Cities Skylines Urban Planning and Development Guide
Cities Skylines Urban Planning and Development Guide by Vanquish
In this guide I hope to use professional experience and gameplay experience to help players with urban development questions and hopefully improve their city’s efficiency. Also one day will likely start providing gameplay videos on a stream/YouTube channel..
First, I’d like to thank Paradox Interactive for being so close to their gaming community and delivering a quality product and continuing to support the community with fixes. I sincerely hope more people who have been jaded by simcity and EA as a publisher will find the light in supporting your business ethic.
Now, on to the game and urban planning & development. I can’t tell you from a professional standpoint that I am impressed at how realistic this game, infrastructure, and urban policies in particular all accurately reflect the challenges we face in real life city/county planning. In real life we have something called ArcGIS as a tool for mapping and geographic analysis, but this game is like a living, breathing, virtual version and it is just so much fun. Most people who enjoy this game will never come to truly appreciate the authenticity you guys have put into this work of art. It’s obvious you all have awesome engineering and political advisors.
I do have a few tips for players who are getting started and will hopefully be able to answer questions relating to urban development that may alleviate some gameplay issues for you..
On the subject of
Roundabouts… (Rotaries)... Do NOT place them right off the highways like I have seen in so many videos! In fact, city physical centers should be the only placement area for such traffic tools when you would like to connect a network of roads without creating a massive center city traffic jam. The best off-ramp road systems for flowing traffic into cities is simply a large one way street with left, rights, and straight options. Lead them from the primary off-highway one-way avenues into a secondary large one way avenue and once funneled there, start giving two way directional options on supporting avenues / roads. Do the same when taking traffic back out. Also consider multiple on-ramp pathways
Wastewater Treatment Facilities – another big mistake I see players making already is that once they get access to the wastewater facility, they fail to remove the old pumps. The engineering purpose of wastewater treatment is to make the byproduct of human water consumption healthier for the environment. It does not treat the area you expose it to that is already polluted! It simply treats any new product in the system flowing through it! It is my recommendation that you start your small towns off with wells instead of pumping stations anyway. You should in theory, only make the switch when you can also have a wastewater treatment facility with it in the same water body.
Traffic / Highway Managment – Guys, the more highway options you give with complex (custom) interchanges, the better traffic in the intercity will be. I would recommend 3 exits per 2×2 tile at max (possibly exiting off either side of the tile border so 3 per 2 tiles). In the intercity, you can make inefficient and more “organic” road systems so long as your zoning makes sense! I will discuss this in the next item.. Limit at all possible, funneling large roads into smaller roads.. So no six lane into two lane! It makes no sense and only creates issues. If you have a volume that requires six lanes and it still makes traffic intolerable, you probably zoned inefficiently and should go back and consider the zoning Recommendstion outlined below:
Zoning – A big big big issue I see is zoning inefficiencies. Remember this order… Industrial/office, commercia, residential. When you make zoning areas you have to think logical. People go to work and on their way back they shop.. They hate the noise and pollution from industrial more than commercial so always keep a maximum distance between residential and industrial. Offices can be mixed with high density residential, but don’t forget to zone a little commercial in the same area. It is actually better to have smaller zoning sections than paint large areas one zone type or another! Diversity is key in efficiency! More about this later..
Parks, Parks, Parks, and some Special buildings – Even in real life urban development, parks are so damn vital to life quality statistics and the same with cities skylines.. But don’t think that parks have to be extravagant or overly budgeted. Spacing and common sense is key here. All zone types need parks/leisure so make sure to accommodate them all. Prioritize high density areas with larger parks and lower density with smaller parks. Again, ICS – institute common sense with parks!
Services – make sure you have a major service building for each service type per 2×2 tile. You can fill in the gaps not covered in their zone coverage between tiles with the smaller version of each service type. I.E. One major police station per tile with maybe a small station in between the two tiles to maximize coverage. In some cases if there is still a lack of coverage well within distance of one of these services, immediately look to road network infrastructure for issues then consider increasing budget to increase coverage for that service.
Education – Much like regular services, spacial awareness counts! With that said, education is the lifeblood of everything you do beyond a tiny population and the first couple milestones. Typically you want 2-2-1 ratio In a game like this. That is two elementary and two high schools for every one college. Not everyone will get to college, but you need to provide everyone with the two basics. Invest in education early, not late and your city will improve and become more profitable a lot sooner! Otherwise you will be catching up later when other more complex issues arise. Education drives industry, commercializations, and overall upgrading of these zones and services!
Districts / Special Districts – in real life local governments have the ability to pass special levy / taxes on zones of interest, especially if a Capital Project will cost the entire regional government a lot of money to rehabilitate particular infrastructure. What does this mean? Well, in lamens terms if you have to build a particular service like a major utility project to cover people who directly benefit in that one region, you should create a special district for those people who benefit from it and tax accordingly. People are more likely to accept levy and taxation increases if they directly benefit from the service!
Tourism / Transport – last (for now) is tourism and transport! Guys and gals, make sure to accommodate tourists with essential infrastructure. Proper spacing for bus stops/ routes and the same for train/metro are obvious, but don’t’ forget to consider commercial zoning when doing this. Tourists will bring money but only if you bring them to the businesses! Options, options, options are what win the day. The easiest way to accomplish this is by section ing off small parcels at the end of each residential zone with commercial and then having a central commercial district as well, between multiple residential communities. Like this |Small commercial| residential | large commercial | residential | small commercial