ArcGIS Urban integration

Using ArcGIS Urban in ArcGIS CityEngine allows you to do the following:

  • Import ArcGIS Urban plans (parcels, zoning and overlays layers, and scenarios) in ArcGIS CityEngine.
  • Edit the imported parcel layers and save the changes to ArcGIS Urban.
  • Publish CityEngine models as scene layers to ArcGIS Online and link them to a scenario in an ArcGIS Urban plan.

Import a plan

To import a plan from ArcGIS Urban to CityEngine, complete the following steps:

  1. Set the active portal.
  2. Sign in to the portal.
  3. Open the Navigator window and click the ArcGIS Urban tab ArcGIS Urban.

    A list of available ArcGIS Urban models containing plans and projects displays.

  4. Right-click a plan and select Import as new Scene.

    • A CityEngine project is created.
    • All scenarios, parcels, and zoning and overlay layers are imported into a scene.
    • A terrain layer with the basemap and satellite imagery map is imported.

    • The scene is named after the imported plan.
    • The scene is stored in a CityEngine project named after the ArcGIS Urban model configured in the ArcGIS Urban settings. If the CityEngine project doesn’t exist, it is created.

Save changes with ArcGIS Urban

After you make changes to the parcel shapes and their parcel attributes in the imported scene, you can save those changes to ArcGIS Urban.

To save the changes to ArcGIS Urban, click ArcGIS Urban > Save changes to Urban in the main menu.

The Save changes to ArcGIS Urban dialog box appears:

Save changes to ArcGIS Urban dialog box

Publish ArcGIS Urban scene layers

You can publish CityEngine models as scene layers and link them as external layers to an ArcGIS Urban plan scenario as design context. The scene layers appear in ArcGIS Urban when you switch scenarios in the Projects details view.

  1. In the Scene Editor window, activate the scenario for which you want to publish models.
  2. Select the models you want to publish.
    • You can publish generated models and static models.
    • Shapes are not exported.
  3. Click ArcGIS Urban > Publish selected models to Urban Scene Layer in the main menu.

    The models are published to a scene layer and can be linked to the scenario.

    • If the scene layer is linked to the scenario, you can choose to replace it.
    • When publishing is complete in CityEngine, the scene layer may not be immediately visible in ArcGIS Urban because the publishing is still running on ArcGIS Online.
    • To see how the scene layer looks in ArcGIS Urban, click ArcGIS Urban > Open in Web browser in the main menu. This opens ArcGIS Urban in your browser and selects the imported plan or project. You must sign in to ArcGIS Urban.

Generate plausible buildings

In CityEngine, you can generate plausible buildings of developed parcels similar to that in ArcGIS Urban. When you open CityEngine, the latest ArcGIS Urban rule is automatically applied to your parcels.

Parcels Inspector

When a parcel is selected, the Inspector window displays the Parcels section instead of Object Attributes. The selected parcel zoning attributes are shown as they are in ArcGIS Urban.

Override zoning attributes

You can override zoning attributes for the selected parcel by entering the new value in the text box. An overridden zoning attribute is indicated by the override suffix in the attribute label. To reset an overridden attribute, click the drop-down menu and select Remove override.

Change building types

To change the building type for the selected parcel, click the Building type drop-down menu and select the new type from the list.


You cannot edit the list of building types or the parameters of a building type in CityEngine. To change building types, edit them in ArcGIS Urban and synchronize them with your CityEngine scene. This updates the list of building types in the CityEngine scene.