Cities: Skylines

Cities: Skylines

478 ratings
Zoning areas, making good use of smaller buildings
By simonmd
In this guide, I will show you that you don't just have to select your zones in large blocks, you can be a bit more creative and allow for more building variety as well. If you just select the entire zonable area by each road, most of the buildings by default will take a full 4x4 square, the only time you will have seen smaller buildings would have been where the zonable grid has been broken up, like on bends or with junctions with other roads for example. However, the game includes buildings to fit all sizes from 4x4 right down to a single 1x1 square.
Residential, 1x1 and 1x2 zoning
For the first part, i'll be showing you how to create a nice row of back to back terraced houses. I'll be zoning for 1x2 size houses in low density, you can go for 1x1 if you like but I prefer them to have gardens! In this pic you can see i've drawn a set of side roads that are four squares apart, this is easy to judge as the game's marker guides space at four block intervals. Then, I've marked out the 1x2 zones individually using the small zoning paint tool. This is the important bit as you are restricting the available size to the 1x2 squares.

Let the game run on for a bit and so long as you have residential demand, you should start to see them all fill up,

Once they have all filled up, then you can zone in the rest of the squares, the large brush tool is easiest as you can just paint over the whole block. Once this is done, they rest of the empty spaces should begin to fill up. You are not restricted to 1x1 or 1x2 either, on the main street to the right here, I used 2x2 blocks for some larger houses,

If you want a real tightly packed neighborhood, you can use single 1x1 squares for a real 'Coronation Street' feel and I love how these level 3 houses fit into this,

Here is another layout combining 1x1 and 1x2. Note that the 1x1 spacing doesn't require you to 'checkerboard' it, you can just zone a single line and it will be filled by 1x1 houses and once they start to build, you can the fill in the other side of the line (assuming you are doing a 'back to back' street layout,

Here is the finished area, part of a new area on a London map i'm working on,

This can be done with high density as well, here are a couple of 1x1 high density areas that sprung up,

This one shows how a nice transition of building levels can be achieved, going from full high density, to 1x1 high density and then 1x1 low density. This can make the transition between an urban area and an open area like a map boundary or large park area look far better and more natural,

Commercial shopping streets
The same techniques can be used in Commercial as well to make things more interesting. Here, i'm zoning a small retail area next to some high desity residential using the same method as above,

Filling in the gaps,

And complete, a nice little street full of little shops, instead of all the larger businesses that would have popped up if i'd just filled the entire block in one go. This is a nice idea to put in blocks of high density residential and a nice touch would be to connect to both sides using pathways from the parks menu,
Offices and mixing zones
The same can be done with offices to create smaller 'office villages', here I am zoning some 1x1 and 1x2 plots,

To add more variety, you can of course mix your zones up as well, here i'm adding some low density commercial,

And before long, you will have a nice little office park along with a couple of shops to buy a paper from or get that morning cup of coffee!

I wouldn't recommend mixing commercial and residential as the people won't like the noise pollution that shops create however.
I'll finish with a couple of Industrial shots, first some 1x1 plots,

Some 2x2s

Land Values
It has been speculated here and in the forums that the smaller buildings have a detrimental effect on land values somehow. While it made sense to me that a small house was worth less than a higher status plot, maybe the combined effect counters this as the pictures below would seem to indicate.

This is the development shown above in the residential section,

Along with a 1x1 area that seems to have the same value as the high density around it,

Another 2x1 development, surrounded by offices and commercial. You dont get ANY more bright green than that!

Finaly, here is a shot of the 'Isle of Dogs' in London's docklands area which demonstrates this perfectly, you can clearly see the two concentrations of bright green are on the terraced backstreets,

Hope you found this guide useful and that you can make some more interesting layouts with it, happy building!
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Aturchomicz Jun 17 @ 12:57pm 
negrep@ do it the Tamarin Island style
Mr. Someguy Dec 23, 2017 @ 8:41pm 
No because if you wait until buildings already exist to fill in the spaces, it can only grow new buildings in those spaces. The existing buildings will not combine with the new ones or take over the new zoning. Now if you rezone the entire sector as something else, then yes they will grow large buildings, that's why you gotta stick to the process.
=EGC= _Nite_ May 7, 2017 @ 10:04pm 
Neat Trick on the zone layouts to get identical buildings, but once you later go back and fill in the blank areas won't they combine together and do random buildings like usual?
Smaidz Apr 1, 2017 @ 6:48am 
"You dont get ANY more bright green than that!"

bodies pilin' tho
negrep Sep 25, 2016 @ 2:17pm 
Nice, but how can you determine what type of residential building would be built? Where you have the "coronation street" look, how did you get all low density residences to be those row house type of structures?
marine.ct Oct 7, 2015 @ 6:31am 
Hmm well you would need more roads. i zone 10x20 square resi zones. but looking at some of your screens, it looks like 2x20 zones in one section.

Sorry, this might just be me eyeing the profits section XD

But I'm loving the green on you land values!

I'll try it out with a neighborhood later and see how it goes

simonmd  [author] Oct 7, 2015 @ 6:16am 
Not sure how it would add to the road expense, apart from being a bit more compact, requiring a few more of course but youre only using small roads anyway. Sure you can start a town/city like this, why not? Remember it's really only practical for smaller areas though and is more for ascetic reasons than any others.
marine.ct Oct 7, 2015 @ 5:42am 
I'm curious doesnt this add to your roads expenses? would you start a new city like this or would you go back to dezone later?
simonmd  [author] Sep 16, 2015 @ 11:39am 
Looks great, just like Coronation Street! Shame the traffic is on the wrong side of the road though ;)
JernBesta Sep 16, 2015 @ 11:25am 
This looks neat! Thanks for the info. I've made a British based area filled with 1x2 houses and cornered houses. See the picture.