Buildings can only be placed on flat, solid land where trees have been bulldozed. All player constructions can be moved at no cost during game play providing the structure has reached a minimum level of development.
Some existing game structures may be developed by the player, Some of these require expending diamonds to move. The initial city is on a small central area of developable land and a player must purchase more land expansions using simoleons and collectible land permits.
Roads connect buildings together. They have no cost to build and no cost to remove. Many developments that are unconnected by roads will not function appropriately.
Homes cost 1 energy and 100 simoleons to build. They generate population as they develop, and their development depends on distance to the waterfront as well as other buildings in the locality. There is no direct way for a player to affect the population of a building - only indirectly by the placement of homes or population increasing items.
There are several different types of business. While some business are the result of quests, others require either diamonds, fame or simoleons to acquire. Businesses generate simoleons on a regular basis.
These include statues, billboards, trees, grass, flowers, pavement, small entertainment structures such as Ferris wheels or playgrounds. These generate extra population in nearby housing and are obtained by purchase through simoleons, materials, diamonds, or as a reward from completed quests.