Close to 700 Cities to Deploy Urban Metaverse Functionality by 2030, Enabling Citizen-Centric and Smart Infrastructure Use Cases

24 Oct 2023

The urban metaverse is in an early exploration phase, with only a few relevant deployments currently. However, according to global technology intelligence firm ABI Research, by 2030, close to 700 cities will have deployed some form of metaverse infrastructure, often as extensions of existing urban digital twin platforms and solutions.

“Though metaverse is undeniably overhyped and steeped in vagueness, the urban context offers interesting value-generating use cases and applications, ranging from seamless interaction of citizens with eGovernment services, virtual tourism, smart infrastructure design, planning and development, and urban workforce enablement and enhancement. This is especially important in complex urban environments which are challenging to design, maintain, explore, and engage with,” explains Dominique Bonte, Vice President, Verticals & End Markets at ABI Research.

Benefits for city governments include gaining political capital through enhanced citizen engagement and participation and significant cost savings related to smarter and more effective urban infrastructure design, operations, and maintenance. The urban metaverse will also play a critical role in making cities net zero and circular.

Early urban metaverse case studies and examples include:

  • Metaverse Seoul – Government services (tax assistance); 3D environments; User-based avatars; Virtual multi-office communication tools; Urban gaming; Virtual tour programs
  • Tampere Metaverse Vision 2040 - Urban development and planning; Workforce management; Citizen wellbeing, equality, education, and healthcare; Climate actions and sustainability; Urban governance; Virtual City Exploration
  • Rome Advanced District (ROAD) project - Development of new energy supply chains; energy district modeling (Eni, Acea, Autostrade per l’Italia, Bridgestone, Cisco, Gruppo FS, NextChem)
  • Maxar Technologies (SYNTH3D) - Digital twin enabling seamless simulation, visualization, and AR/VR experiences of hyper-realistic satellite imagery-based 3D environments for smart cities  

Urban metaverse technologies are centered around generating immersive 3D experiences combining digital twins, AR/VR/XR, avatars, AI, cloud, compute, and mobile devices. The urban metaverse ecosystem will be heavily dominated by urban digital/virtual twin providers such as Dassault Systèmes, Siradel (Engie), Greehill, and Autodesk in combination with mainstream XR hardware and software metaverse vendors, including NVIDIA, Google, Microsoft (HoloLens 2), Magic Leap (Magic Leap 2), HTC (XR Elite), Apple (Vision Pro), and Meta (Quest 3).

These findings are from ABI Research’s Urban Metaverse: Use Cases, Applications, and Technologies report. This report is part of the company’s Smart Urban Infrastructure research service, which includes research, data, and analyst insights.

About ABI Research

ABI Research is a global technology intelligence firm uniquely positioned at the intersection of technology solution providers and end-market companies. We serve as the bridge that seamlessly connects these two segments by providing exclusive research and expert guidance to drive successful technology implementations and deliver strategies proven to attract and retain customers.

ABI Research 是一家全球性的技术情报公司,拥有得天独厚的优势,充当终端市场公司和技术解决方案提供商之间的桥梁,通过提供独家研究和专业性指导,推动成功的技术实施和提供经证明可吸引和留住客户的战略,无缝连接这两大主体。

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