Las Vegas will build a ‘digital twin’ to reduce carbon emissions

Software company Cityzenith will construct a virtual model of Downtown Las Vegas to help the city reduce building emissions and noise pollution.
Fremont Street in Downtown Las Vegas. (Bryan Steffy / Getty Images)

Las Vegas will design a virtual model of its downtown area to map internet-connected devices that collect information about building emissions and transit in the area, according to an announcement on Wednesday from Cityzenith, a data-visualization software company.

By January 2022, the city plans to install a series of internet-connected environmental sensors measuring air quality, water consumption, noise pollution and emissions in buildings and streetlights downtown, all of which can transmit data back to a central repository for the city to analyze. The data will be collected to create a 3-D model, or “digital twin,” of Downtown Las Vegas, enabling people like city Chief Information Officer Michael Sherwood to simulate tests of different technologies and strategies without spending additional money or wasting resources.

“The City of Las Vegas continues to explore new technologies to create internal efficiencies and enhance services to our community. We see the digital twin pilot project as an opportunity to enhance economic development and continue to advance our efforts in sustainability,” Sherwood said in an email to StateScoop.

The city plans to share data collected through the sensors with building and business owners in the downtown area to help them reduce their operating costs. Creating a digital twin to simulate the environmental impact that changes to a building’s energy or water systems can increase the sustainability of a building by 50% by cutting greenhouse gas emissions, according to a report published earlier this year by Ernst & Young.


Las Vegas is the second city where Cityzenith is building a digital twin, following an agreement that the company reached last month with Brooklyn Navy Yard, a privately managed commercial complex in New York City. A company press release said other “major cities,” including Phoenix, are expected to build digital twins soon as well, under an environmental initiative Cityzenith is calling “Clean Cities — Clean Future,” which aims to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases cities emit.

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