Sim City: Density Growth

Spacington has grown from a little town to a city. Plenty of single-family homes in each of the neighbourhoods have changed their faces and transformed into residential buildings. We have pushed Spacington forward to try and able our city with what it needs to become a real simulated 21st century urban city.

Unfortunately, Spacington LRT transit was cut along the way — as it was a slightly premature ambition — and replaced with wider bus transit. But we may be talking transit next week as the city has begun to serve longer commute times and may be ready for a more comprehensive public transit system.

This week there were some good comments regarding the lack of use and accessibility along the waterfront. This was partially intentional — to buy time to think of solutions — as the game does not provide great options for waterfront usage. Many of the amenities such a marina aren’t available until cities reach a certain population. (Sim City fanatics: please comment with tips and tricks on how to better utilize the waterfront.) Nevertheless, the waterfront still needs to be incorporated with the city.

Sims fans (help): We have used the suggested transit mods for the game, but unfortunately didn’t have great results. To ensure we get the best results with transit, is there a secret to getting sims to use LRT?

Spacington: Want to see previous posts about Spacington? Click on the “Sim City: Spacington” link in the “RELATED” box just below.



  1. Yup, I suppose there is no NIMBYism built into SimCity (see high-park development in the news). BTW, what is the climate like in this city. Cannot be Canadian weather, as I see so many palm trees there.

  2. I really wish there was a way for Sim City cities to ‘look’ like real neighbourhoods. I understand that the intention for Spacington is to be ‘ideally’ planned, and therefore is not going to look like an existing city. But it still seems really odd to see blocks with two or three houses at most in them. What about all the long streets of 50+ homes to a block, like in the Annex or Riverdale?

  3. Tom, agree that 2 or 3 houses a block is not realistic. On the other hand, the 50+ homes a block represents a pretty bad urban design, I am sure the creator of Spacington wants to avoid that.

  4. There are flaws in SimCity’s traffic generators. To have an busy LRT, EL, or Train network you have to fragment and space out your zones. Ironically by pushing towards a mixed-use grid environment you convince your Sims to drive (or walk) to employment more (while promoting isolated uses or sprawl forces Sims to get there the quickest way you give them – I literally would only let my Sims get to Industry jobs via Train).

    The generator always seeks out a strait line so mini-blocks as you city grows will lead to Sims choosing to drive over anything else. The best way I find to coax Sims into using LRT is to to create commercial strips all along the routes while also branching a segment into a ROW in between homes (Thinking back to Toronto and our old streetcar suburbs lead me to this revelation in the game). This makes LRT the closet option to get to employment and Sims will choose it over driving (you will have to fragment your grid a bit to irritate your Sims and make them choose LRT).  

    You can experiment with grid/black sizes generally Sims are comfy in a range up to 6×6- they will gladly walk to transit stops and other things whiten this range without negative effects or a race to their cars. 

    Buses I find to be a mess unless you get into heavy Mods the computer will screw around and make a mess of your routes. If you are very detailed with your station placement you can sort of avoid this, but its tricky as the game generator makes buses act like cars and they will create their own routes which they perceive to be the ‘quickest’ to destination B. 

    Another roadblock is that to maintain a high amount of ‘$$’ ‘$$$’ commercial zones you start to squeeze low-income residents whom use transit most (wealth plays a big factor in the games simulator I believe only 10% of ‘$$$’ residents will take transit as a first choice vs. 60% of low-income ‘$’ residents). 

    There is one mod you can look for it lets you tweak the games traffic generator and you can coax your Sims to take transit more (plus do other things like put in fictional congestion costs and adjust commute ratios and such – search for ‘ Traffic Generator Tool ‘).

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