E.T. Complex

Piattaforma Digital Eco Twin avanzata per la Carbon Neutrality a Km Zero dei sistemi complessi
Thematic area: Earth/Climate, Projects
Financing: IFAB call for projects
Enabling Technology: Advanced Modeling and Simulation, Big Data Analytics, Cloud Computing, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Machine Learning, Multi-sensor control units

The E.T. CompleX project intends to develop an advanced Digital Twin platform starting from the urban system represented by the CNR Technopole buildings in Bologna and its green areas. The main objective is to achieve ‘carbon neutrality at zero km’ within that system by analysing the CO2 emissions generated by human activities – waste production, energy consumption and mobility – and estimating the amount of trees needed to compensate these emissions. The platform aims to become a model applicable to other urban systems of similar complexity, such as hospitals, port areas, campuses, etc., integrating digital innovation and predictive analysis to promote sustainability in urban areas.

The goal

  • Achieve ‘Carbon Neutrality’ by quantifying the CO2 emissions of the analysed system and determining how many trees are needed to absorb these emissions.
  • Monitor the health of urban greenery through a digital, sensor-powered twin that can estimate the CO2 absorbed by plants.
  • Plan interventions to secure and/or replace plants using a predictive system.
  • Suggesting more sustainable and efficient mobility and energy consumption solutions from the data analysis, also contributing upstream to the overall reduction of CO2 emissions.

The initial challenge

Modern cities are at the centre of complex environmental challenges, with an urgent need to reduce CO2 emissions and promote sustainable development. The efficient management of urban mobility, waste and energy consumption is a crucial goal to achieve carbon neutrality at the local level. To this must be added an increasingly conscious and intelligent use of urban green areas, as a key player in CO2 absorption. Every hectare of urban greenery in Italy absorbs 4.2 tonnes of CO2 per year; with 9.3% of Italy’s territory covered by urban greenery, about 12 million tonnes of CO2 are absorbed annually, and this contribution could increase with policies that enhance the ecological infrastructure.

The solution

Through a 4-step process, E.T. Complex builds a digital twin that integrates real-time data and predictive systems. The digital twin will be available in the cloud in the form of a detailed virtual representation (map) and will allow real-time monitoring and simulation of CO2 reduction interventions, assessing the environmental impact of urban actions and determining the amount of trees needed to achieve complete carbon neutrality.

Phase 1. Data Collection and Integration

  • Complex system data collection on mobility, waste, energy consumption and installation of advanced sensors to collect the health status and other vital parameters of the trees belonging to the urban green area.
  • Centralisation and integration of collected data into a system.

Phase 2. Analysis and Creation of Digital Twins

  • Use of machine learning algorithms to analyse data and identify patterns and trends.
  • Development of predictive digital twins for the complex system and green area, also considering CO2 emissions and the contribution of trees.

Phase 3. Modelling and Simulation

  • Creation of a predictive model to estimate the amount of trees needed to offset the CO2 emissions generated by the complex system.

Phase 4. Implementation and Monitoring

  • Implementation of the digital twins in the digital twin platform, allowing access to and interaction with data and simulations.
  • Constant monitoring of the performance and results obtained, updating and optimising the models according to new data collected.


E.T. CompleX offers a replicable model for cities, hospitals, and port areas, promoting a more sustainable and intelligent management of urban spaces. The platform will enable stakeholders to make decisions based on reliable data, optimising resources and improving the quality of urban life. It will also contribute significantly to the fight against climate change by promoting the health and sustainability of urban green spaces through accurate monitoring and proactive management strategies. Finally, the success of E.T. CompleX will inspire further innovations and technological applications for a sustainable urban future.


For further information, please contact: barbara.vecchi@ifabfoundation.org

Sustainable Development Goals


Share on:

You may also be interested in:

Stay updated on the latest IFAB events and projects.Subscribe to our monthly newsletter