The government of Singapore will use the world's most advanced 3D smart city technology for urban planning and has signed a two-year Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with mapping technology giant Esri for this purpose.

Esri Founder and President Jack Dangermond, Esri Singapore Managing Director Leslie Wong and URA's (the Urban Redevelopment Authority) Deputy Chief Executive Officer Tan Siong Leng signed the MOU at the Esri Asia Pacific User Conference in Singapore yesterday.

Through the use of Esri's advanced 3D smart city technology, Singapore's urban planners will be able to perform urban design simulations and visualise different scenarios efficiently.

The two-year MOU will see the URA embark on several new spatial projects, and establish a '3D Urban Simulation Prototype Lab' for 3D GIS testing and modelling.

Under the MOU, Esri technology developers in the United States will commit to investing in 3D Geographic Information System (GIS) technology development in collaboration with the URA; and Esri Singapore specialists will provide the agency with local support, advice and expertise, an Esri spokesperson said.

"GIS technology has enabled our city planners to continue building a world-class city in a cohesive manner," said URA's Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Tan Siong Leng. "Our continued collaboration with Esri and Esri Singapore will enable URA planners to design, build and develop with greater insight and take greater care of the smaller details to enhance our living environment. With Esri's 3D GIS technology, URA can produce 'real life' visualisations of how our city will look before and after urban development."

According to sources at Esri, URA, Esri, and Esri Singapore have been strategic partners for more than three years, leveraging on GIS technology to deliver GIS applications such as URA maps and the Master Plan 2008.