VU.CITY Belfast's functionality and rich data layers help reduce design and planning uncertainty, highlight potential impact and speed up crucial decisions.

With VU.CITY accurate, interactive and immersive 3D digital model of Belfast all stakeholders can collaborate on solutions for smarter decisions and project success.

57sq km

With cranes dotted across the city and buildings going up at breakneck speed, Belfast is a city with an ever-changing landscape.

Belfast has become an incredibly attractive city to invest in and is ranked as one of the top cities to live, work and play in and VU.CITY is proud to be heavily involved in Belfast's innovative activities.

Frameworks such as Belfast City Council’s ‘Smart Belfast’: the catalyst for sweeping change as developers look to redevelop key areas such as Weavers Cross, Titanic Quarter, Belfast Harbour, Giants Park, Gasworks, Tribeca, with social housing high on the housing executive agenda. 

VU.CITY Belfast is playing a crucial role in the regeneration of Northern Ireland’s capital, with rich data to help inform the best design and planning decisions –  including Listed Building Information, Conservation Areas, and the Local Development Plan.

'Air Quality Management Areas' have been mapped as part of Belfast City Council’s ambition to become carbon net zero, which we have included in the platform along with other local environmental and socio-economic data.

Belfast City Council is a huge advocate of VU.CITY, as a key tool in shaping the city by supporting planning officers in understanding change with pre-app conversations and the planning approval process. 

VU.CITY Belfast licence holders, such as RPP Architects, ARUP, John McAslan + Partners, Juno Planning, Todd Architects, Like Architects and MRL Architects have found the platform and its features beneficial to look at feasibility, review designs in urban context, to aid with masterplanning as well as having transparent discussions with stakeholders and planning bodies. 

Belfast has determined that the key to the post-pandemic success will be innovation. The new partnership, Innovation City Belfast, brings together Belfast City Council, Belfast Harbour, Catalyst, Queen’s University and Ulster University, with Invest Northern Ireland as an advisory partner. They are committed to delivering an ambitious long-term plan that will establish Belfast as a globally significant destination for innovation and VU.CITY will be integral to this framework to visualize Belfast incredible change.

VU.CITY Belfast: Highlights

Create, edit and assess massing

Easily test massing to understand design feasibility.

VU.CITY Consented Schemes Timeline. View all major consented schemes across Belfast.
Consented Schemes Timeline

Realise a site’s potential by viewing and assessing recently consented developments across Belfast.

Assess multiple initial massing options at an early stage and GEA potential quickly with VU.CITY Belfast.
Test Massing

Assess multiple initial massing options at an early stage and GEA potential quickly.

Easily import your designs from external 3D software (such as Revit, Rhino, SketchUp & 3ds Max) into the model of Belfast and test how they will work in situ.
Import Designs

Easily import your designs from external 3D software (such as Revit, Rhino, SketchUp & 3ds Max) into the Belfast model and test how they will work in situ.

Quickly view and assess the initial impact of light from your proposed developments in VU.CITY’s model of Belfast.
Sunlight Analysis

Quickly view and assess the initial impact of light from your proposed developments.

Conduct high-level townscape and visual impact assessments with an accurate 3D model of Belfast.
Camera Studies and Presenter Tool

Conduct high-level townscape and visual impact assessments. Agree on key views to analyse further. Select key views and confidentially present your proposals to take stakeholder on the journey of design.

Use an accurate 3D model of Belfast to assess where your scheme can be seen from with Zone of Theoretical Visibility.
Zone of Theoretical Visibility

Save time by eliminating unnecessary views for analysis. Understand where your scheme can be seen from and which views are critical to assess.

Work more collaboratively on designs with VU.CITY's 3D model of Belfast
Annotate with Tags

Mark up comments and actions and easily collaborate on a site or scheme with project team members.

Data Layers

Air Quality Management Areas
Conservation Areas
Deprivation Areas
DDP Area of Parking Restraint
DDP Area of Townscape Character
DDP Areas of High Scenic Value
DDP Arterial Route
DDP Belfast Hills Access Point
DDP City Centre
DDP Coastal Area
DDP Commercial Node
DDP Community Greenway
DDP Development Limit
DDP District Centre
DDP Existing Employment
DDP HMO Development Node
DDP HMO Policy Area
DDP Harbour Area
DDP Hills Operational Area
DDP Local Landscape Policy Areas
DDP Landscape Wedge
DDP Office Area
DDP Primary Retail Core
DDP Primary Retail Frontage
DDP Shopping Commercial Area
DDP Sites of Local Nature Conservation Importance (SLNCI)
Listed Buildings
Draft Development Plan Area
Council Assets
Cycle Lanes
Flood Risk
GLPR and Property Assets
Smart District Sites

Belfast Coverage

Can't see your area? Get in touch.  
VU.CITY is constantly expanding in coverage.


How can using VU.CITY benefit my application?

Create smart cities the smart way

VU.CITY helps organise, visualise, and analyse city data in the clearest and most accessible way to make better decisions.

VU.CITY covers the whole of London and 23 major UK and international cities.

Quickly identify and appraise sites.  VU.CITY's visualization, design functionality and planning data, allow you to optimise your designs.

Transform design and planning

Now everyone involved can have a clear, universal understanding of what’s proposed and why, in a single, secure place. VU.CITY makes decision-making democratic and fair.

Build trust and collaboration

Remove barriers and minimise risks early. Have confidence in your designs and plans. Increase buy-in for project success.

Test out ideas in situ, from one building to a masterplan. Create your vision and submissions with confidence.
Collate site information in one place
Communicate complex spatial arrangements
Make documentation stand up and stand out
Speed up planning conversations
Strengthen relationships
Create winning submissions
Discover where there is potential for change, and help everyone easily understand what’s involved and why.
Collate site information in one place
Communicate complex spatial arrangements
Speed up the planning process
Speed up planning conversations
Strengthen relationships
Create winning submissions
Reduce guesswork and unwanted costs – make the right decisions for the right outcomes, faster.
Appraise site capacity and viability, faster
Save time and costs through collaboration
Reduce planning uncertainties; increase buy-in
Speed up the planning process with better informed decisions
Sell or lease earlier to realise profits sooner
Understand designs and plans with ease, and make decisions with clarity to benefit your city and your communities.
Make the best possible decisions, quicker
Collate site, scheme and planning information in one place
Standardise decision-making
Have informed and transparent conversations
Improve how you consult on policies and plans
Understand the cumulative effects of planning changes

In your words

“We’re bringing in architects and our clients and different consultants in one room and we’re viewing the drawing, the architecture and the massing through VU.CITY.”
Charlotte Orrell
Senior Planner at Iceni Projects
“We have found VU.CITY to be invaluable in our assessment of one of our major city centre regeneration schemes. We were able to 'walk the development' and assess the impact of the proposals in a way which would not have been possible with 2D drawings, illustrative material and more orthodox 3D modelling. VU.CITY has also allowed us to assess the scheme much more quickly and feedback to the applicant earlier.”
VU.CITY logo
Ed Baker
Development Manager - Belfast City Council
"VU.CITY provided a valuable resource on our work for Southwark Charities for an emerging scheme along Blackfriars Road in central London where, working with Fathom Architects, we were able to test different versions in context, have live discussions, and conclude the best approach."
VU.CITY logo
Rosa Gonzalez
Consultant, Landscape, Townscape & VIA - Turley
"VU.CITY allows us to convey ideas when physical engagement is not possible, assisting the decision-making process in a way in which all stakeholders can relate to the proposal and its impact in the surroundings."
VU.CITY logo
Rosa Gonzalez
Consultant, Landscape, Townscape & VIA - Turley