Arup and a startup are building smart city modeling tools to maximize energy efficiency
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Engineering consulting firm Arup aims to increase its ability to help civil engineers streamline project management and optimize energy efficiency when planning smart cities.
The company recently announced a partnership to create products with Matidor.com, a startup specializing in board-based project management software. Partners described Matidor’s platform in a press release as “a a one-stop-shop experience for civil engineers to plan, track and report on their clean energy and sustainability projects. The goal is to help engineers develop plans with the best possible environmental impact.
Matidor founders Sean Huang and Vincent Lam said they founded the Vancouver-based company after realizing that in urban planning, engineers **cut:on** many mapping systems and spreadsheets on platforms that could not communicate with each other.
Matidor, backed by tech startup accelerator Y Combinator, has participated in smart city tech competitions, Huang said, including through Innovative cities. “We primarily use these channels to [build] potential working relationships with cities or municipalities looking for a geospatial platform,” Huang said. “Based on early discussions, we definitely saw a need there.”
Huang said sustainable planning considers not only individual designs, but also use cases of the whole city planning such as pedestrian mapping.
Some Arup teams have adopted Matidor’s product for customer projects, and the company hopes to expand its reach.
“Matidor had identified a gap in our industry and had the experience to [geographic information system mapping] and business development to bring it to market. After reviewing the other available options, our energy planning team determined that the solution was the right one,” said Rebecca Birmingham, Americas Ventures Manager at Arup, in an email.
Arup hopes that “customers, municipalities, campuses and other businesses serving energy transition projects will embrace [it] in their project management work,” said Birmingham.
In addition to working with Arup, Matidor has worked with GIS mapping software giant Esri and has been “quite active” in seeking collaboration with other organizations, Lam said.
Future versions of the Matidor product will look to implement more 3D layers and leverage AI to look more like a digital twin, Lam added. Other possible use cases could include monitoring fugitive emissions.
Huang said it was too early to describe the nature of his customer base, but he predicts it will eventually be more private sector oriented, still with around 40% government users. Current users in the city include Springfield, Massachusetts, and Austin, Texas, on applications related to civil engineering as well as parks and recreation, the company said.