Foth Transforms an Imaging Project into a City-scale Digital Twin of Perry, Iowa

For this midwestern city located in Iowa, it all started with a need for accessibility.
August 1, 2023
Foth Transforms an Imaging Project into a City-scale Digital Twin of Perry, Iowa


Sven Peterson, city administrator for Perry, wanted to make sure his rural town of 7,929 people met Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements so that all residents could easily traverse the streets. “Our job at the City of Perry is to improve people’s quality of life,” he said. “We want to make Perry a better and easier place to live.”

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He never imagined that his desire for ADA compliance would result in creating a digital twin of the entire town, giving one of the smallest towns in the United States a digital twin of its roads, buildings, sidewalks, and other vital assets.

Peterson began thinking about implementing digital technologies when he started planning how the city could conduct a full-scale ADA assessment. The biggest hurdle to full compliance was ensuring that pedestrian ramps blended seamlessly with sidewalks and roads, pathways remained well-maintained, and all assets stayed within a maximum slope to ensure easy passage for all. Not all of the existing passageways met those standards, but Perry officials had no way of knowing what assets fell short or the amount of work that was needed.

The City of Perry hired  Foth Infrastructure & Environment to evaluate street and sidewalk conditions. Since they were sending out a mobile LiDAR unit to capture images of street curbs, they thought – why not capture images of other assets as well? Though Peterson was not initially familiar with the concept of creating a detailed digital twin of an entire city, he quickly realized the potential for a digital twin to encourage the city’s development and improve the quality of life for residents.  

With the help of efficient applications and Foth’s careful planning, Perry received a full digital twin of the town, created with the same amount of money originally earmarked for the ADA compliance project alone.

Watch this video and read the full story to discover how having a digital twin enables Perry to gain support and enact its capital improvement plan 60% faster, increasing its ability to secure city funding by 75%.

Content produced in association with Bentley Systems

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