SimCity and Urban Planning/Municipal Infrastructure

Municipal infrastructure typically includes transportation, sewer, reservoir, potable water supply systems, police stations and local jails, and other infrastructural capital - the built environment - under the jurisdiction of a municipal government or other local government.

The terms urban infrastructure and rural development are often used interchangeably but imply either large cities or developing nations' concerns respectively. The terms public infrastructure or critical infrastructure are also used interchangeably but suggest the inclusion of some facilities like hospitals, banks and concerns like national security and terrorism which are not under the mandate of municipal officials alone.

Typically, infrastructure in the urban context denotes two general groups of support systems: transportation modalities (roads, rail, etc.) and utilities. These typically compose both public and private systems, and some ambiguously held in common.

Infrastructure may also refer to necessary municipal or public services, whether provided by the government or by private companies. If provided by nature, e.g. the flow of a river, they are called nature's services and are distincted (at least in economics) as the product of natural capital. This may be augmented or directed by infrastructural capital, e.g. a dam or canal or irrigation ditch. In general what is called infrastructure tends to be very embedded in the natural landscape and cannot be moved from place to place. Even municipal services rely necessarily on fixed locations, e.g. fire stations in central positions in a city, radio towers on tall buildings, etc.

Beyond transport (which is discussed in another chapter), Urban infrastructure includes:

  • Public utilities
    • Electricity
    • Natural gas
    • Coal delivery
    • Water supply
    • Sewers
    • Telephone service
    • Radio and television bandwidth allocation
    • Cable television service
  • Public services
    • Fire service or fire department
    • Flood protection
    • Police protection
    • Waste management
  • National Services
    • Defense
    • Monetary systems or currency, including the minting of coins, and printing and backing of banknotes.
    • Postal system
  • "Soft Infrastructure" is a term that denotes institutions that maintain the health and cultural standards of the population. Principally, this refers to:
    • Public education
    • Public health systems including public hospitals
    • Public libraries
    • Social welfare

In SimCity edit

A key aspect of SimCity is building tiles representing different utilities, public services, and soft infrastructure.