• Moose
  • Announcements

    • Dirktator

      Need your donations for May & June!   04/30/2017

      We need your support to help keep Simtropolis online. We also need a little bit more this month to enhance the new chat with some features, such as mobile support! Please consider a donation today if you can help out, it would mean a lot! And we'll send you a little gift in return.  Help us reach our May goal so we can keep bringing you site improvements as well!  Donate and Get a Gift or Donate Any Amount Thanks so much! - Dirktator & The Admins
  • Tips for Realistic-looking City


    Chief ZDN

    This article is copied from SC4ever.com. This article originally created by David Worsley (Duvad). I'll migrate the photos to Google Photos, stay tuned.

    This small guide has been created for people, like me, who like to design beautiful, realistic-looking cities, rather than huge skyscraper-filled cities. This has just some basic tips for when creating realistic cities. The are also some pictures for you to view, of cities I have been building.

    General Tips

    Remember to use elevation! Using the terraforming tools, creating small hills, not too high, but enough that the change is at least visible. These small hills can add a lot of beauty to your city, especially when in CBD areas and small neighbourhood areas.

    Never use grids, except for when you are planning your CBD area(s). There is possibly not one city in the world that is just based on a grid. Grids are unrealistic and makes cities look very boring. They can only really be used in the CBD areas for the large skyscrapers.

    Try not to make everything straight. Meaning that when creating cul-de-sacs or your "blocks", do not have them all the same length/size and try to make some roads twist and wined.

    realistic_cities_3.jpg

    Either play your game on slow or medium speed, as it will give you enough time to plan your zones and other things out.

    "Downtown" or CBD

    Like I've said above, this is pretty much the only place where you should be using grids. It can help force the construction of office towers, if your population becomes high enough. Try to have small recreation areas every 7 or so grids. It not only highers the desiriblity for residential/commercial, but also looks nice on the eye.

    realistic_cities_1.jpg

    Inner Suburbs

    The inner suburbs of your city are usually "blocks" where the whole area inside of the roads is a type of zone. You should also just be laying down low residential/commercial zones, leaving the rest of taller buildings for the middle of your region - your "downtown", or CBD.

    Remember to build parks in these "blocks". If you get one of the mansion-type houses in your zones, you can destroy any other buildings in that block, then replace those zones with "Open Grass Areas", and finally adding trees to the top of them. You can even rename that mansion, if you want. Spreading these "mansion blocks" evenly across your city and uncommonly, gives a pleasing effect to the eye.

    On the busier roads of your suburbs, these areas should be where all your commercial shops should be zoned. But remember, unless they are office parks, it should all be zoned low density!

    realistic_cities_4.jpg

    Outer Suburbs/Small Surrounding Towns

    In these areas, they should be full of cul-de-sacs, leading to the main roads of the cities. You should zone at least 2 by (x) residential around these cul-de-sac streets. Any unzoned areas inbetween your cul-de-sac streets can be filled with either Open Grass Areas or trees, though they aren't really needed.

    Using some of the buildings available under the "Parks" menu, you can get some pretty nice looking parks. In the example above, I've used the Open Grass Areas mixed with Open Pavements to create a walkway effect.

    realistic_cities_2.jpg

    Examples of some Realistic-looking Cities

    Click one of the links below to go to some really very beautiful cities! If the link is broken, tell me.




    User Feedback


    There are no comments to display.



    Create an account or sign in to comment

    You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

    Create an Account  

    Sign up to join our friendly community. It's easy!  :thumb:


    Register a New Account

    Sign In  

    Already have an account? Sign in here.


    Sign In Now



  • Featured Topics

  • Recent Modding / Content Posts

    • Make the station modular.
    • Working on two draft assets and one map at the moment.
      For the first time I am making a custom theme for the map, but I am stuck with a Theme editor issue. If I start a new theme, I can import a new normal texture only once (either for cliff or sand).
      If I try to change it again later, I get an error message: "Something went wrong while processing textures."
      Before the last DLC the game crashed at this point instead. That's an improvement ;-) I am using 1024x1024 PNG files for the normal textures. Did anybody already have this issue?      
    • I'm currently working on a multi-track train station station to take advantage of the new DLC: It's far from done, but I had a question about size. The model is bigger than the 8x16 max size available, and this model doesn't include the front facade of the building that is another 10x6. It seems to me that using sub-buildings can allow for larger footprints than the default, does that allow for a single building to be bigger than the default maximum? I think I read that if a single building is bigger than the max-footprint, than the part of the model outside the max-footprint is culled? Unrelated, but another question would it would be possible to use the cable-cars as a base to make something like a funicular:    
    • @huzman, Have you tried using a slope mod?  I like this one by Ennedi.  If I remember right, there are like three different slope tolerances, just pick one and play around with the different transportation networks (roads, rails, highways, etc)  Each one will give you different results.  
    • I make a road through a residential area Maxis 1x1 building their chain and after this - put the road.