CityCAD offers a quick and easy way of sketching conceptual urban masterplans.

If you draw streets, then junctions are automatically modelled where they intersect, complete with pavements and kerb radii. If you move a street, then adjacent urban blocks are re-sized and their area is recalculated.

Urban blocks can be edited by adjusting parameters – such as the number of storeys, setback from street, space use, depth of buildings in perimeter blocks, densities and house widths for residential blocks – and the 3D model will update automatically.

Overview of city modelling features

  • 3D visualization of conceptual street design, block massing and open spaces
  • Drawing and editing of streets, spaces and buildings.
  • Import and export to DXF drawing format.
  • Import image files and place on ground plane.
  • Import DXF drawing and place on the ground as a ‘base map’ which can then be snapped to and traced over with CityCAD streets.
  • Create models using different block templates – semi-detached/detached housing, terraced housing, mixed-use perimeter blocks, buildings and open spaces.
  • Generic ‘mixed use’ block template can be used to enter % of different land uses within the block.
  • Model can be organized into groups (like CAD layers) and phases (like CAD layers except with a start and end date).
  • Custom library of components can be created, which can be easily inserted into the model. For example, wind turbines with an electrical energy generation rate or housing developments with known quantities can be stored in this library.

Case study - Letchworth Garden City

Holistic City worked with EcoResponsive Environments on their competition-winning proposal “Grange in the Hedges” – a masterplan for a  45-hectare site to the north of Letchworth Garden City.

The competition had been launched in October 2018 by the Letchworth Garden City Heritage Foundation, working in partnership with the RIBA, Anglian Water, BRE, Homes England, the Town and Country Planning Association and the University of Hertfordshire.

CityCAD was used to create an information-rich model of the masterplan layout to inform the design team as concepts were worked up in more detail. It allowed quantities to be calculated quickly for viability and liveability testing.

The final proposal by EcoResponsive Environments contained many innovative ideas for managing resources and creating a new community. For more details, visit the competition website below:

The CityCAD model, showing the layout of different housing types
When the model was changed, the unit mix was instantly updated
CityCAD liveability analysis highlighted which areas were closest to proposed bus stops, informing the design process