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When you go to buy a tile in Civilization 5, some tiles have a pink border. Why is this?

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pink/purple seems to be the color associated with culture Civ 5. (and Civ 4) Its the color your culture accumulation is listed in at the top, and the color of the "enact social policy" button. –  WillfulWizard Sep 29 '10 at 0:39
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3 Answers

up vote 37 down vote accepted

Unlike previous versions of Civilization, in Civ V, territory around a city expands one tile at a time. The pink highlighted tiles are the ones that are next in line for expansion through culture. Consequently, they are also usually the cheapest tiles to purchase.

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Notice that when there are multiple tiles outlined in pink, the city will expand to one of them chosen at random. –  Oak Sep 28 '10 at 20:52
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+1 Prior to this answer I just assumed it was a 'recommended' tile purchase even though it usually wasn't the best tile to buy. –  Mark Sep 28 '10 at 23:25
    
A City can work tiles that are up to 3 tiles away from the City. As well as this, a Civilization can gain Resources e.g. Iron, that are up to 5 tiles away from the City. Sometimes the city will highlight in pink, a tile which is outside of the City's "workable" 3 tile area (i.e. outside of the zone that can be worked by the City) It will do this to reach Resources. This can mean that purchasing tiles suddenly becomes more expensive than normal, (because the pink tiles are usually the cheapest, and in this case the pink tile is too far away to be purchased.) –  DanD man Jan 14 '11 at 22:34
    
Actually the city tries to expand to the "best" tiles first (generally resources) What rule does border expansion follow? –  Justin May 17 '13 at 8:45
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These tiles are the next you will control. You can disable this effect in game options, if you don't like it.

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These are the tiles that your city will next acquire when it expands.

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