SimCity 2013 Zoning Guide – How To Build Your City Zones


So you think you’re all prepared for being a Mayor? Well, just hold your horses for a bit, because there are a couple of things, you should know before you start constructing buildings and meaningless transport systems.

It’s important to understand how a city should be structured, both for the sake of its progress and the happiness of its people. This essential know-how comes in the form of Zoning, an extremely important aspect of the game that deals with RCI Management.

For more help on SimCity, read our Tourism, Disasters and Great Works Guide.

SimCity Zoning – How To Build

If you don’t know what RCI is, then you’re visiting the right guide, because this one is based on it. Zoning is basically how you create the layout of your city based on the Residential, Commercial, and Industrial requirements. Together, these three parameters are known as RCI.

Zoning according to such requirements doesn’t exist in games only; this method of city-planning is carefully practiced in modern times as well, and that is why you see well-managed roads, ideally placed buildings, and organized system in most of the progressed cities of the modern world.

RCI Interdependence

Contrary to common misconceptions, the Residential, Commercial, and Industrial zones of a city are actually interlinked; changing one may have drastic effect on the other two. Thus, it is important to know what kind of symbiotic relationship exists between them.

Firstly, let’s look at Residence. Residential areas are those in which your Sims will live. This area is a domestic place that should have a reasonable distance from the Industrial zone. The residential area is also the place where Sims will go to work from, and eventually come back to rest. For a good domestic life, this place should be kept clean, far away from the industrial zone.

Now, let’s come to the industrial zone. The industry is where your city manufactures different requirements of the city. These include basic needs such as power and electricity, to needs such as electronic products and other goods. Workers from the resident area will come to this place to work as well, but most residents will prefer that the Industrial zone is far from where they rest, so to avoid pollution, noise issues, traffic issues, and mishaps.

The last is the commercial area. This is an all-access area in your city. Basically, this is where the freight from your industry is delivered, and this is the place where Sims will buy products and gain happiness. Workers will also come here from their residential homes, and so will other Sims that wish to buy the necessities and desires of every day.

Each of these zones generates profit for your city in the form of tax, and also generates happiness. Sims who have no jobs will not be able to buy products from the commercial zone, and hence will not be able to pay their rents and dues for their houses in the resident zone.

If there are no Sims to buy products, then the shops will close down, and eventually the industrial zone will have no place to send their freights to. As a result, the entire infrastructure will collapse.

Thus, it’s important to understand that the RCI infrastructure is intertwined, and that’s why we try to consider it as one unit.

Residential Activity

Although the RCI is considered as one, interdependent unit, it’s important that one understands the internal activity of each unit before zoning for the entire place. Residential Areas have a Sims flow system of their own.

It’s important to understand that Sims don’t grow out of the ground. A large portion of them will actually migrate from outside to your city. These ‘happy’ Sims will attempt to enter the city at a fixed rate, and it is your job to make sure that they remain happy to aid in the thriving of the city.

Sims are divided into three classes based on wealth: low wealth, medium wealth, and high wealth. Each type of class will have its own demands and own flow in the Residential area. The type and number of jobs will cap the amount and type of Sims that can enter the city.

It is possible to have higher wealth residences replace lower ones, based on the quality of your industries, commercial areas, and the associated jobs. Additionally, high traffic areas will feature more dense building structures as well.

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By Haider Khan

One of the long time staff at SegmentNext, Haider is an integral part of the team with a love for writing, playing guitar, and aviation. Apart from writing for us, Haider is also a competitive FPS player and also enjoys exotic RPG games like Diablo and Xenogears (his favorite game of all time) on the side.


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