Building Layout

Building Layout

Once you have decided on your road layouts, placing your buildings is next. Here are some general tips:

  • You can rearrange and move buildings for free
    • Population & happiness can suffer if you rearrange buildings outside Coverage Services and Specialization boost areas
  • 3×2 and 3×3 buildings are annoying to work with and will leave empty spots in your city
    • Use 1×1 parks and services to fill these empty plots

We have two guides on layout:

Residential Zones

  • Place residential zones away from dirty areas.
  • Be sure to place residential zones inside Coverage Services and within the boost radius of Specialization Buildings
  • See our guide on building skyscrapers here.

Utility Services (Factories & Dirty Services)

  • The Utility Services section here went into detail on the most effective service buildings
    • As a brief refresher (Please read the in-depth section for reasoning):
      • Power – Coal & Oil until Nuclear or Fusion
      • Water – Tier 1 until Tier 2
      • Sewage – Tier 2 until Tier 3
      • Waste Management – Tier 3 until Tier 4
  • Despite logic, water can be placed anywhere (even in dirty areas)
    • No effect on happiness or pollution
  • Lower Tier Utility Service buildings have large dirty areas
    • Try to set aside a particular zone where you can bunch these buildings together away from Residential Zones
  • The maximum Tier Utility Services generate no pollution
    • You can place these anywhere without adverse effects

Coverage Services (Fire, Police, Health)

  • The Coverage Services section here went into detail on the most effective service buildings
    • As a brief refresher (Please read the in-depth section for reasoning):
      • Fire – Tier 1 & 3
      • Police – Tier 2
      • Health – Tier 1 & 3
  • Try to use the most efficient tiers of the service
    • Example: I use tier 1 and 3 of the fire service.
  • Minimize overlapping coverage areas
  • Tier 3 can cover massive amounts of space.
    • Place these centrally and use tier 1 to fill out any gaps & on the edges.
  • From my experience, you CANNOT properly cover your entire city with Police, Fire, and Health by using only the T3 service without having empty areas
    • In essence, you need to pick 2 services you want to buy T3 buildings for and have the final service use T2
    • I recommend choosing Fire and Health for T3 and Police for T2
      • T3 Fire is the cheapest T3
      • Health is cheaper than Police
      • You can achieve a more complete coverage area by using 4 T2 police stations than one T3

Specialization Services



  • Sims do like the convenience of being close to a store and you will see approving speech bubbles (higher chance you will receive some upgrade items)
    • BUT I would not place stores in residential zones, more specifically because they can take up valuable service (fire, police, etc.) or population boost coverage


  • Sims like being close to government buildings and you will see speech bubbles explaining this fact
  • Mayors mansion is a 3×3 piece and usually leaves empty plots when placed
  • Sims DO NOT like being close to the city storage building. Keep that away from residential areas

Roads – Building Layout – Expansion