Esri CityEngine 2017 designed for efficient urban planning

July 5, 2017  - By
Esri CityEngine 2017.

Esri CityEngine 2017.

Esri has released Esri CityEngine 2017 with a variety of new features.

This latest version of Esri’s 3D modeling software offers new features that let planners and architects compare different scenarios and visualize them with dashboards to view how each would affect the same geographic area — all in real time.

With the updates available in the new version of CityEngine, users can make changes to specific features — such as adjusting the size of windows or adding a balcony — in a model without affecting the entire structure.

Before this, planners would have to create two entirely different projects to understand the consequences of a proposed building’s design variations.

New elements of the CityEngine user interface.

New elements of the CityEngine user interface.

“With this release of CityEngine, we focused on the needs of urban planners, designers and architects,” said Pascal Mueller, director of Esri R&D Center Zurich AG, where CityEngine is developed. “We are proud to introduce a groundbreaking new-tool concept for the scenario-based planning in a 3D application.

The software team also implemented long-awaited user requests such as measurement tools and computer-generated architecture (CGA) neighborhood queries, Mueller said. Also, the graphical user interface has been completely revamped with a fresh, modern look and improved ease of use.

The new CityEngine also introduces procedurally generated 3D city content. This means that planners can automatically create unique design features on buildings without manually rendering them. This feature saves time that urban planners and architects would otherwise spend generating details themselves.

“Smart cities of the future will be designed more transparently, and the design process will engage citizens,” said Dominik Tarolli, head of 3D geodesign business at Esri. “With CityEngine 2017, smart city scenes can be created in minutes and shared via the web or Esri’s ArcGIS 360 VR app in a single click.”

The latest version of CityEngine is available for Windows, Mac and Linux platforms. A free 30-day trial with full export capabilities can be downloaded.

Tracy Cozzens

About the Author:

Tracy Cozzens has served as managing editor of GPS World magazine since 2006. She also is editor of GPS World’s newsletters and the sister website Geospatial Solutions. She has worked in government, for non-profits, and in corporate communications, editing a variety of publications for audiences ranging from federal government contractors to teachers.

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