How To Get Self-Sufficient Buildings in Cities: Skylines

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Self-sufficient Buildings are a residential zone specialization available in Cities: Skylines’ Green Cities DLC.

Residences within your self-sufficient districts produce 30% less garbage and use 30% less energy than generic residences. However, they also pay 30% less in taxes since they don’t require as much of your city’s resources.

Along with those differences in stats, they also provide visual variety.

 
The self-sufficient homes feature minimalist designs with cool trellises, glass panels, and solar panel roofs. / Cities: Skylines
The self-sufficient homes feature minimalist designs with cool trellises, glass panels, and solar panel roofs.
 

Here’s how to get them!

Step 1: Unlock Districts

The ability to create districts is unlocked at the ‘Worthy Village’ population milestone. The self-sufficient building specialization is unlocked at the same time.

Step 2: Create a District

 
Go to the Districts and Areas menu and select Paint District to paint where you’d like to build your neighborhood. / Cities: Skylines
Go to the Districts and Areas menu and select Paint District to paint where you’d like to build your neighborhood.
 

You can also take this time to build the road layout you want for this neighborhood. (Roads with decorative trees or grass look great with this residence type.)

Step 3: Set the Self-Sufficient Buildings Specialization

Still in the Districts and Areas tab, click on Residential Specializations.

Make sure that ‘Self-sufficient buildings’ is selected, then click on your newly created district on the map.

 
Select Self-Sufficient Buildings from the Residential Specializations tab / Cities: Skylines
Select Self-Sufficient Buildings from the Residential Specializations tab
 
Once you see this green building icon beneath your district name, you’ll know that the self-sufficient buildings specialization has been set. / Cities: Skylines
Once you see this green building icon beneath your district name, you’ll know that the self-sufficient buildings specialization has been set.
 

Step 4: Zone As You Normally Would

Zone as you usually would with your residential areas.

Self-sufficient buildings can grow both low- and high-density buildings.

 
The two tall buildings are both high-density self-sufficient buildings, while the smaller homes in the foreground are low-density. / Cities: Skylines
The two tall buildings are both high-density self-sufficient buildings, while the smaller homes in the foreground are low-density.
 

Don’t forget that your self-sufficient buildings will still need to be connected to the power grid and water lines! They only consume less, and are not completely independent.

Step 5: Provide the necessary services and entertainment

Your self-sufficient district will function in the same way as your generic residences, in that they also need access to services and leisure to be happy and level up.

Make sure they have access to education, health, fire protection, and police services. Provide them with parks as well.

 
An elementary school in the self-sufficient district. They need facilities just like your generic residences do. / Cities: Skylines
An elementary school in the self-sufficient district. They need facilities just like your generic residences do.
 

Even though they produce less garbage, they still need access to garbage collection services. A recycling center would be a perfect match for these eco-conscious citizens!

Tip: Combine Self-sufficient Residences with Organic and Local Produce Shops

Your districts can have both a residential and commercial specialization. This is great since it’s generally a good idea to have small areas of commercial zoning distributed within your suburban areas (the idea is for your citizens to walk to a nearby shop rather than drive downtown.)

A great thematic option for your self-sufficient residential district is the Organic and Local Produce commercial specialization.

To set this specialization, click on the Commercial Specializations tab in the Districts and Areas menu. Select Organic and Local Produce, then click on the district. The leaf icon will indicate that the Organic and Local Produce specialization is set.

 
Organic and Local Produce from the Commercial Specializations tab / Cities: Skylines
Organic and Local Produce from the Commercial Specializations tab
 
Your eco-conscious neighborhood will have health food stores, local farmers’ markets and healthy restaurants within walking distance! / Cities: Skylines
Your eco-conscious neighborhood will have health food stores, local farmers’ markets and healthy restaurants within walking distance!
 
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Liz Villegas

Liz is a writer and photographer with a love for building and strategy games. Her spare time is often split between lifting, reading, drawing, annoying her dog Mr. Porky Butt, and squinting at stat tables on the wiki pages of whatever game she's currently playing.