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3D city model (3DCM) is basically a computerized model or digital model of a city. There are many useful applications of 3D city model in urban planning analysis, disaster management, tourism, telecommunication and other fields now. However, the applications of 3D city model in urban planning in China are not extended and the in-depth utility is not yet developed widely. This paper introduces the important applications of 3D city model and analyzes the contents of it. And then the author points out the advantages and disadvantages of 3DCM. Furthermore, the author analyzes a successful example of using 3D city model in the project of HafenCity, Hamburg in Germany as a case study. Finally, the paper concludes in the prospects for the development of 3D city model and new applications in urban planning in the future in China.