Zoning is a core mechanic in New Cities, and is required for any development to occur. Currently, the game is divided into seven zone types, six of which can be placed with the zoning tool. Only three zones are available when starting a new city, and the rest must be unlocked at different milestones.
Unlike in the SimCity series or Cities: Skylines, players do not zone for density. This means all zones can develop larger, higher density buildings, provided there is enough Density in the area. Mixed Use and Industrial zones will not develop any buildings below a certain Density threshold.
Buildings develop in zones based on Density and Value in the area. Buildings are selected so that their footprint does not overlap any routes or existing buildings.
The following zones can be placed in game using the zoning tool, once unlocked.
- Residential: Available from the beginning of the game.
- Mixed Use: Unlocked at [MILESTONE INFORMATION]. Develops buildings that contain both Homes and Shops, and occasionally Offices.
- Retail: Available from the beginning of the game.
- Office: Unlocked at [MILESTONE INFORMATION].
- Agriculture: Unlocked at the beginning of the game. One of two Industrial zones.
- Industrial: Unlocked at [MILESTONE INFORMATION]. One of two Industrial zones. Develops factories.
The following zones are not available through the zoning tool, but can be selected in the building designer.
- Government: the zone used for all Amenity building designs.
Zones can only be placed along Roads (not Expressways). With the zone tool active, the area to be zoned will be highlighted and can be confirmed with a click. The zone tool will paint the entire edge of a segment of road, or all exposed edges of a node.
This means zoning will be interrupted anywhere two segments meet, even if these segments form a straightaway rather than an intersection. This can be used to subdivide a segment into 2 zones by placing a road perpendicular then deleting it, as this will leave the original road segment broken into two.
- Though all building designs are assigned a zone, this does not restrict what they can contain. This means that with mods, it is possible to create buildings out of place in their zone, such as a residential building containing only office space.
- The government zone is currently only used as a designation for all Amenity buildings in the Building Designer; however, icons.png contains a zone icon and demand bar for a seventh purple zone with an icon suggesting Greco-Roman architecture.
- The government zone can be seen using the querying tool and selecting the zones. It will appear on any buildings you have placed.
- Upgrading a Street or Avenue to a Boulevard will sometimes remove zoning from the entire segment, though it will not destroy any buildings.
- Players have the ability to zone intersections on Boulevards.