The International Archives of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences
Publications Copernicus
Articles | Volume XLVIII-4/W10-2024
31 May 2024
 | 31 May 2024

Conceptualising an Urban Digital Twin Framework for Simulating the Impact of Household Consumption Choices on the Carbon Footprint of Urban Neighborhoods

Rushikesh Padsala, Thunyathep Santhanavanich, Ursula Eicker, and Volker Coors

Keywords: Consumption-based Carbon Accounting, Household Consumption Choices, Neighbourhood Scale Carbon Emissions, Urban Digital Twins

Abstract. This paper presents a concept and first glimpse at the development of an urban digital twin framework to estimate and forecast the carbon footprints of urban neighbourhoods, with a focus on household consumption choices, specifically in buildings, food, and transportation sectors, as key emission contributors. Despite constituting nearly three-quarters of global carbon emissions, the influence of household consumption choices on a region’s carbon footprint is often neglected. While assessments at a regional or city scale may prove too broad for targeted mitigation strategies, estimating carbon emissions at the neighbourhood scale can foster sustainable and resilient urban areas. However, challenges arise in estimating emissions at this scale due to the availability of aggregated data, insufficient cross-sectoral data integration, and a lack of practical visualisation tools, causing policymakers to overlook the impact of household choices on neighbourhood carbon footprints. Therefore, the present article provides insights into the ongoing early-stage development of using urban digital twins to model, simulate, analyse, and visualise the impact of household consumption choices on neighbourhood-scale consumption-based carbon emissions. By exploring ”what-if” scenarios, this research also seeks to forecast emission profiles based on how household consumption choices influence a neighbourhood’s carbon emissions under future climatic and demographic conditions.