The Urban Redevelopment Authority and Esri are working jointly on the enhancement of an urban planning tool - Esri CityEngine - which transforms 2D town planning data into interactive 3D city models.

By customising the Esri CityEngine platform to Singapore’s urban context, Esri and URA are developing a smart 3D mapping tool incorporating various planning and urban design rules to enable urban planners to carry out large scale simulations more efficiently.

This was the goal of URA’s Memorandum of Understanding with Esri Inc. and Esri Singapore inked in November 2013.

The Esri CityEngine platform currently allows planners to simulate different building forms and visualise their impact to the surrounding environment.

For instance, planners can conduct shadow studies on proposed developments to determine how public spaces can be shaded for better comfort.

The URA gave a demonstration of how URA carries out urban planning and design using this smart 3D tool at the Esri International User Conference held in San Diego today, attended by over 16,000 geospatial professionals.

URA’s Director of Information Systems, Applications, Goh Siow Chong said as the land use planning authority of Singapore, URA constantly seeks new ideas, innovative technologies and smart solutions to make better planning decisions and overcome challenges.

“Our collaboration with Esri Inc. and Esri Singapore is a fruitful experience,” he said.

“Esri brings on board their expertise in advanced 3D geospatial technology, enabling us to create 3D simulations of various planning scenarios to better plan for a more liveable and inclusive environment.”

Esri Singapore Chief Executive Officer Thomas Pramotedham said using GIS technology to enable a greater understanding of future developments is key to ensuring Singapore remains one of Asia’s most dynamic urban centres.

“As one of the world’s fastest growing cities, it is important that Singapore leverages smart technologies to ensure ongoing developments can meet the needs of citizens now and in the future,” said Mr Pramotedham.

“URA’s approach to using 3D GIS technology is incredibly progressive, and serves as a benchmark and inspiration for other countries around the world.

“The fact the URA was invited to deliver a presentation to more than 16,000 of the world’s leading GIS professionals is testament to the outstanding and industry-leading work they are achieving in this field.”

URA and Esri will continue to develop the software’s localised rules and building templates to build up the 3D model base, overlay rich GIS layers and over time, create a rich 3D city information model that could be useful for multiple purposes beyond urban planning.


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