[City Icon 7K]

A guided tour of City

This page assumes you have the spreadsheet loaded and ready to use, so you have either printed this page out (reccomended) or you're switching windows (not so convenient).

As in all spreadsheets there are some cells for you to type in data. If Global Protection is enabled only they can be changed. If it's not on now, switch it on! And put a master copy somewhere!!

OK, the layout is a mess. Someday I'll tidy up...

Make sure all the data cells are set to the default values before starting with a country in your universe you are most familiar with. City comes set for England around 1340. This is a convenient point at which the country had reached the maximum population possible with medieval farming technology.

Let's start at Cell B5, HEX. Here you need to set the size of the hexes on your map grid. The default is 25 miles from one side to the opposite side.
We'll come back to POPCONST in a moment.
LAND is the number of hexes your country occupies. You don't have a hex grid? Don't panic - use a square grid instead, and divide the answer by 0.866 to convert to hexes. Thus if your country is 300 miles by 100 miles, that's 12x4=48 squares which is 55 hexes.
If you happen to know the land area of your country, then check out Cell F45. There it is! Adjust LAND to make AREA right.
COAST represents the number of hexes used for fishing. We'll come back to that in a moment too.

CLIM is rated relative to England. There must be parts of your world with a better climate than my often gloomy land!
EXTRA% alters the population directly. '20' means 20% more people. Leave it at 0 for now.
YIELD refers to crop yields, and is again relative to England. If your main crop is better, say rice in Japan with 2-3 crops per year, then YIELD will be higher. If priests are blessing crops or an evil mage has put a curse on the land then that will also affect YIELD.

Agricultural Tech Levels (TL) are:

  0   Nomads
  1   Farmers without Cities
  2   Ancient & Early Medieval Farming
  3   Medieval Farming
  4   Pre-Industrial Farming
  5   Early Industrial Farming
  6   Standard Industrial Farming

Off to the right is a section called Land Use. The figures you need to put in are the maximum possible given the current Technology.
The VEGGIE factor reflects the greater food yield obtained by cultivation (the reason humans stopped hunting and became farmers). Woodland contributes a small amount (10% of ARABLE) from game, mushrooms, berries, acorns etc.
LANDUSE combines these factors, and FOODUSE adds the effect of fishing which is also subject to the VEGGIE factor. FISHING is then used to obtain COAST. Please note that FISHING should be set relative to the Land Use values.
Changing Land Use does not change the population automatically, so if you choose to drive peasants off the land and rear sheep instead they will starve.
Hint: if you plan drastic changes, set EXTRA% very low (-90?). This will prevent total confusion. You can then slowly increase population and make other adjustments as you go.

Having set the above you can now adjust POPCONST to give the highest value possible without setting off too many 'Warnings'. Your country has now reached it's maximum population, which is one of the things City is set up to find. POPCONST is meant to be a Universal factor: countries in the same Universe should have the same POPCONST.

URBAN is a variable that allows you to change the percentage of people not engaged in food production. The note beside URBAN suggests some values. At TL3 URBAN=10 is about as high as you can go safely (can you spot why?).

If you want a 'colonist' culture then now is the point at which to use EXTRA% to lower the population. Further down to the right you will find the Actual Land Use figures. The percentages estimated from the Domesday Book (1086) didn't actually change much until the 20th Century, maybe 5% up for Arable and Pasture, 5% down for Woodland. Currently Woodland is 7.5%, the British government proposes to double this next century - back to Domesday!
All kinds of interesting data will by now have appeared. Most is self-explanatory, see the City Technical page for anything that puzzles you.

The Warnings box lights up when the Spreadsheet spots a problem. Some of these occur when you type in impossible figures, such as making ARABLE+PASTURE+WOOD add up to more than 100%. Others will alert you to starving peasants or citizens.

Types of people

It may help your understanding of City to know how it divides up the population. Some people are CITYPOP. They live in cities and produce no food. Some are CITYFEEDERS, they are farmers living near the cities and selling their surplus food in the city market. Some farmers however are too far from cities to provide food, they will be obtaining manufactured goods by offering other products such as wool.
City ignores such people as village blacksmiths and carpenters, who are subsumed into the general population.
Fishermen are a special case. They produce food but require only enough land on which to build homes. At Cell D26 the number of FISHERS is shown.

One special variable is BARBVIL. This is used to set the size of villages when there are no cities - when there are cities present City cleverly calculates this for itself. Set URBAN to zero and you will see BARBVIL activate. The datum it affects is WILDGAP, a few rows above.

On to the City

Further down (Cell B35) is a second set of variables that relate to an individual city. You should fix the country variables above before playing with these ones.
COASTAL? asks if your citizens have fish as part of their diet. If they do, they will need less farmland.
CCOUNT splits your city into two or more nearby cities. See 'Rural Edge' below.
AR (Area Requirement) is to do with the fact that your city will have factories, offices, etc, commercial buildings that take up space but have no one living in them. The suggested values range from 'res', a largely residential town, to 'comm', a highly commercial city. Try them out and watch the Area change.
Around the city live farmers producing food for the citizens. FARMLAND can be increased if the fraction of useable land is greater than the national average, which is usually the case - cities are often built in fertile areas. If the country is mostly desert and the farmers use irrigation (eg Egypt) then FARMLAND would be high. This variable unlike the others affects other parts of the spreadsheet, since it is assumed to apply to all your cities. You can see it's effect directly at Cell D25, CLANDUSE - which will cause a Warning to light up if over 100%.
VILGAP sets the distance between farming communities around the city. The closer villages are, the smaller they will be. Set it very low (0.2?) and you will see the villages vanish to be replaced by farmsteads.
Hint: if you want to find the distance from say a village to a nearby farmhouse, set the two populations figures up and average the VILGAPs.
A statistic to watch is RURAL_EDGE, which indicates how far the furthest away farmer has to travel to sell his food in the city market. Obviously if he has a horse and cart on a dirt track rather than a refrigerated truck on a freeway his travel distance is more limited. At WAGON (Cell F14) you can set the distance beyond which farmers are reluctant to travel. Try giving a TL3 city a million inhabitants and you'll see the problem. CCOUNT can help here by breaking the big city up into several smaller ones, and COASTAL by adding a fish market.
So how did ancient cities get round this problem? Grain ships, in the case of classical Athens and Rome. IMPORT% (Cell F13) simulates this. A negative IMPORT% represents food exporting.

After playing around with city populations for a while, at MAXCITY below type the population of the largest city you want in your country.
Below will magically appear the reccomended number of cities. BIGCIT are cities of about the size you put in, and you must have at least 1.0 of them. If this isn't possible you will have to increase URBAN. SMALLCIT cities are around one tenth the size and TOWNS one hundredth the size, but you can stick two or three together to make intermediate sizes.
The spreadsheet defines a City as having 1,000 inhabitants or more. Anything smaller it ignores. In reality this has been a shifting limit - I live in an English 'village' that would have been accounted a substantial town a thousand years ago.

Off to the right is a table for setting AR for the various city sizes. At later TLs AR is likely to be higher for big cities than small towns.
The way city size was related to 'reality' is on the right under Calibration: York is a medieval city I happen to be familiar with. Change the data and watch the effects. You might want to do this with a culture that allows a higher urban population density, like Japan.
FARMFUDGE is the variable that attempts to connect Population and Area in Realworld terms. Alter this at your peril! It indicates that about 4 acres of arable land is needed to feed one person, which seems to be not far from some realworld data I've seen.
Finally top right is the Tech Table, which enables different historical periods to be simulated. For example you will see that Nomads (TL0) can't have cities. This table is not fully calibrated - TL3 seems right economically for England in 1340, and TL2 fits older agrarian cultures. The rightmost column (TL7) is for experimenting. Have fun!

[City Wall 1K]

A Spreadsheet scenario - London and England 1340

Here are the 1340 settings in case you lost them:



Population 5 million. Overpopulation 4.5%
London 50,000 population. Other cities: Bristol 17,000, Norwich and York 8,000.

England's population has been steadily growing over the past three centuries. Now just as it reaches maximum the climate changes for the worse as unseasonal torrential rain causes crop failures, sheep and cattle murrains. Farmers respond by ploughing up pastureland, slaughtering livestock but this can only last a few seasons before the marginal soil becomes exhausted, particularly with less manure for fertiliser, and crop yields start to fall again. Malnourished and dispirited, the people easily succomb to the Black Death as it sweeps across the country in 1349. Within 18 months 40% are dead. It will take two hundred years for the European economy to recover.

Let's try this out. Change CLIM to 0.9. The 'Overpopulation' figure looks bad but this formula doesn't take into account 'belt-tightening', food prices are a better guide.
So plough up some pastureland: ARABLE 50, PASTURE 20. Good - the Warnings went out.
CLIM to 0.8. Plough up more pasture until the FOOD SHORTAGES are resolved. In a few years comes the consequence: YIELD down to 0.8. This is the beginning of a downward spiral.
After trying to resolve this one, let the Black Death strike: EXTRA to -40%. Remember to reduce the population of London to 30,000. In accordance with Malthusian principles, our problem is solved.
The marginal land can now be returned to pasture, which will eventually improve YIELD.
The CLIMate will improve, but EXTRA will not for a century or more as fresh outbreaks of plague prevent population growth.

London's 'subcity' is Westminster, site of the king's palace and seperated from the old Roman city of Londinium by open fields that were not finally built over until the mid-17th century. Statisticians naturally count the two as one in medieval times.

TLs 0 and 1. With no cities the spreadsheet has to modify itself: MDENS loses it's meaning. You will find Nomads need a lot of Pasture to survive, and EXTRA will have to come down.

The spreadsheet does not check it's results everywhere, so look over the whole sheet for anomalies. One that puzzled me was when WILDDENS went negative. It turned out that URBAN was too high - all the farmers were feeding the cities and there was still a food shortage. Push things further and the empty wilderness will vanish under housing tracts and wheat fields, whereupon WILDDENS confusingly goes positive again... The 'Warnings' catch some of the obvious problems.

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