CITIES: SKYLINES OVERVIEW

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Zoning

When beginning a new city, zoning should be a primary concern. This will ultimately determine the transportation requirements for each district you create, as well as contributing to the property values and pollution levels of any given area. The four zone types are Residential, Commercial, Industrial and Office. Residential and Commercial zones can be set to Low Density or High Density. In addition, you're able to draw districts to specialize the commercial and industrial pursuits in any given area of the map. This is especially useful if an area serves particular economic interests. For instance, an area rich with natural resources may be districted for forestry, agriculture, ore or oil pursuits. Beachsides or mountainsides may be districted for tourism. Leisure districts provide an area for your population to enjoy night clubs and casinos.

Zoning example in Cities Skylines
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Transportation

Just like in real life, your citizens also need to get to work, shop for groceries, take vacations etc. In order to complete their daily tasks, they too must take to the roads, subways, buses, bicycles, planes, trains, cable cars, ships, ferries and more. The addition of each available option requires heavy consideration of the congestion it may create or alleviate. With many of these options, you must also place routes for the service to follow. The efficacy of each service can be investigated using the search tool, and the lines can be adjusted as necessary. Transportation is also important when importing/exporting resources, either by train or by cargo boat. Your ports should be placed close to industrial areas, preferably with entry and exit points that do not travel through the heart of your commercial and residential districts. Terrible traffic congestion can hold you back from growing your township into the burgeoning international icon you want it to become.

Transportation example in Cities Skylines
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Public Services

Public Services comprise the backbone of your citizens' day-to-day life. Sometimes, accidents happen. Buildings catch fire, or criminals break into honest citizens' houses. This is why it's important to ensure your city has adequate fire and police coverage. It's also important to make sure your citizens have education options and public parks to wind down after a rough day. These additions have another obvious benefit: they increase the value of their surrounding neighborhoods. They incentivize the prospect of living in your city and attract wealthier, more educated citizens. Other services include electrical plants, airports, water pump/treatment plants and road maintenance depots.

Public Services example in Cities Skylines
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Budgeting

Unfortunately, all things nice come at a cost. Early on in the game, you'll walk a fine line trying to keep a balanced budget. You can adjust how much funding you provide to your schools, police and fire departments etc. You may need to micro-manage your funding down to the individual student - i.e. if you have a school which can hold 500 enrollees, but only has 200 students, fund it to 200 students. Lowering taxes on specific sectors of society can help attract outside members of that social fabric, but don't forget to consider the impact this may have on your overall budget.

Fire example in Cities Skylines
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