Following our previous research on developing a dynamic virtual city system (Sheffield Urban Contextual Databank, SUCoD), the paper reports on a study of applying the virtual city resources to an undergraduate urban design course. The study focuses on how the multi-dimensional and multiple types of urban contextual data can be used by student designers directly for urban visual analysis and design development. A link is made with the Serial Vision in Townscape first proposed by Gordon Cullen, which sets out an experiential approach to how a living city environment should be read and understood. Drawing on the project works produced by the students, some patterns of generating urban narratives and 3D spatial designs were observed. Although the current experiment with SUCoD is limited in terms of data scope and modelling capabilities, it reveals a future direction to follow that can turn conventional virtual cities into Web-based online services capable of supporting urban design analyses and syntheses directly.