban Logistics. Sustainability. 2020; 12(24):10623. https://doi.org/10.3390/su122410623

Chicago/Turabian Style

Marcucci, Edoardo, Valerio Gatta, Michela Le Pira, Lisa Hansson, and Svein Bråthen. 2020. "Digital Twins: A Critical Discussion on Their Potential for Supporting Policy-Making and Planning in Urban Logistics" Sustainability 12, no. 24: 10623. https://doi.org/10.3390/su122410623

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