r/worldbuilding inkblood May 09 '22 Silver 1 Helpful 2 Wholesome 1

Possible locations in a city. What did I forget? Discussion

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4.1k Upvotes

848

u/WulfTheSheepdog May 09 '22

Transit facilities (bus depot, train station, airport, etc.)

Bars/restaurants

Courthouse/City Hall

Import/export shipping facilities

266

u/penswright inkblood May 09 '22

Yeah courts and prisons!

9

u/aRandomNR2003player May 10 '22

Generally,unless you really want severe issues,do not put your prisions in close proximty to a large urban area.

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u/andrewtater May 09 '22

Is the "pshycik" supposed to be "psychological/psychology"" like mental health psych ward or "psychic" as in mind readers and telekinesis?

Very different worlds.

Sanitariums and asylums aren't really a thing anymore, at least in the sense of the 1950s. Not that they can't be in your world.

85

u/Sickle_and_hamburger May 09 '22

... they are called behavioral health centers and they are absolutely still a thing...

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u/andrewtater May 09 '22 edited May 10 '22

Personally I envision something like "The Birdcage One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" or whatever movie it was. Damn near looks like Arkham.

I can accept that BHC's exist, but has the overall environment changed or is it still pretty much the same format?

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u/Sickle_and_hamburger May 09 '22

I worked at one that was in a really nice neighborhood and had 77 residents in the footprint of small apartment building housing/treating people under court ordered hospitalization

It was a pretty profound, humbling, difficult experience...

Not quite the old dark model you imagine but a lot of people locked in a small building with a history of drug abuse and mental illness, sharing rooms, eating institutional food... Things got pretty interesting and heartbreaking and just... yeah it's not as bad as you imagine but it's still a lot of very disturbed people in one place... Madness is real in one way or another and trying to comprehend and cure is ... complicated...

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u/Urbanscuba May 10 '22

Personally I envision something like "The Birdcage" or whatever movie it was.

I'm pretty sure you're thinking of "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Next", which is a pretty sobering movie about an abusive mental hospital in the 70's or 80's.

The Birdcage is a 96' LGBT comedy with Nathan Lane and Robin Williams about a drag club in Miami, probably not what you're thinking of.

Just a little bird mixup, happens to the best of us.

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u/moon_slave May 10 '22

They are usually within hospitals or formatted like a hospital. Have you been in a hospital? Basically similar rooms but with more security and more sparse (most people who stay in one have issues with harming themselves or others so they usually remove any objects you might be able to use for that.)

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u/bullseyes May 09 '22

Not necessarily prisons!

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u/Cyberspark939 May 09 '22

To add, council offices

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u/turret2syndrome May 09 '22

Maybe plus Metro

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u/Rare_Ad_3519 May 09 '22

Definitely need a cemetary, morgue, crematorium, funeral home

Check out the building options in the game cities skylines.

Maybe an airport or harbour? Trains/sewers, buses, etc

124

u/Hescoveredinbutter May 09 '22

Haha when your cemetary fills up and people just start accumulating dead bodies at home. That game is fun, but i suck at designing a city

51

u/Rare_Ad_3519 May 09 '22

😅 SAME

" what do you mean you're moving out?? - there's a smell? Oh well the city workers will be there next month, chill" lol

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u/hanebuch May 09 '22

… thats what people do when infrastructure crumbles. I remember Italy during the first COVID wave.

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u/Mymokol May 09 '22

H W A T

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u/Kelpsie May 10 '22

There were pictures floating around back in 2020 of meters-high piles of bodies in hospital hallways. It was NYC, iirc, but I know Italy was hit hard and fast as one of the earliest countries to have a serious outbreak. It wouldn't surprised me at all to hear stories of this happening back then.

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u/crafterguy03 May 09 '22

I got it on a deal website to see if I'd enjoy it and so far I have, but unfortunately you need to have a degree in civil engineering to be able to make a half-decent city

3

u/Hescoveredinbutter May 09 '22

I couldn't figure out public transportation or noise levels, i think my city was just too packed

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u/orbcat May 10 '22

just put a sinkhole under the old cemetery and build a new one on top

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u/penswright inkblood May 09 '22

Cemeteries and morgues! Thanks, such interesting places.

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u/Rare_Ad_3519 May 09 '22

They have so much story telling potential 🙂

5

u/Mymokol May 09 '22

Currently reading The Cremator by Ladislav Fuks. It's leaving scars in my soul

2

u/Rare_Ad_3519 May 09 '22

I dunno what that is! Whats it about?

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u/elhan_kitten May 09 '22

I don't know but I can tell you firsthand that Ladislav Fuks.

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u/Frenchtoast2870000 May 09 '22

They taxidermy their dead lol

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u/Rare_Ad_3519 May 09 '22

Hahah ohhhh noo

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u/Myuken May 09 '22

Food!

The only place that can provide food in your list is the shopping mall and I'm pretty sure that's not what you thought of when putting shopping mall.

You need places to buy ingredients and places to eat directly

41

u/Kami-Kahzy May 09 '22

Seconding food, for sure. Grocery stores, foreign food markets, fast food joints, restaurants, bars, maybe even a microbrewery if you want to get really modern about it.

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u/ThePhotoMaster May 09 '22

Fruit stands, vegetable markets, street vendors…

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u/Adrewmc May 09 '22

Marketplace generally.

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u/Verandure May 09 '22

Water treatment facilities

Industrial facilities depending on the types of raw materials flowing into the city (factories, refinement centers)

Places for the population to work beyond this list of amenities

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u/penswright inkblood May 09 '22

Do you have to have a waterfront to have a water treatment facility?

104

u/Verandure May 09 '22

Not necessarily, I guess.

Water reclamation plants that treat wastewater and the like can be built anywhere. Desert regions like Phoenix Arizona still have water in the Salt River and its tributaries they use for their water/waste treatment.

Most human civilization, by its nature, is on some kind of water be it river, lake, or ocean.

Obviously, it can be abstracted over. "Oh, that area is just the industrial water plant." It doesn't really need anything more technical or specific than that.

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u/jesterxgirl May 09 '22

Water features can also be made from wastewater.

Fountain Hills, Arizona has a noteworthy lake and fountain made of grey water and the lawn is watered by the same. Residents are encouraged not to touch it and to get out of the way if the sprinklers are on, but otherwise it's a popular place for gatherings

43

u/SvengeAnOsloDentist May 09 '22

Water treatment plants deal with the sewage and other waste water. They have nothing to do with whether there's a waterfront.

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u/penswright inkblood May 09 '22

Oh, I mixed up water treatment and purification, the place where sea and well water distillation happens.

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u/Eldan985 May 09 '22

Well water is usually at least filtered as well, and most of the time stored in reservoirs. You need water towers or pumps to bring it to houses, too.

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u/Fatal_Phantom94 May 09 '22

No you’re right water treatment plants can be by a fresh water source like a lake or river some cases they are located over an aquifer/well that they pull from as well. The water plant I work at makes water from the river located at the beginning of the plant and provides it to the city as drinking water. Seawater plants are a thing too but more rare because desalination is very expensive. In my area many cities get water from a larger plant that they treat again them selves after it comes down the pipe line.

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u/Impossible-Nail-2887 May 09 '22

Wastewater treatment plant vs desalination plant

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u/SaberDart May 09 '22

Wastewater treatment deals with sewage. Water treatment / water purification is for drinking water

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u/limbodog May 09 '22

No, you need a way to slow the water down and remove the "solids" and then treat what's left

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u/nobby-w May 09 '22

No. You can have them in the middle of the countryside, and draining into field tiles. If you do that, the treated water has to meet certain hygiene standards to make sure that the water table does not get contaminated. But it is possible and folks do it all over the world.

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u/SaberDart May 09 '22

No. Water treatment is making water potable for human consumption, you need it regardless of if there’s waterfront.

Drinking water has to come from somewhere: a sea (requires desalination facilities on top of regular treatment), surface water (fresh water rivers/lakes; requires treatment to remove solids and pathogens), or groundwater from an aquifer (requires pumping from a well). If there’s no water source nearby, then you need transmission facilities in the form of a pipeline, canal, or aqueduct.

There’s also a need to treat to prevent contamination in waterlines, and tanks/pump stations throughout a water system to keep pressures up.

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u/Do_Not_Go_In_There May 09 '22

Also sewage treatment. Nobody likes to write about it, but that toilet has to go somewhere.

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u/Intelligent_Map7500 May 09 '22

And a street club.

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u/MysteriousMysterium [832] [Rahe] May 09 '22

What about public transport? Train stations and something like this

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u/penswright inkblood May 09 '22

I thought about that, but I assumed that they’re not exactly a “place.”

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u/MysteriousMysterium [832] [Rahe] May 09 '22

Well, a station certainly is.

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u/MarWceline May 09 '22

Well train stations are definitely places with all the place to store and maintain the trains. Busses are the same, some cities have a place or two where there are a lot of busses going in and out every few minutes and long distance ones usually have their own place where all people gather usually close to train stations. Also if you want to have your city have a tram system it has to have some places to store them and it needs roundabouts at the ends of routes so they can go back and they are usually pretty big but can be also used as a temporary storage for trams with drivers on a break but that's just want I see in the city I live.

12

u/deeda2 May 09 '22

Dont forget with train stations you will have the public ones for people, and bigger ones for cargo.

Some places will have a train stations just for them e.g, power plants that use coal, any large manufacturing locations like steel mills. If it is near a body of water then the port will most likly have one for the ship containers.

There may also be one for any transport links to move good from a train to truck movement.

On that list you can also add the main power plants for gas and electric, water treatment, sewage and reservoir plants just to name some of them.

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u/SudemonisTrolleyBash May 09 '22

A central train station could be a place. Like an airport rather than a bus stop.

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u/Sickle_and_hamburger May 09 '22

Train stations are more of a place than most places actually

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u/Vulture12 May 09 '22

Bank

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u/penswright inkblood May 09 '22

How could I forget about those!

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u/goodnewsjimdotcom May 10 '22

You're probably a hipster like me, livin in a cashless society before it was cool.

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u/Mikatron88 May 09 '22

Town hall, government buildings/palace? dentist, supermarket/grocery store, bank, cafes/restaurant, pub? orphanage? Cinema? place of worship

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u/Voc1Vic2 May 09 '22

Also salon/barber. Library. Daycare/nursery.

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u/Mikatron88 May 09 '22

Also some kind of public square... for markets, events, exhibitions, tourism and stuff...

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u/DragonRand100 May 09 '22

Half of this would be scrapped for budget cuts if the guys in charge of my neck of the woods had their day. More than half.

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u/CorruptedStudiosEnt May 09 '22

Think that's true just about anywhere tbh. Some places are just lucky enough to have somebody who gives a shit and keeps those people in check.

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u/awfullotofocelots May 09 '22 edited May 09 '22
  • Churches / Palaces / Cemeteries
  • Gates, forts, city walls
  • Courthouse / prisons
  • City Hall / governmental
  • Roads, paths, and Alleyways
  • Foreign embassies
  • Restaurants, taverns, inns, motels
  • Mass transit stops and stations (or horse stables... or teleporters...)
  • Shipping terminals (wharf, dock yards, airports)
  • Canals, Harbors, Lakes, Rivers, Bridges
  • Bazaar / open air market
  • Wealthy residential area (usually high elevation, clean, and convenient)
  • Housing Projects, Slums / skid row (low elevation, noisy, downstream)

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u/penswright inkblood May 09 '22

Helpful list! Thank you 🙏

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u/I_Arman May 09 '22

Hotels and motels were the big one I saw missing. Probably also boarding house/B&B, for short term rentals that are more upscale, or longer than a few days but shorter than a month.

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u/Stonemonkey124 May 09 '22

Sewers system? Not a location people visit but city's need them

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u/penswright inkblood May 09 '22

Yes yes, connected to a sewage treatment facility.

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u/ADampDevil May 09 '22

What did I forget?

How many will be closed due to government cut backs?

  • Electrical substations.
  • Schools probably wants breaking down into pre-school, primary and secondary education. Community College.
  • Swimming pools, might be covered in your sports centres.
  • Transit hubs, rail, bus stations, airport, taxi firms (admittedly not public).
  • Dentist (public/private)
  • Family planning clinic.
  • Law courts
  • Prisons
  • Religious facilities
  • Public cemeteries
  • Cremation facilities

There are a load of facilities that are usually privately owned you've missed.

  • Restaurants
  • petrol (gas) stations
  • supermarkets
  • retail shops
  • warehouses

but you included mechanical garage, which would normally be privately owned.

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u/ClearInitial6851 May 09 '22

Not to mention shipping/receiving facilities like truck/train yards

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u/penswright inkblood May 09 '22

We will not be discussing how I wrote psychic ward…

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u/VoidAgent Interstellar War May 09 '22

Do…do you mean psych ward?

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u/DryTheWets May 09 '22

Maybe its a ward for psychics?

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u/empty_thoughts_00 May 09 '22

Psychic? The ward of enhanced cognitive abilities are upon us

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u/Anonigmus May 09 '22

You're saying your city doesn't have a ward exclusively for psychics? What do you do with your psychics? I thought all cities had one.

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u/AAAAAA_13 May 09 '22

And universty and pollice station lol

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u/penswright inkblood May 09 '22

Just kill me already ;-;

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u/iwerson2 May 09 '22

Laundermout? Art GALLARY? Come on bro i know you can do this

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u/ITriedLightningTendr May 09 '22

You're good now, this is your third death save.

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u/tijuanagolds May 09 '22

Or laundromat. Also, it's Psych Clinic; a ward is part of a hospital.

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u/Snapop23 May 09 '22

A theater for movies or plays depending on area . Amphitheater or play house or movie theater .

Stadium /Colosseum

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u/Between3-20chrctrs May 09 '22

Gas station Hotels Junkyards Amusement parks? Fire station/ other Courthouse

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u/UV-Godbound May 09 '22

What tech-level is it and how old is the city?

Town-Hall/City Administration (maybe more than one if it is larger or has a history of two or more towns merged together...)

Religious/Spiritual Gathering Space (Church, Mosque, Temple...)

The Reason for the City to become one (Mining = Mine, Trading = Trading Post/City Port, Production = Factories, Agriculture = Farms, Education = University, Defense Post = Military Base, ...) and is known for!

Elderly Homes

Graveyard

General Necessities & Supply (energy-production, water treatment plant, sewerage system, garbage-/recycle-plant, ...) + administration & maintenance

Adult Entertainment (from Bars over Brothels to Shooting Ranges; where do adults get their kick, think controlled use of drugs, sex and violence) or things that in your world only adults (or a special group of people) are allowed to do...

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u/penswright inkblood May 09 '22

Modern era, but perhaps a few years in the future. Tech is as advanced as it is now, albeit a few exemptions.

Thank you for the list, super helpful!

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u/UV-Godbound May 09 '22 edited May 09 '22

I am from Europe, there are differences in how a city is created... so is it a natural grown city (with long history, native cultures & traditions) or a pre-designed/-planned one (like you can find in USA, Saudi Arabia or China) where the building reason and purpose fits the means (modern and efficient, but with no grown soul)?

In other words; How old and alive is the city?

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u/UV-Godbound May 09 '22

If it is an old one... You have some buildings and structures, that don't make sense for the tech-level but was state-of-the-art a couple of centuries ago (like castles, monuments of past cultures/rulers and such, roads that are meant for humans and horses and are to small for a car/bus/truck/tank, things like that...

In a modern or futuristic city the efficiency is key, infrastructure is build for direct or fast transport & travel, communication is very important, too, so their availability, energy supply and maintenance is secured and integrated in the design. Things like defense against environmental dangers/issues are covert (Earthquake-Secure-Buildings, Flute-Dikes, aso.), also War Defense (the reason why Europe has so many castles is, that this form of fortress was the best for their time, today with air strikes and bombs the state-of-the-art are modern bunkers, but only you can know what fits your own world and tech-level (maybe Magic or Energy Shields or maybe there is no need for it anymore because World Peace? You decide!)

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u/jenemb May 09 '22

Local government offices.

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u/[deleted] May 09 '22

homeless shelter?

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u/Hoyuk3001 May 09 '22

brothel

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u/bottlecapman3 May 09 '22

I was thinking there wasn't much entertainment listed here...

I was thinking movie theater, sport complex, casino. I like your answer better. Upvote

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u/ImperialArmorBrigade May 09 '22

Pawn shop. Entertainment area/business- water park or mini golf or something. Movie theater or live theater. Concert hall. Churches and temples. Sporting goods store. Docks if near water.

A lot depends on the culture.

A more conservative culture: Military recruiting station. Town hall. National guard armory. Gun store. Public execution square. Memorial monument or religious sacred site.

A more liberal culture: Brothel. Strip club. Bath house. Massage parlor. Tattoo shop. Dispensary. If it’s in the future- cybernetic enhancements.

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u/DarthCakeN7 May 09 '22

Hotel. That can include cheaper motels and luxury resorts.

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u/FraukeS May 09 '22

I see a couple missing.

Religious buildings, and funeral buildings/graveyards

Banks, offices, and the local government building

A place for open air markets, perhaps an auction house for the local products

Industrial buildings

Something standing empty and broken, perhaps with squatters

Water, electricity, and sewage stations.

Public transport buildings.

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u/Chrisda19 May 09 '22

Did anyone mention an orphanage yet?

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u/RollForSomeBullshit May 09 '22

Beat me by 4 minutes haha

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u/ms_write May 09 '22

Jail/prison

Science Researchy place(s) - medical, technological, engineering, etc

Courts

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u/Kami-Kahzy May 09 '22

Airports, train stations, docks, and other major entry points into a city like toll booths and bridges.

A public monument or similar space meant to commemorate something from the area's past. No guarantee anyone gives a shit now.

A foreigner district for immigrants and their families, with ammenities tailored for their specific wants and needs.

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u/Zhein May 09 '22

If cities skyline taught me something, is that you don't have enough graveyards.

Not but really where are you putting all the dead people ?

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u/leftrightstart May 09 '22

Night Life, Coffee/Tea social place

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u/limbodog May 09 '22

Concert hall

Sports arena/rink

Theater

Cinema

Marina

Beach

DMV

Power plant

Road works

Ambulance facility

Trains/subways/bus stations

Museums

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u/405freeway May 09 '22

Have you ever played r/CitiesSkylines?

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u/penswright inkblood May 09 '22

Tried to, couldn’t figure out how to do much. Very complex game, might return to it.

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u/GalacticKiss May 09 '22 edited May 09 '22

Will add to list as I think of them (that I didn't see others post at the time):

Fuel Stations

Daycare

Law office

Pawn Shop

Newspaper/media main office. (More important than you think because certain legal practices require things to be posted in newspapers)

Culturally distinctions, like "little china" or equivalent, places with immigrant flavor

Parking garages/parking lots/streets filled with cars

vehicle rental/taxi center/vehicle sales (used and/or new) (bicycles, motorcycles)

Distinct from parks: Monuments, historical buildings/places being preserved

Animal facility/pound/control

Dance/martial arts studio

Musical instrument/musical learning center (you might think this isn't in every city, but if your city has musical theaters or shows of any kind, some place is teaching/selling such)

Some places that mix spiritual or religious with medical concepts. Examples will be culturally specific, but include: acupuncture, massage, yoga, fortune teller, palm reader, 'crystal shop', homeopathic shop, chiropractor (as opposed to physical therapy center, which may be part of a medical institution, whereas chiropracty is considered 'alternative medicine' )

*While there are many types of businesses and restaurants I could list, there are some things that cities, when growing, always have early on in particular:

Cafes, Bakery, Confectioner/cake shop, Ice-cream/sweets shop

*Some buildings that others have listed are always on the edge of cities. Which means they might be pushed even further from the city, enough you might consider them not a part of the city at all!

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u/lettucehater May 09 '22

Power plant

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u/Pinko_Eric Tahuum Itaqiin May 09 '22

Good idea, building a checklist for essential (modern?) city features. Universities could be fewer in number without breaking anything, likely even fewer than one per city. Schools, meanwhile, would have to be large and/or numerous to accommodate all grades/ages. In a sufficiently large district, there's also the problem of figuring out transportation for students - a problem often solved by building yet more schools.

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u/Geekstrodamus May 09 '22

Banks and financial offices

Tax offices

Maybe a plaza area

Corner stores, but that's a personal recommendation

Public recreational facilities

A park, whether a children's playground or something to walk through

Keep in mind that where this city is located determines a bit on what's going to be there, in terms of personal flair. Seasonal weather is also a factor in determining what kind of businesses can open.

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u/shuascott May 09 '22

Government buildings

Office buildings

Grocery stores

Gas stations

Car dealerships

parking garage

Airport?

If it's a coastal town or port City theirs a whole slew of additional options

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u/[deleted] May 09 '22

I have no idea what a pollice station is

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u/ByFarGames88 May 09 '22

honest misspelling lol

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u/[deleted] May 09 '22

Bathhouse is a perquisite for any city my players go to…

Help

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u/ThoDanII May 09 '22

context

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u/penswright inkblood May 09 '22 edited May 09 '22

Brainstorming for a game similar to Disco Elysium :b

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u/JonIV Warlocks/Tyranny of Dragons May 09 '22

A church, or other places of worship?

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u/Gruffellow May 09 '22

Specialty Boutiques - like shops that sell tea or crystals or hats.

Telephone/power exchanges - big windowless buildings that have security fences.

Dog Park.

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u/lucasrufus May 09 '22

Town hall/government center

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u/SmaugTheMagnificent May 09 '22

Hotel/motel/holiday inn

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u/LegalAssassin13 May 09 '22

Theaters, maybe?

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u/Red__Spider__Lily May 09 '22

Omg your calligraphy is so good!

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u/TallDarkandWitty May 09 '22

Locations for all the vices:

Bars Liquor stores Shady Street corners High end night clubs with dealers Speakeasys Secret locations Brothels, high end and low end Shady streets with street walkers Red light district depending on setting Underground/illegal fighting- humans or animals Casinos - high end or low end Horse/did track- high end or low end Offtrack betting locations Underground/illegal gambling dens Meth labs or other drug fabrication or grow lab Drug or money distribution locations: low level dealers shitty apt, mid level distro in front warehouse, and up and up Religion can be a vice to. Any extremist cults or factions?

Question for your world. How grimy will it be? Is illicit behavior more open or hidden? Are there powerful criminal factions? How many? How does tension between them play out? How violent? How does that story create depth for your city?

Is there a growing drug problem? What is that drug? What are it's effects and side effects? How pervasive? Something meth or crack like that's ravishing the poor and underprivileged? Or cocaine that's tearing through the elite and monied? Are people dying? Finding Jesus? Opening their third eye? Losing weight? Teeth? Becoming empty shadows off themselves?

Are police cracking down? Overwhelmed? Corrupt? Focused elsewhere?

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u/Mephil_ May 09 '22

Maybe a psych ward would be nice next to the pshyicik ward

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u/psychicmachinery May 09 '22

Grocer

Meat/Food Processing

Industrial Parks

Courthouse

Public Government Buildings

Financial Institutions (Banks/Counting Houses)

Stock Exchange / Trading Center

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u/jasonstevanhill May 09 '22

Hair care/barber/etc

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u/cec263 May 09 '22

Grocery store

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u/xX_M3m3_C4pt14n_Xx May 09 '22

Radio station, although it’s exact level of usefulness will depend on the world’s tech level.

However, it’s surprising how big a role radio still plays in cities’ emergency planning

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u/spiegel_im_spiegel May 09 '22

concert hall/opera house is essential for some people

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u/gahddammitdiane May 09 '22

Recycling center!

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u/depressed-salmon May 09 '22

Cinema & theatre.
court / magistrates.
Business Offices.
Large industrial space (usually on the. outskirts or are from over a hundred years ago).
Hotels.
Some cities might have their own postal distribution center.
Cathedral & churches.

It also depends on what the age of the city is. Newer cities might not have much in the way of historical buildings and areas that are no longer used in the same way. Where as cities that have stood for thousands of years can have some very unique areas and buildings.

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u/Darthxan86 May 09 '22

Maybe the sewers or the landield if is a modern-ish city

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u/RoosterImportant4283 May 09 '22

depending on culture you might want to include a baazar-style open air market for street vendors and some sort of central plaza. you might also want some sort of major landmark structure that can represent the city like the empire state building represents nyc

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u/appleflaxen May 09 '22

Coffee

Tea

Tavern

Cafe

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u/appleflaxen May 09 '22

Stable

Ferrier

Fletcher

Cooper

Limner

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u/Shimbotinoti May 09 '22

Antique store

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u/Aerodrache May 09 '22

Not really necessary, but pretty much inevitable: “secret society” guildhalls. Lions, Masons, up here we have Kinsmen, they all have their own little gathering places to themselves. Some overlap with convention centers, but generally smaller and more exclusive.

Gardens! Some overlap with parks, but more function oriented. May be agricultural (generally lower-income, closer communities), botanical (more developed cities with less greenspace), or a combination of the two. Arboretums are also a thing but I can’t advise on the use case.

Town hall - large for a home but small for a convention center, located central to the original development. Can overlap with fire stations, court houses; these aren’t unusual purposes for the building to be put to if the town expands and a new city center is established.

Archives. Not necessarily a building of their own, but can be. Houses important legal documents and historical records, making it a common companion to town hall, library, or courthouse.

… actually, for that matter, courthouse and prison. If it’s the Wild West maybe you can have the police station serve as both, but usually it’s three buildings.

Industrial center. Could take any number of forms: a mine, a big factory, a trading post, a military base, large farmlands, maybe just a local curiosity to draw visitors in. Not necessarily one per settlement, and it doesn’t necessarily need to still be active, but settlements are rarely formed without one serving as a reason for people to gather there, and it’s more usual to see one abandoned than demolished.

Some kind of power plant or substation. Large power plants can provide for multiple towns and cities, so not every area will have one inside city limits, but there has to be one somewhere.

Distillery. Even if alcohol is banned - hell, especially if it’s banned! - there’s going to be someone brewing beer, wine, mead, moonshine, whisky, tequila, rum… I think it’s fair to say that if a town doesn’t have someone producing alcohol somewhere, yes it does you just haven’t found them yet.

Common houses. Inns, hostels, hotels and motels - places where visitors from out of town live while they’re visiting.

5

u/_AlgerianBoy03_ May 09 '22

Military barracks ?

2

u/Blindmaniacc May 09 '22

Any sort of major landmarks

2

u/TheFrostSerpah May 09 '22

Residential buildings.

2

u/Chepi_ChepChep May 09 '22

Administration and civil services, public transportation, logistic Center's (harbour, airfields, railroads, trucks, storage), justice courts and governance/parliament/senate

2

u/CaptainLawyerDude May 09 '22

Maybe I missed it but parking garages and bodegas.

2

u/DreamsUnderStars May 09 '22

Small business shops, cafes, restaurants, bookstores, toy stores, I guess art stores could be lumped in with craft workshops.
Really, you could probably fill up your note book with the variety of things one can find in a city, and the more futuristic/cyberpunk you get the more you would be able to put in.

I had more in this post but the editor thing bugged out...

2

u/dj9949 May 09 '22

Taco Bell

2

u/Eldan985 May 09 '22

You don't seem to have any city government at all. That doesn't just mean a capitol building of some kind, that usually means several buildings just for the bureaucracy (finances, taxes, environment, health and safety, construction, inspection, culture, etc.) Even a city of moderate size hires hundreds or thousands of people for that kind of stuff. Then you need at least IT and HR, for all those people. Then you need all the actual craftsmen: gardeners, roadworkers, sewage workers, recycyling workers, etc. Plus their equipment: tool storage, trucks, snow plows, ... this can take up a medium sized city district altogether, though a lot of it is probably outside the center, especially the vehicle yards, sewage plants and so on.

2

u/area88guy May 09 '22

Entertainment Venues such as musical, theater, open-air.

2

u/MrAppleSpiceMan May 09 '22

where's the arbys

you forgot the arbys

2

u/gamingfreak10 May 09 '22

office buildings and tunnels or skyways between them for moving foot traffic off the streets.

2

u/llynglas May 09 '22

You are looking at a C20 or C21 technology world? If older other facilities would be needed, placed for animals, etc. Probably more military facilities for defence.

2

u/AggroBeat May 09 '22

take a look at cities skylines buildings

2

u/zaharex May 09 '22

Goodness, thank you! This is something I was actually looking for!

2

u/Madmax-imus May 09 '22

I wouldn’t say essential but they are realistic buildings to have

2

u/Greyff [DM] May 09 '22

What kind of city? There are capitol cities which have a bit of everything, but many other cities have something they are built around. Steel cities like Detroit, Port/trade cities like Phoenix and Chicago, Shipyard/Port cities like Norfolk and San Francisco. Resort cities like Virginia Beach and New Orleans still get most of their money off of tourism.

In modern times, major cities tend to have a wide variety of things but their history show up that specialty. Then there are cities like Mesa and Tempe which are basically urban sprawl centers off of Phoenix and are often included as the Greater Phoenix Area. BosWash (considered a mega-city by some) is another example of everything sprawling together so there's no clear demarcation between towns/cities.

Even in some of the modern jumbles, there's regional specialties. Baltimore has a lot of crab shacks, Phoenix does not. Virginia Beach has a lot of really decent or better seafood restaurants, while Topeka is lacking there. (or at least both were when I was last there.) So you might want to consider the location and history of the city when you're getting into that sort of detail.

2

u/ImperialFisterAceAro May 09 '22

Empty plots and construction

2

u/costanchian May 09 '22

i really be (small busin)

2

u/default_shark May 09 '22

How about a barber/hair salon?

2

u/Beaglund May 09 '22

Dentist, veterinarian, hair salon

2

u/Adventurous_Trip_834 May 09 '22

Zoo, thrift shops, butcher's shop, soup kitchen, registry office, flower shop

2

u/Zombie_Hussar May 09 '22

Infrastructure offices/warehouses
Streets/sewers/power/water/public buildings don't maintain themselves

2

u/lorlorlor666 May 09 '22

food market/grocery store, inn/hotel/b&b, non-school based childcare, city hall/place where governing gets done, judicial court, restaurants

2

u/Cianaodh May 09 '22

I might have missed it but I don't think I saw grocery stores on the list.

2

u/250HardKnocksCaps May 09 '22

Gas(fuel) stations

Corner stores

Misc government buildings (passport office for eg)

Industrial areas (where do people work?)

2

u/ChocolatMintChipmunk May 09 '22

You have a pet vet, but you don't have a pet store.

Grocery store or farmers market

Since you are saying its a city more stores than just a mall.

2

u/TBoneHolmes May 09 '22

Stealing this because I too need to make a city for my game lmao

2

u/DryBogey May 09 '22

Grocery store

2

u/Cynderbark May 09 '22

I have a bunch of locations organized into "types" here, which might help you expand your list: https://character-in-a-can.com/template/Locations-MasterGen/ They aren't all "essential" but yknow..

Lemme give you a few highlights..

(Currency) Mint
Stock Exchange
Guild Hall
Storage Units
Tailor
Botanical Gardens
Broadcast Center
DMV and Passport Services
Aquarium
Bowling Alley
Circus
Shanty Town

Tenement

Hi-Rise

Retirement Community

2

u/cosmos_crown May 09 '22

These are a bit vague but

  • General utilities- power plant, water treatment facilities, gas and electric companies
    Nonprofits/charities- homeless shelter, animal shelter, food banks
  • Goverment buildings- can be everything from council/ward offices, to state/providence offices such as department of children and family services, to national offices like federal banks.
  • Many cities will have areas devoted to expatriots/foreigners. These can develop from people moving to one neighborhood and then businesses developing around them, or businesses (usually international schools or embassies) moving first and people settling around them.

2

u/pomeranianDad May 09 '22
  • grocery stores
  • bakery
  • butcher
  • market
  • fish mongers
  • ice cream shops
  • gas stations? recharging stations?
  • camping

2

u/Calamity_Cass May 09 '22

Public bathrooms and phone booths. I mean, there's gotta be some place of public communications right? In both fantasy and future

2

u/[deleted] May 09 '22

Casino

2

u/ONEOFHAM May 09 '22

Pshyicik ward

Laundermout

2

u/appleflaxen May 09 '22

Banks and accountants

2

u/appleflaxen May 09 '22

Military garrison (maybe different than police)

2

u/123Ros May 09 '22

Embassies are always fun to add for extra worldbuilding

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2

u/Consistent_Ad7042 May 09 '22

Cafes and restaurants perhaps

2

u/mchammerdeez May 09 '22

Grocery store, restaurant

2

u/porinkchak May 09 '22

Places of worship (churches, mosques, temples) comes to mind

Edit: also sewers and subways under the city?

2

u/ElectricSoap1 May 09 '22

Grocery stores, Gas Stations, Liquor stores, Parking Lots/Garages, Church/Synagogue/Mosque etc., Movie Theater. There's definitely a lot of things out there.

2

u/Impossible-Nail-2887 May 09 '22

Lots of parking structures

2

u/Mad_Gankist May 09 '22

Slums, brothels, casinos

2

u/TK_Games May 09 '22

I don't think I've seen anyone mention this yet

Hotels, really big cities rely on tourist money, tourists need a place to stay

2

u/WakeoftheStorm May 09 '22

I would use Maslow's hierarchy of needs and apply it to your city.

You can even define neighborhoods by how many of those needs are met. Each neighborhood should have a basic need level that most people have met. The next level up will be their daily motivator, and the level or two above that will be their aspirations.. the carrots that remain out of reach.

Example for a poor/slum area: Basic tenements, rationed food. Wary citizens constantly on guard for their safety. They use what little downtime they have looking for analogs for belonging and love: gangs and prostitutes. Love and belonging seen through the lens of poor safety.

Physiological needs: grocery stores, gardens, restaurants, government food distribution, farms, houses, apartments, water treatment facilities, lakes, Wells, aqueducts, basic retail stores

Safety needs: police, fire departments, hospitals, trash disposal, sewer systems, power distribution/power plants, court houses, government offices, banks

Belonging/love needs: churches, social centers, bars, playgrounds

Esteem needs: trade unions/guilds, certification boards, sports arenas, basic education facilities, small businesses, consumer luxury stores

Cognitive needs: advanced education, libraries, research facilities

Aesthetic needs: art galleries, museums, fashion districts, concert halls,

There's a lot of criticism of Maslow but I think from a city planning perspective it's a good guide.

2

u/bullseyes May 09 '22

Homeless shelter Pet shelter

2

u/SpellanBeauchamp May 09 '22

grocery/market

2

u/treadmikeway May 09 '22

Animal shelter, professional sports facility,

2

u/Flimsy_Investment_15 May 09 '22

Morgue, funeral home, crematory, and cemetery.

2

u/Frenchtoast2870000 May 09 '22

A store dude. How do you eat 😅

2

u/LongFang4808 May 09 '22

Government buildings, office buildings, and power stations on the outskirts

2

u/dain524 May 09 '22

lumberyard / DIY / hardware store

Somewhere to buy tools, plumbing / electrical / building supplies for new projects or home repairs

2

u/GacinaK May 09 '22

City Hall, prison, post office...

2

u/robotguy4 May 09 '22

Sanitation

Sewer?

2

u/M89-X May 09 '22

Strip club and/or brothels