ArcGIS CityEngine

What's New in ArcGIS CityEngine (November 2023)

It’s Taisha here, and words can not describe how excited I am to release ArcGIS CityEngine 2023.1 (hint: but little boxes do!).

You’ve all been asking for quite a while about things like the ArcGIS Urban Integration (yes, yes we can do Spaces now).

Also, the vampires amongst you can finally relax because CityEngine comes in Dark Mode now as well.

… But my personal highlight is the beta release of visual CGA.

For years now we’ve been hearing how great CityEngine is, but with the disclaimer that its learning curve is steep. I kept telling you all to just watch more tutorials, but quite frankly, I’ve been working with CityEngine for 8 years now and I’m still no CGA wizard, so maybe you all had a point after all.

To help you (and definitely also me) become the CGA kings and queens we deserve to be, we’ve introduced Visual CGA Editing in Beta with this release.

Download the VCGA playground example (and yes, watch the tutorials – but mainly because they’re great!) and start connecting those boxes!

Read on for all the release highlights! Looking forward to hearing all your feedback.

Introducing Dark Mode

ArcGIS CityEngine gets a fresh new look for its latest release, including the highly-requested Dark Mode, and a brand new icon set. You can now switch the user interface from light to dark mode for views such as the Scene Editor, Navigator, Inspector, and more. The 3D Viewport default background color and panorama are improved and adapted for use in dark mode.

Our new high-resolution icons adapt seamlessly to different screen types and resolutions for a smoother visual experience while you work.

Better Together: Improved Integration with ArcGIS Urban

We continue to improve integration between ArcGIS CityEngine and ArcGIS Urban, this time focusing on Spaces and Demolish Areas: Spaces can now be imported and visualized in CityEngine, and Demolish areas are now supported for existing buildings.

You can also now connect to instances of ArcGIS Urban on ArcGIS Enterprise, and Imports from ArcGIS Urban have been sped up over all.

Visual CGA: Node-based procedural modeling (beta)

This release of ArcGIS CityEngine brings a beta preview of Visual CGA (VCGA), the node-based programming editor for CGA that makes it possible to quickly build complex rules without writing a single line of code. While there is no VCGA documentation yet and there may be some minor bugs, the comprehensive VCGA Playground example will help get you started. We’ve also put together some video tutorials to help you explore this new capability.
Along with these updates, we’ve made tons of other improvements including to the component split tool, CGA compiler, Get Map Data and OSM imports, and more. For a full rundown of the updates, check out the release notes.
Not using CityEngine yet but interested in taking it for a spin? Try our 21-day Free Trial and get started with help from our Tutorials today.

About the authors

Avonlea Fotheringham is a Product Marketing Manager for ArcGIS CityEngine and Esri's Extended Reality capability, using her passion for language and design to evangelize GIS to the world. She is based in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, where she uses her free time to organize an annual international poetry festival.


Taisha holds degrees in Geomatic Engineering and Arts from the University of Melbourne, as well as an MBA from RWTH Aachen/University of St. Gallen focusing on technology and innovation. Taisha is a Technology Leader in the ESRI R&D Center in Zürich and is interested in all things related to technology, sustainability, art and the entertainment industry.

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