Given the complexity of today’s urban challenges, traditional urban planning techniques seem outdated. Processes and technologies from industry can guide us toward achieving truly 'smart' cities. Collaborative 3D modeling, visualization and simulation have been used for decades by designers and engineers to imagine and anticipate the behavior of complex systems. Applying such methods to cities will reveal new insights and possibilities for improving urban systems and give government officials tools they've never had before to make decisions for the benefit of residents, businesses and the natural environment.