Construction Projects

When you tell a city to build something, this is what happens:
  • if needed, build any earlier stages first (for example, build a smaller house before building a bigger house, or turn a steppe into a grassland before building an orchard)
  • wait until the city has enough culture (or there is a "specialty" or the terrain can be "repeated," see below)
  • collect all the materials needed to start construction (this may raise prices of the materials)
  • employ available work until the construction project is done

You can save gems by planning the highest level that you want to build, and letting the city wait until it can finish all of it. For example, planning each of the five levels of brick housing would cost 5 blue gems, but planning the highest level of brick housing would only cost 1 blue gem. The downside of planning ahead is that many active construction projects will slow each other down, but this is rarely as important as conserving gems.

Culture Requirements

Everything that you build has a culture level that your city needs before the city can start construction.


A city's "specialty" is a terrain that the city may built, even if the culture requirement of the terrain is above the city's current culture level.

The easiest way to choose a specialty is to click on a construction project on the map. It costs a blue gem to do so. Every city can choose one specialty. Any terrain that is up to twice of the city's current culture level may be chosen.


If a building has already been built nearby, your city will be able to repeat it even if you don't have the required culture.

Any building that can be seen from the city centre can be repeated by that city.

This is an important tactic for spreading innovations from your high-cultured cities to your newer cities. It can also be used to cooperate with other players.

Specialty and Repeater don't solve multi-staged construction projects

Some terrains have multiple stages. Some common examples are:
  • housing
  • growing orchards and mature orchards
  • cabbage patches and cabbage fields

If a specialty or repeater allows a city to build a cabbage field, but the city still lacks the ability to build a cabbage patch, then the cabbage field won't be built.

If you have a large city that you are using to repeat cabbage fields to less cultured cities, then keep a cabbage patch at the big city so the other cities can repeat it, too.

Or, if you want to prevent a neighbour's villages from repeating your cabbage fields, then be sure to not leave any cabbage patches lying around to be repeated.