Zoning

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This article is considered accurate for the current version of the game.

Zoning in action
Zones allow you to decide where houses, shops and factories will be built. When an empty zone is assigned a zone type, buildings will be built there automatically over time (assuming people want to live or do business there!).

There are four different zone types: residential, commercial, industrial, and office. Each zone spawns a different type of building:

  • Residential – Residential zones provide housing for people.
  • Commercial – Commercial zones will have shops and other services selling the goods produced in the industrial zones and/or imported.
  • Industrial – Industrial zones provide jobs for people and products for commercial buildings. They can be specialized to take advantage of natural resources.
  • Office – Office zones provide pollution free jobs for higher tech level citizens, but it doesn't produce any goods.

Zonable areas will be visible when using the zoning tools, divided into small 8×8 m squares. Areas up to four tiles from a road can be zoned. Zoning costs nothing of itself, however these roads and other services that buildings require are not inexpensive. On the other hand, the residents and businesses that occupy these buildings pay taxes, which is the principal source of income to the city's treasury.

Buildings that develop in zones, known as "growables", come in a variety of sizes, however the front of all buildings must be immediately adjacent to the road.

One cannot directly build growable buildings. Mayors need to make these zones attractive enough for residents and businesses to move in (and stay). If the occupants of a building are doing well, it will level up. Levelled-up employment buildings provide more numerous and better quality jobs, and levelled-up residential buildings have more numerous and more wealthy inhabitants.

Zone types and densities[edit]

At the start of the game, only low density residential, low density commercial and industrial zones will be available to the player. The other zone types are unlocked at early milestones. Commercial zones can be specialised into Leisure and Tourism. Industry can be specialised into Oil, Ore, Forest and Fertile land.

For residential zoning, low or high density will influence but not determine the eventual occupant. Low density have a higher probability for families but also can attract elderly or students (80/20). High density will have a higher probability for students but also attracts families in a 50/50 proportion. The density will also influences the way the citizens travel : low density will have a higher probability of using cars or bike, when high density will prefer public transport.

Offices, high density residential and commercial zoning will have a fifth level of upgrade, which is slightly densier than their low-level counterparts. These updates can be forbidden, to reduce impact on traffic congestion and public transport congestion. This can be considered like a "very high" density.

Note that industries and commercial zoning will generates a very high traffic congestion if all goods must must be imported form outside the town. This does not affect the revenue of theses industries, but the revenue of the town by requiring a very developed road grid and fret buildings. Highways have — for the moment — a limited capacity of trafficking goods, thus requiring a port and railways to import enough goods for a city. Intersections cannot manages such traffic, so interchanges and highways + round-abouts are a necessity to provides theses goods.

Icon Name Description
Residential Low.png
Low Density Residential Zones This type of residential zone attracts families to your city. Usually two adults will start off and they will create a family. This zone takes up more space and it houses fewer people than the high density residential zone.
Residential High.png
High Density Residential Zones This type of residential zone attracts young people to your city. However, they are not inspired to procreate to help increase the population. This zone can house more people in an area than the low density residential zone.
Commercial Low.png
Low Density Commercial Zones These zones buy products from industrial zones (or import them) and sell them to the people. They usually require workers with little to no education and they serve fewer people than the higher density zone. Moderately noisy.
Commercial High.png
High Density Commercial Zones A ramped-up version of the low density zones. Taller, noisier buildings will buy and sell more goods than the low density equivalent. These create more jobs, generally with higher educational requirements.
Industrial.png
Industrial Zones These zones manufacture goods which can be sold in commercial zones or exported. They predominantly employ workers with low education levels on low levels. Most industry produces a lot of pollution. Industrial and office zones do not have separate density classes. Specialized industry can be created by painting a district and selecting a specialist industry type for that district.
Office.png
Office Zones These zones exist mainly to provide jobs. They require more educated workers than industry but produce no goods. Office zones produce no pollution.

In terms of the supply chain, industry and commerce produce and sell goods respectively, whilst residents are employees and consumers for this process. Office zones do not directly contribute to the supply chain, however they provide pollution-free and traffic-light employment for cims who can then spend their wages in patronizing your city's commercial zones.

Zoning Densities: Residential "Households" per tile. Note, each household includes up to two workers.

Zone Level 1 Level 2 Level 3 Level 4 Level 5
Low Res .2 .25 .3 .35 .45
Hi Res .5 .75 1.0 1.25 1.5

Commercial and Industrial Jobs per tile

Zone Level 1 Level 2 Level 3
Low Com .5 .75 1.0
Hi Com .75 1.0 1.25
Industry 1.0 1.5 2.0
Office .5 1.15 1.75

To add new buildings to your city, you first need to build a road which allows zoning next to it. After the road is built, you can select the zoning tool and pick the desired zone type from the available zones. There are four basic tools for zoning: fill, marquee, and brush.

  • Fill – The fill tool allows you to assign zones to complete areas.
  • Marquee – With the marquee tool, you can draw a square shaped area, and all zone cells within that area will be assigned to the selected zone type.
  • Brush (two sizes) – Brush tools allow zoning by “coloring” the empty cell with the brush tool.

It is recommended that the player paints zones in small blocks away from a power source rather than zoning a large area with the marquee tool, this will prevent buildings being isolated from the main power grid for an extended period of time.

De-zoning[edit]

Unzoned.png
Assigned zones can be reverted to empty zones by de-zoning them. De-zoning is done by using the ”de-zoning” zone type from the zone options in the Zoning panel, or by right clicking a zone. You can also de-zone zones with buildings in them. Existing buildings will quickly disappear and gradually be replaced with buildings of the new zone type.

In order to replace a pre-existing zone with a new zone you must de-zone first. It is not necessary to wait for the buildings to disappear before zoning a new type of zone.

Commercial specialisation[edit]

Commercial specialisation is a feature added in the After Dark expansion which enables a focused use of commercial zoning. In addition to the already available shops which are listed as generic, commercial zones can be set as either Tourism or Leisure zones. Tourist zones are, as the name suggests, targeted at visitors to the city whereas Leisure zones are aimed at both visitors and residents. Both styles have unique buildings with hotels prevalent in tourism and theatres more common in leisure.

Buildings[edit]

When an empty area is assigned a zone type, buildings gradually start to fill it. There are buildings of various sizes and they will have an appearance based on the zone type they are built on.

You can select individual buildings and see information about them and their residents. Building information will vary based on the building type.

  • General Information
    • Building name and type
    • Building status (you can get more information by hovering over the status icons)
  • Residential Information
    • Building level and tips for upgrading the building
    • Number of residents
    • Resident’s level of education
    • Age distribution of the residents
  • Commercial and Industrial Information
    • Building level and tips for upgrading the building (Does not apply to specialized industry)
    • Workers
    • Education level of the workers
    • Available jobs

Building level[edit]

Buildings will upgrade to the next level when the factors listed below are high enough.

  • Residential
    • Land value
    • Average education level of residents
  • Commercial
    • Land value
    • Average wealth level of shoppers (their residential building level)
  • Industrial
    • Average education level of workers
    • Service coverage score (see table)
  • Office
    • Average education level of workers
    • Service coverage score (see table)

Note that services do not directly affect residential or commercial building levels, but they do have an indirect effect by raising land value.

This table shows the relative weight of each service contributing to the service coverage score for industrial and office buildings. These values are not absolute, as they are further modified by the strength of the service (generally the distance via roads between the building and the service provider). They merely serve to show the relative importance of each service in contributing to the building level. Taking industry as an example, cargo transport is twice as valuable as fire coverage, and five times as valuable as police coverage (assuming the service coverage strength is the same). It is also useful to realize that ground and noise pollution have a small negative effect on industrial building level.

Service Name Industrial Factor Office Factor
Cargo Transport +1 0
Fire Department +0.5 +0.2
Public Transport +0.333 +0.333
Police Department +0.2 +0.2
Health Care +0.2 +0.2
Death Care +0.2 +0.2
Entertainment +0.125 +0.167
Elementary School +0.125 +0.143
High School +0.125 +0.143
University +0.125 +0.143
Noise Pollution -0.143 -0.25
Abandonment -0.143 -0.333
Ground Pollution -0.167 -0.25