Contributor/author(s): Ryoga Hibiki
Hi Density land isn't all it's cracked up to be. At $50 a tile, you can become broke after zoning a puny little area.
Use low density residential to start your city. At $10 a tile, you can have 5 times the people in your city. 5x the people == 5 times the money. Your coal powerplant will get used much more efficiently, saving you lots of $$ as well.
Don't stop zoning until you run out of space. A general rule of thumb is: If you can fit your residential zoning on a smaller map, you need to zone more. Low denisty zones are necessary for the financial backbone which you'll need to zone up. Also, if you want to upgrade the center of your city, you'll still have a huge suburbs providing tons of money.
Give these people fire coverage, it's all they'll really need. Have a small elite area with libraries. Education by library is cheap, and will really come in handy when you want to upgrade. When you do upgrade, smash the ghetto zones. It's cheaper, and you don't want to get rid of your smart people, do you? If your residential area gets big enough, you can give them a water pump. But they don't need it, and you'll often get more money without it.
Spread out, then up. Its said in the SC4 manual many times. I cannot stress enough how easy it is to stay in the black, if you do it. You'll have plenty of money later on to get hi-density zones. And it's really fun smashing down huge sections of a city, and having the money to upgrade a third of the map at a time. :)
A Basic Beginners Guide SC4
SC4: Getting Started.
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