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  • To begin, I never use mods and rarely cheat with the exception of "you don't deserve it" when I first create a city and want a solar power plant. 

    Moving on.

    I have played SimCity 4 for three years now and have, in the past, attained some remarkably successful cities. However, I recently purchased a new computer and, upon installing SC4 and Rush Hour, I found that my gameplay was somehow not up to par. I would find that I could build a fairly prosperous rural city that relied on agriculture and a small amount commercial services, but once these cities break the 15,000-20,000 mark, things get weird.

    Initially, a boom in industial demand will occur until about 15,000 or less jobs are created, usually in an all-industrial neighboring city to the city in question. Then, agriculture demand will skyrocket and become more or less insatiable, while all other varieties of industrial demand plummet. This is the same for the industrial areas within the city in question. Also, after about 20,000 commercial jobs are created, all commercial demand plummets also.

    Of course, while this economic slump is occuring, residential demand is throught the roof and the city's population surges toward 60,000. But, due to the utter lack of demand in all other sectors except agriculture, unemployment is sky-high, while the demand for jobs remain low. Vast sections of the city go abandoned, and yet I cannot foster any development other than residential from that point forward.

    A exemplar of this problem would be my project of Wilshire City, located in the one large-city tile on the Oakland/Berkeley side of the San Francisco Bay in the in-game San Francisco region. 

    Wilshire city has a population of 102,000, with 40,000 commercial jobs and 12,000 industrial jobs. To the north there is the industrial city of Carbon Canyon with 29,000 industrial jobs and 20,000 commercial jobs, however Wilshire City must share those commuter opportunities with Sevill Coast, to the north, with a population of 50,000. There are also 30,000 residents, 18,000 commercial jobs, and 6,000 industrial jobs to the south in Cardenas, and 11,000 commercial and industrial jobs to the east. Wilshire City has two seaports and one medium Municipal Airport.

    Wilshire City has one north-south freeway and two major north-south avenues connecting it with Cardenas and Carbon Canyon, as well as a heavy rail system with 7 passenger stations, two friegh stations, and an auxilliary circular route to provide access to the city's eastern residents. Wilshire City also boasts an extensive bus system, with several hundred stops and service in all neighborhoods, and an elevated rail sytem with two axial routes from the north to the south and service reaching all neighborhoods with it's 21 stations. 

    Wilshire City has a Resident Average Income of $96,000, an Education Quotient of 196, and an Average Life Expectancy of 92 years. The city's crime rate is negligably low. The city has both a Major and Minor League Stadium, an Opera House, a Major Art Museum, a Zoo, a Convention Center, an Advanced Research Center, 15 sports facilities, and 470 total public recreational facilities, not couning Open Grass and Open Paved Areas.  Two landmarks grace the city's skyline.

    As far as layout, the Northern portion of the city has a large industrial area, some high-density residential development on the coast, and medium density office and retail and low density residential in the foothills. The CBD is in the Central-Northern portion with dense Office and Residential development as well as the transportation hub, and suburbs extend to the south where they meet the Southern industrial sector, and a large commercial area with retail and office. Low-density commercial is distributed evenly throughout the residential areas. 

    As per all this, Wilshire seems like quite a successful place. So, why, then, is Wilshire City plagued by very low demand for jobs, and rapidly abandoning residential sectors? What cap-busting things must I try? What am I doing wrong?

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    Agriculture seems to "eat" the demand of other businesses. Whenever huge amounts of agriculture are present in a city, demand for other business plummets uncontrollably. I've found experience with ag demand to be weird at times. Maybe that res abandonment is mid-hi wealth residents unable to find jobs in higher wealth businesses. Ag is meant for lower education and wealth, is all your res demand low wealth? If so, your ag is messing up the demand. That's my best guess.

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    I develop my dirty/manufacturing in one city, ag in another, and res/commercial/hightech in another. This allows me to save one in a stable state, and then go develop neighboring cities to work off the new demand. It seems more stable and managable this way.

    I start developing the industry and ag cities first, then build a residential city, which will have hordes of low wealth come in. I alternate between the three until my ag city is covered in farms. Then I can build up my res city till the $$ and $$$ populations are fairly high and is self sufficient in terms of demand. This means I can then "reuse" the R$ demand generated by the industry and ag cities when I build my next Residential/Commercial/Hightech city.

    I don't think there's really enough room in a city for all of those together. I like for my ag to sprawl out endlessly like I'm used to in RL.

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    This is a wild guess, but you might have a wealth imbalance of R-$ as compared to R-$$/$$$. You may be saturated with middle class and rich sims, but don't have enough poor sims to fill the R-$ jobs in I-M, I-HT, Cs-$$/$$$, and Co-$$/$$$. The richer sims won't work the poorer jobs, so those jobs go unfilled, and it makes it look like you have lack of higher level CI demand. You're getting heavy I-Ag (and possibly I-D) demand that echoes a demand for R-$.

    If I'm right, then you need R-$ housing projects or some suburb areas with row houses, all near very good public transportation and away from concentrations of YIMBY city services and education buildings. You can start setting out a few zones, and then use the route query tool to find out where the new sims are going to work. If they are going to workin in the higher level CI structures already built, then just keep going. Once those jobs are filled, you'll see CI demand and R-$$/$$$ demand return across the board.

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