In the 2014 Budget, chancellor George Osborne said that a garden city with an initial 15,000 homes would be built at Ebbsfleet in Kent, delivered by an urban development corporation.
The Ebbsfleet Development Corporation has now awarded AECOM a contract to deliver the framework masterplan for the development.
AECOM said it will lead a team comprising three sub-consultants: Stirling Prize winning architect Maccreanor Lavington, commercial property and real estate consultant Cushman & Wakefield, and Spacehub, a design studio specialising in strategic landscape architecture, public realm and ecology.
The firm said that the masterplan framework "will incorporate distinct communities" within Ebbsfleet across an area spanning 1,026 hectares.
"By taking a site-wide approach, AECOM and Ebbsfleet Development Corporation will look to maximise the potential of the dramatic setting of Ebbsfleet between the Thames and the green belt to create distinctive communities in a contemporary city in the garden of England."
Andrew Jones, practice leader – design, planning & economics for Europe, Middle East, Africa and India at AECOM, said: "Ebbsfleet is the most significant strategic framework masterplan to be commissioned in the UK since the Olympic Park.
"As well as creating a new and distinctive community with excellent connections to London and Europe, the garden city will be a well-designed, self-sufficient settlement where people want to live, work and visit. As the first to come forward, Ebbsfleet must leave a legacy that will shape a generation of contemporary garden cities."
AECOM said that work will start immediately, with the final framework masterplan due to be completed in 2016.
The consultancy has experience in masterplanning major community developments in Milton Keynes, at North West Cambridge and the new garden community at Whitehill-Bordon in Hampshire.