Cities Skylines City Layout Guide

Cities Skylines City Layout Guide

In this guide, we’ll cover the question many experienced players ask – how to make cities skylines look realistic and nice-looking. Sometimes it happens that you have a big city and its parts look like crap. You may call this realistic because some real cities look like crap but many people want a nice and realistic city. So I decided to collect all city skyline tips and tricks on creating a nice city layout.

Don’t Overuse Cities Skylines Skyscrapers

There aren’t too many skyscrapers in the vanilla game. I’d say they are present in the high-tech office and touristic zoning plus some unique buildings. A less experienced player may overuse these kinds of zones and place them everywhere. As a result, the city doesn’t look realistic because there aren’t many real cities where all the area is covered with skyscrapers. Usually, it’s some business part of the city while other areas aren’t that tall. It’s especially strange to see a tall wall of buildings on the outskirts of your city where usually you’d see small houses.

So the recommendation is to find a good area or several for your business district. It may be a waterfront or a center with good communications – remember, it will produce a lot of traffic.

Cities Skylines Zoning Near your Business District

To make the surroundings of your business district look more realistic you may do one of the following:

  • Place a big park. It will add some foliage to your concrete jungle. Also, it will be used by citizens to get to the business area on foot.
  • Use some high-density residential or commercial zoning. Avoid surrounding your skyscrapers with small housing
  • Place some unique buildings which have a similar style. This will also bring more tourists. It would be strange to see an old palace next to the business center. This deserves a special paragraph.

Use Cities Skylines Building Themes

It’s great to use European building themes next to unique buildings of the same style. And it looks strange when someone places a high-tech building surrounded by cozy European houses. I create special old town areas with walking streets and some tourist attractions to make it look realistic. Plazas and parks also look great in such surroundings.

The high-tech buildings are good when surrounded by offices and green houses.

Not Only Cells

During your cities skylines urban planning it’s always lucrative to place roads at the right angle and fill the cells with zoning. Although there are some real cities with such planning as Barcelona, you need to combine different approaches. Use some curved roads or build a central roundabout and make your roads running from it at different angles. This will bring some freshness to your cities skylines layout.

Some examples for inspiration I found on the Internet:

Source: https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=522776740
Source: https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=522776740
Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TYvWO7Eyfgk

Cities Skylines Waterfront Design

Waterfront is a significant focal point in city planning. First of all, it’s needed for some transportation systems such as port. Some part of it will be used for sewage. But also it provides you with a higher land value so don’t miss this opportunity. I even create lakes and channels to make more of such areas.

Place some touristic areas, crosswalks, and water buildings and you will make great use of this option.

Your Cities Skylines Districts Should Not Be Dense Only

Most likely you will have a quite old town area which was created when high-density zoning was locked. Also, it would be realistic and good for your road traffic is you place some of such areas to your suburban parts. It may be an elite housing area on hills or next to the waterfront. Add some low-density commercial zone to make it a center of a small suburban community. It is a good step towards a realistic city

Cities Skylines Realistic City

What is a realistic city? For me, it’s an imperfect one. Real cities grew for a long time facing numerous challenges. This means you don’t always have to rebuild the imperfect areas but accept them and expand further. 

Thanks to Natural disasters DLC, you may face some additional challenges which will affect your city design such as floods, earthquakes and asteroid strike. This will also influence your city layout and that’s great.

Micromanaging Cities Skylines City Design

When everything is more or less configured, I prefer starting micromanagement of my city design. Thanks to Parklife DLC, we have a lot of props to place on small empty areas in zones that are already built. Don’t miss this option to create some cozy corners in your city!

Using Cities Skylines First Person View

There is no better way to assess your cities skylines city planning than viewing it as a citizen. Have a walk on avenues and parks and experience how your citizens feel.

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