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I've seen a few videos and many screenshots with people using various designs for their zoning, and I'm curious as to their reasons behind them.

plots

The first design is what I've seen the most, though the center of the area remains unused until larger buildings are constructed.

The middle design has better coverage for early construction, though the extra cost of roads can get expensive for a city just starting out.

The last design seemed very odd to me, as it would only use half of its available space until the density of the area increased.

Is there any benefit to leaving empty space in your plots?

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It leaves you room to put in parks? –  Jeff Mercado Mar 8 '13 at 4:59
    
@Jeff: Parks must be adjacent to a road. –  drudge Mar 8 '13 at 5:05
    
I was specifically referring to the third case. I like to leave a section of unzoned land for my buffers. The other cases, I'd imagine you'd just leave trees (if that's possible to place anymore). –  Jeff Mercado Mar 8 '13 at 5:06
    
Yes, you can still place trees. They're at the end of the Parks items, though I'm fairly certain they don't do anything except provide a wind barrier from upwind air pollution. –  drudge Mar 8 '13 at 5:26
    
@JeffMercado, here’s an answer about trees. However, it is kind of glitchy to place them. Sometimes it works, other times it takes money out of your account and nothing happens. –  theUg Mar 8 '13 at 6:15
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1 Answer 1

The main benefit in the space is (as you said), it is exactly the right room for density growth.

The other benefit of the last example, is that you control which street those buildings will face. All of the traffic they generate will be there. Emergency vehicles will stop only on that road, avoiding jams on the other roads.

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