Urban metaverse, 700 cities are expected to enter the immersive reality by 2030

26 October 2023


The metaverse has still an unclear future and unspread market opportunities brought by the transition toward the web 3.0. We can say on the other hand that the metaverse will be certain a part of our future. One the most important approach to the metaverse are the digital twins. The reproduction of cities is a sector that will be implemented in the next ten years. According to Abi Resourch Rome, Seoul and Tampere are among the first cities to experiment the Urban Metaverse, bringing the digitalisation of services and infrastructures into the lives of citizens. Almost 700 cities in the world will have their digital twin in the metaverse whitin 2030.

Seoul and Tampere's experience

Seoul is the first out of the gate with Metaverse Seoul, which it says can serve as a model for other cities. Local government leaders from Rotterdam and Tampere to Santa Monica and Dubai are among those that are now experimenting or creating metaverse plans.

Tampere in Finland is “serious about being a metaverse city,” says Teppo Rantanen, Executive Director for the city. He sees particular opportunities in areas such as mobility, healthcare, utilities and safety and security, as well as events.

Seoul's metaverse key services

With Metaverse Seoul, the city is acting as a first mover to not only establish the platform as a prototype but also promote it as an archetype for virtual municipal administration. Leading as a global smart city, Metaverse Seoul is set out to provide various public services while focusing on ‘freedom,’ ‘inclusion,’ and ‘connection’ as the three core values of the platform to establish a hyper-realistic community space of creativity and communication that is accessible to all users for augmented experiences:

  • First, the core value of ‘freedom’ focuses on establishing a community space where users can creatively express themselves and freely communicate with each other. Users can take advantage of public services 24/7 all year round and even visit the virtual mayor’s office and library as well as play seasonal mini-games and participate in public contests.
  • Second, the core value of ‘inclusion’ focuses on accessibility where users can interact as avatars without any barrier or discrimination. As a hyper-realistic space, users can access not only Seoul Fintech Lab and Seoul Business Support Center, but also visit Seoul’s top 10 tourist attractions and more.
  • Third, the core value of ‘connection’ focuses on building a virtual world that provides immersive experiences of reality for users to enjoy public services, such as students meeting with their mentors for virtual consultation as well as citizens filing civil complaints via chat, getting official documents issued, and paying their local taxes.

Next steps of city digitalisation

Another research released last year by ThoughtLab found that of 200 global cities surveyed, 44 said they are making investments to ensure that their cities are metaverse-ready. Some cities are eyeing economic development opportunities, while others see potential for education, resident engagement and improving the accessibility of city services.

Harmen van Sprang, co-founder and CEO of the non-profit Sharing Cities Alliance, said that although the metaverse is in a nascent phase: “That’s also, I think, exactly the moment that we already should be talking about this.”

In the end the metaverse rapresents a new way of providing a wide range of services that can be enjoyed by citizens in a plastic way, without so many explanations. Everyone could see how thing works frome the "3D copy" and would be able to use services 24h per day thanks AI avatar. The city's digital twin can be used for cultural and tourist purposes and e-commerce platform for the showrooms of the future.



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