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3DCity: Urban Planning and Design

Template: 3D City - Design
Version: 1.1
Date: July 19, 2013
Map templates and workflows are ArcGIS resources that can be used to help create 2D / 3D maps and web map
applications with your GIS data. These templates and workflows can be applied as the foundation to create similar maps.
This workflow covers how you can design new 3D buildings in CityEngine using procedural rules. Starting point is a
Geodatabase with 3D GIS features that was created in part 1 and 2 of a series of workflows on 3D City Modeling showing
you how to:

Prepare your GIS data for generating 3D city features
Create 3D city features like 3D multipatch building shells and 3D streets from existing GIS data
Maintain 3D multipatch building shells
Design new 3D buildings using procedural rules (this workflow: includes master planning and comparing designs)
Start doing Master Planning
Perform 3D City analysis such as shadow and visual impact
Publish 3D CityEngine Web Scenes to ArcGIS Online

Please have a look for the full series on the 3DGIS and CityEngine Resource Centers.
Use case: Urban Planning
As we saw in part 1, 2 and 3 of this series, CityEngine can be used to create a 3D City Model using existing GIS data. The
ability to easily create 3D urban scenes is one of the key strengths of CityEngine. Another is the ability to design in 3D
and this can be very helpful in Urban Planning.
The workflow below describes the process of planning/designing a new city block in our Philadelphia example city using
procedural rules.

CityEngine 2012.1
If you don’t have a license, go here to get a trial version
Pay attention to user interface information (especially how to navigate) when installing
‘3D City Creation’ project

Loading the example:
After installation, startup CityEngine:
If you didn’t do so already, import the ‘3D City Creation’ project into your workspace: File -> import -> Project -> existing
project into workspace. Search for the ‘’ archive file.

cej and a Master Planning scene called 3DCityMasterPlanning.Import existing project (as archive) into workspace Workflow steps: 1.cej scene first to see a final design. . a prepared design scene called 3DCityDesign. Loading a scene This example comes with 3 scenes: the 3DCity scene we created in part 2 of this series.cej Please open the 3DCityDesign.

Manual sketching . Click on the Polygonal Shape Creation Tool in the CityEngine tool bar: .cej project.Generate from parcels or building footprints Let’s have a look at manual sketching first. let’s try and create a new design. We are interested in redeveloping a city block in the middle of Philadelphia.2. drag right to left) and ‘cut’ it out (‘Edit->Cut’). 3. Close this project and open the 3DCity. Sketching new buildings There are 2 ways in CityEngine to create 3D buildings: . We’ll paste it back into the scene as separate layers in case we want to compare later with the new design (click the Scene window and ‘paste (‘Edit->Paste’)). Selecting the area of interest Ok. Select this block (left mouse button.

Draw a base for your building Extrude it upwards Cut along the roof to create….step backs by pushing down Apply the ‘Generic Modern Buildings’ rule to your 3D sketch and select the Envelop rule as start rule. …. .

To generate detailed facades. Go the Inspector window (Window->Show Inspector) Scroll down to the Generic Modern Facades rule and Toggle the Generate Facades parameter to on . in the Inspector window.You can check building parameters such as FAR and GFA. Scroll down in the Inspector to the reports tab.

Generate new parcels First thing we need to do is generate new parcels in this location as basis for the new design. we get more than 4 parcels.and set ‘shapeCreation’ to true CityEngine will generate new parcels for this the Inspector window . In this case we want for 4 new big one of the adjoining streets . Another way of create 3D buildings is to apply rules directly to parcels or building footprints and generate the 3D geometry completely procedurally. CityEngine can do this for you: . . Simply change it by changing rule parameters such as minimum and maximum parcel size.go to the ‘Block’ tab . you can apply rules to your 3D sketch.Manually sketching is a very intuitive way to create 3D buildings in CityEngine and as you can see. Just delete the sketch you created now and on to parceling! 4. by default. We’ll see how that works in the next section. Now as you’ll notice.

Lot Coverage and Open Space Area for each of the design the ‘Parcel’ rule as start rule (if needed) and click Ok . to generate 3D massing models based on typical zoning laws. the new parcels . .select the dynamic shapes tab .this will generate 4 mass models with certain zoning parameter settings.if needed you can align the parcels better with the terrain through ‘Layer->Align Terrain To Shapes’ 5. and other aspects of property use. . density. Virtually every municipality in the developed world has zoning laws which describe permitted land use. lot size.go to the ‘Block parameters’ . .change lotAreaMin to 3000.cga’ rule on the parcels.have the 4 parcels selected and drag / drop the ‘Generic Modern Buildings. Apply an urban planning rule In the next step we are going to apply a rule to the new parcels. lotAreaMax to 5000 and set irregularity to 0 . These can then be easily checked against the permitted values in the zoning laws.. CityEngine rules can be used to quickly visualize different 3D design scenarios by changing the rule the Inspector window . building heights. A great feature of the software is the ability to do instant reporting of zoning ‘parameters’ such as Floor Area Ration (FAR) or density.

. Setbacks and Layout. .In this 1 building and open the Inspector window . Lot Coverage etc for this you can start designing in 3D by changing the rule parameters such as Nr of Floors. .check the reporting for impact of design decisions . You can manually play with different combinations of the rule parameters or use the ‘Styles’ functionality to quickly generate a predefined design. we want to increase the density (FAR) on each lot but also create nice open the report tab and you can see the Floor Area Ratio.

Styles Another good feature is the ‘Styles’ the Styles button and select a style .6. please see 3DCity – Analysis part of this series If we are happy with the analysis results. Note: to have the original rule file driving the Styles. scroll down to the ‘Generic Modern Facades’ rule and set Generate_Facades to true . This resets all the parameters you might have changed previously to values defined in the rules. . 7. we can bring it back into ArcGIS for further analysis such as shadow and visual impact. right click in the Inspector on a rule parameter and select ‘reset all attributes of ‘Generic Modern Building’. Shadow impact Visual impact Note: to learn about shadow and visual impact analysis in the Inspector window . we can further fine-tune our design in CityEngine. First we can enable façade generation: .in the Inspector. Fine-tuning the design With the base design in place. Styles are basically predefined sets of rule parameters which allow you to quickly switch between different design the parcel/building .do this for all buildings so it looks similar to the image below.

scroll down to the ‘Green Space’ rule and set Generate_Green_Space to true .This generates detailed 3D facades on the massing models. we can enable the green space generation: .in the Inspector. The facade rule also supports Styles so click the Styles button in the Inspector and apply the styles so it looks like the image below. To finish off.

Simple change the Setback from the Boundary parameter. . And if needed.Design done! Looking at the final result. it appears that the office building and the residential building are too close together and the residential building is shading the office building. nearly 50% lot coverage and the midday sun is nicely coming into the open space. changes can be made at any stage of the design process. we see we have a density (FAR) of almost 6. For example.

Now we can export this design and bring it back into ArcGIS for visualization in a larger geographic extent. Note: to learn more about how to export 3D content from CityEngine to ArcGIS. Enjoy… The 3D /CityEngine team . please see the 3DCity – Maintenance part of this series.