If you want to think about the future of a city, 3-D is better than 2-D. You can see how streets, buildings, and transportation fit together in ways maps can’t really show you. That’s why developers have long developed physical 3-D models of their plans. Better to show the world what’s coming.
The step forward with 3-D planning software like CityEngine, a sophisticated tool from the GIS giant Esri, is the ability to conceive the urban environment on-the-fly. You want a bike lane? Press a button. You want to take out the bus rapid transit? No problem. Previously such re-modeling would take days and weeks, if it could be done at all.
The tool was originally developed for movies (it’s been used for films like Total Recall, Cars 2, and others). Now it’s widely employed in city planning departments. For example, Austin, Texas,created plans for its sustainable places project with it, including visualizations of a new urban rail system.
There are other examples such as CyberCity, 3D-GIS, Virtual Terrain among others. Why not try your hands join one sand make your hands really dirty? I have used it a couple of times and believe me it’s really cool. Its just a way of becoming a geo-prophet that tells the people and government what your area will be like in years.