5 Best 3D City Planning, Design Software for Urban Development

Best 3D City Planner

Are you tired of manual city planning and design? Do you want to simplify the process and create more accurate visualizations for your urban development projects? Look no further because we have compiled a list of the top 5 3D city planning and design software that will transform your workflow. From advanced modeling tools to real-time rendering capabilities, these programs are sure to enhance your creativity and efficiency in creating stunning urban landscapes. So, let’s dive into our list and discover which software suits your needs!

3D City Planning and Design Software

There are many different software programs that can be used for 3D City Planner and design. Some of the most popular and widely used programs include CityEngine, SketchUp, and AutoCAD. Each of these programs has its own unique features and capabilities that make it well-suited for different types of projects.

CityEngine is a professional grade program that is often used by urban planners and architects. It is very powerful and provides a high degree of control over the design process. SketchUp is a more user-friendly program that is often used by students and hobbyists. It is not as feature-rich as CityEngine but it is much easier to use. AutoCAD is a very popular program that is used by many different professionals, including engineers and surveyors. It has a wide range of features and can be customized to suit the needs of any project.

1. Autodesk 3ds Max

Autodesk 3ds Max is a powerful 3D modeling and animation software used by architects, engineers, and urban planners to create three-dimensional (3D) models of proposed developments. It can be used to create both static and dynamic models, and its wide range of features makes it a versatile tool for city planning and design.

Autodesk 3ds Max has been used in the planning and design of some of the world’s most iconic buildings and developments, such as the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, the One World Trade Center in New York City, and the London 2012 Olympic Games venues. Its capabilities make it an essential tool for anyone involved in city planning or development.

Features of Autodesk 3ds Max include:

  • Realistic lighting and shadowing techniques.
  • Flexible modeling tools with the ability to create complex shapes and surfaces.
  • Ability to animate objects in a scene.
  • Integration with other Autodesk programs, such as AutoCAD and Revit.
  • Multi-user collaboration features for working with teams.

2. SketchUp

SketchUp is one of the top city planning and design software programs available. It is versatile and easy to use, making it a great choice for urban development projects. With SketchUp, you can create 2D and 3D models of your cityscape, including buildings, roads, and other features. You can also add textures and colors to your models, giving them a realistic appearance. The software also includes a library of pre-made components that you can use to quickly populate your models.

Features :

  • Compatible with Windows, Mac, and Linux operating systems.
  • Includes a library of pre-made components to quickly populate your models.
  • Offers 2D and 3D models.
  • Includes tools for adding textures and colors to your models.
  • Save your work as an image file or 3D object file.

3. ArcGIS CityEngine

CityEngine is a powerful tool for 3D city planning and design. It allows users to easily create, edit, and simulate urban environments in 3D. CityEngine is used by many city planners and urban designers around the world to create realistic, data-driven 3D models of cities.

CityEngine is particularly well-suited for large-scale projects such as master planning, zoning, and infrastructure development. It can also be used for more specific tasks such as site analysis, building massing, and façade design.

While CityEngine is a complex tool with many features, it is easy to use thanks to its intuitive interface and user-friendly workflows. Novices can quickly learn the basics of the software, while experienced users can take advantage of its more advanced features.

Features of CityEngine include:

  • Rule-based modeling – Create detailed 3D cities with procedural rules and textures.
  • Urban analysis – Generate reports to study urban areas including density, building height, and land use.
  • GIS integration – Merge existing GIS data sets into the 3D model.
  • Rendering engine – Visualize the 3D city using photorealistic rendering.

4. Blender

When it comes to city planning and design, Blender is a top software choice for many urban development professionals. With its powerful 3D modeling capabilities, Blender is well-suited for creating detailed city models and simulations. Additionally, Blender’s user-friendly interface makes it easy to create complex city designs.

Blender is a popular choice for city planners and designers because of its ability to create detailed 3D models. Its user-friendly interface also makes it easy to create complex city designs.

Features of Blender include:

  • 3D modeling capabilities
  • User-friendly interface
  • Ability to create detailed city models and simulations
  • Support for multiple rendering engines, including Cycles and Eevee
  • Variety of animation tools for creating lifelike scenes
  • Open source, so it is constantly being improved upon by developers

5. Lumion 3D

Lumion 3D is one of the top city planning and design software programs available today. It offers a wide range of features and tools to help you create realistic urban environments. With Lumion, you can easily add buildings, roads, trees, and other objects to your scene. You can also adjust the lighting and shadows to create a more realistic look. Lumion is a great tool for urban planners and developers who want to create detailed, realistic cityscapes.

Features :

  • Realistic 3D rendering
  • Intuitive user interface
  • Powerful object editing and customization tools
  • Easy-to-use terrain tool for creating landscapes and streetscapes
  • High-quality library of 3D models, textures, and materials for creating realistic urban environments


With the right 3D city planning and design software, you can bring your urban development projects to life. We hope this article has helped you find a program that meets all of your needs and allows you to create stunning visuals for your project. Whether you’re looking for an easy-to-use platform or something with more advanced features, there is 3D city planning and design software out there for everyone. Start exploring the options today and take your urban development projects to new heights!

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