CITYPLAIN: The Urban and Architectural Solution for the Design of City Extensions

Citythinking is a consulting company focused on designing and configuring urban and architectural design platforms for the construction of residential extensions of cities in emerging countries. It has more than 15 years of experience in urban planning and development, architectural standardization and industrialization, and in the development and management of international projects in Europe, Africa, and Asia.

The massive migration to cities expected over the next 3 decades is confronting us with one of the greatest social, ecological, and economic challenges on the planet, almost only comparable to the scale of climate change. Pollution, traffic, lack of resources, waste, and insecurity are just some of the challenges to be faced, which is why it is so important to look for new tools to move towards more inclusive, efficient, and ecosystemic cities.

Manufacturing Real Estate
Evergine, .NET Core, Azure SQL
This need to build affordable housing, infrastructure and systems in a massive, fast, efficient and environmentally friendly way is what motivated Citythinking to turn to Plain Concepts to create together a cloud-based digital tool capable of designing, comparing and evaluating multiple scenarios of complete urban residential districts. The solution assists technicians and administrations during the most conceptual phases and enables them to work in any real natural context, empowering them to generate concepts based on efficient urban plots that are sensitive to the social, historical or environmental context in which they are inserted. All these capabilities are evaluated by the tool itself through a list of functional, environmental and socio-economic indicators to help choose the final design.


The main challenge was to create a tool capable of resolving and technically integrating all the processes necessary to design urban residential districts while respecting all the environmental and socio-economic functional indicators (recognising pre-existences of natural or cultural interest, volumetry, road layout).

In addition, it was essential that the tool provided useful data on the different land uses and buildings, as well as the percentage of land devoted to each use (occupancy, buildability, built-up area, green spaces, facilities per inhabitant) as well as a cost estimate of the resulting layouts, while also being compatible with CAD tools and spreadsheets.

cityplain comporator
Cityplain scenario


To address the challenge, we designed a web solution and a graphical solution that allow the use of the 3D format in the browser. The resulting application is fully compatible with Azure Cloud services and is based on our cross-platform 3D graphics engine Evergine.

The 3D graphical interface makes it possible to generate equipped urban districts quickly and easily. And the platform allows the general systems and residential fabric of a residential urban district to be mapped. In addition, graphics, heat maps and a side panel with sections for configuring land use and building parameters have been incorporated.

Thanks to its different tabs, you can easily access tools to generate the geometry of a development, visualise different scenarios for the same project, compare different developments, estimate the cost of each designed development, visualise the maps and check the qualification of the development obtained in relation to these indicators...



The processes of conceptualising, programming and designing entire urban residential districts are extremely complex and involve a high degree of uncertainty. While there are digital tools that help solve problems at an architectural scale where uncertainty is lower (one or several buildings), there are hardly any digital tools that help address problems at an urban scale, let alone tools that integrate the two scales, as is the case here.

Therefore, the development of a technological application for the standardisation and integration of urban and architectural design processes, capable of designing both affordable housing in urban districts and their general systems, with respect to functional, environmental and socio-economic indicators, is not only highly novel, but also represents a radical improvement in the analysis, design and evaluation of the city extensions that will need to be implemented in the coming years.

Consequently, a tool such as CITYPLAIN improves the design and management processes of city extensions, which implies a radical reduction of time and costs. But it also enables the generation of more complex, diverse, rich, inclusive and resilient urban residential district layouts. Ultimately, it improves the quality of life of citizens living in cities.