Today, real-time 3D data is increasingly becoming a defining tool in the way policymakers, urban designers and property developers plan for more resilient cities. 

Ken Pimentel

Ken Pimentel

Analysing zoning details, building heights and flood risks using geospatial data is set to pave the way for a revolutionary, digital-first approach, modernising the planning process through digitally enabled decision-making.

The relationship between technology that can enable a real-world visualisation of an idea and urban development has never been more closely aligned. Future masterplanning will be less about materiality and form, and more about experience and connectivity.

In the property and planning sectors, immersive virtual experiences have gained a lot of momentum by prioritising important considerations such as accessibility and inclusion. Recently, the debut of Cesium for Unreal has urban planners excited to see the marriage of their geospatial data with the global context added by Cesium and backed by the high-fidelity rendering power of Epic’s Unreal Engine.

Integrating real-world geospatial data with the real-time 3D engine means that city planners, architects and communities can now experience and simulate urban life scenarios in realistic environments that help inform the decision-making process at early design stages.


Source: Shutterstock / Blue Planet Studio

Combining real-time technology with geospatial data allows the built environment industry to manage properties and places in an interactive digital twin built on top of Unreal Engine.

This technology goes beyond helping users anticipate and solve problems more quickly; it gives a real-time tool for evaluating potential solutions and making decisions efficiently and cost-effectively.

Immersive virtual environments have the potential to shape the property market from the ground up and future-proof our cities. If digital twins act as mirrors of our world, they also present fertile ground for experimentation. Buildings could be given second lives and creative solutions could be tested to ensure our environments are more resilient.

Ken Pimentel is architecture, engineering and construction industry manager at Epic Games