Can offices replace industry in Cities: Skylines?

This particular topic will be a little harder than others that are on this site. Today we are going to answer the question if offices (light blue zones) can replace industry (orange zones). The article is then going to provide both theoretical and practical aspects!

Conclusion: Yes, the offices can replace industry but…

… there are a lot of conclusions which you must keep an eye on. Because industry provides you with goods you may need to sell in your city, you must prepare yourself for having big and functional imports. You will simply need to have enough “generic goods” which can “replace” the orange industry.

Supply chains. Source: Official wiki

However, as always, there are specific problems you should be aware of:

  • You may struggle with not enough importing capacity
  • More import = more traffic into the city
  • Long chains of traffic can cause problems
  • Problems with the education of your citizens

Simply put, you must balance things above and watch for them, because once you destroy all orange industry, you must find jobs for people from your town. Due to that you must demolish orange buildings slowly and also focus on education (in offices work educated people).

If you focus on export, you must have good traffic in the city. You must build roads which work and don’t have any traffic jams. You need to connect your city with the highway at two points (because you need a lot of ongoing traffic) and you should also built a cargo train terminal. In case you have a city near the sea, you should built a cargo boat terminal instead.

When we talk about education, you definitely cannot forget to support the education of your people. If you don’t, it may cause you problems in the future. Moreover, be aware once you want to educate, you should start from childhood.

=> To summarize, this transformation must be slow and prepared.
You can’t just change everything in the paused game and click on the play button.

Test: Real replacing industry by offices

About the test: First I created a new city as I mentioned in the article how to start Cities Skylines. For the play, I selected the map Diamond Coast (but I don’t think that the selection of this particular map has an impact on this change). What I do here (as I indicated in the theoretical section above) is focus on education.

Now I must build a city with a big population (9 000 people) and education needs to be high. However, I don’t have any university. Because of that, the first step is to build a university. As I mentioned before, offices need people with proper education.

Education at the start

Secondly, I have to solve a problem with no access to trains and mine town. This can be solved by connecting them just to one highway. When adding the seaport, it brings me to a population of 30 000 people. It is definitely challenging. Let’s have a look at my old “industrial” zone with pollution.

Now this zone has problems getting employers because I have over-educated people. It means that some buildings were abandoned. To solve that I must build a new district where can be new offices and a larger commercial zone.

Now when people are moving to the new district I can destroy the first zone in the old industrial district. However, in the new district, I have once again problems with educated workers. Education at the start wasn’t enough. For that reason, I must build a metro from old streets to a new district to boost workers and customers.

After that, I must build a new residential district to have more people which I could educate to be my new workers. At this point, it gets quite complicated. Lots of new offices have problems with worker. After some minutes of boosting education, I have to destroyed the old industrial district and all people’s work in the new district.

In the images, you could see that some buildings still have problems with workers but this will fix it…

New district

… so after the test, I could say that offices could hypothetically replace the industrial zone. And nothing bad happens to the city. However, now, I can have a problem with the goods. Further, I must be focused on traffic and optimize the connection to the highway. Everything should work well now.

Do Offices count as Industrial Zones?

Yes, they count as industrial zones.

What to do next?

You can try my article about challenges from Cities Skylines.

Or if you want to challenge yourself with industry once again, you can try DLC Industries,

About article
Current version of the game doesn't affect the article.
Author hours in Cities Skylines: 176
Follow author on: Reddit - Twitter - Steam
I'm Martin, the main creator of this site. I love city builders, transport, and war strategy games. So I create this site to share my love with others! Let's make Tycoon games great again!