MasterplanGAN: Facilitating the smart rendering of urban master plans via generative adversarial networks

Xinyue Ye, Jiaxin Du, Yu Ye

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


This study proposes a prototype for the smart rendering of urban master plans via artificial intelligence algorithms, a process which is time-consuming and relies on professionals’ experience. With the help of crowdsourced data and generative adversarial networks (GAN), a generation model was trained to provide colorful rendering of master plans similar to those produced by experienced urban designers. Approximately 5000 master plans from Pinterest were processed and CycleGAN was applied as the core algorithm to build this model, the so-called MasterplanGAN. Using the uncolored input design files in an AutoCAD format, the MasterplanGAN can provide master plan renderings within a few seconds. The validation of the generated results was achieved using quantitative and qualitative judgments. The achievements of this study contribute to the development of automatic generation of previously subjective and experience-oriented processes, which can serve as a useful tool for urban designers and planners to save time in real projects. It also contributes to push the methodological boundaries of urban design by addressing urban design requirements with new urban data and new techniques. This initial exploration indicates that a large but clear picture of computational urban design can be presented, integrating scientific thinking, design, and computer techniques.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)794-814
Number of pages21
JournalEnvironment and Planning B: Urban Analytics and City Science
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Architecture
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Urban Studies
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


  • Deep learning
  • MasterplanGAN
  • crowdsourced data
  • generative adversarial networks
  • urban design


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