The key to success in "SimCity 4" - Build slowly. Don't rush to build fire departments, water systems, schools, and hospitals. You'll drain your initial 100,000 very quickly. Instead, you must have patience and grow slowly. Wait to build these services after you have a stable tax base.
Tips for New Cities
- Public Services
Build public services as needed. They aren't needed when you first start the city, wait until the city asks for it. Build low-density commercial and residential zones, and medium density industrial zones.
- Manage Funding for Services
Micromanage the funding for the services (school, police, etc.) you do provide. Does your power plant produce more then you need, lower the funding to match your needs. Although remember, lower funding will cause your plants to decay more rapidly.
- Raise Taxes
Raise taxes to 8 or 9 percent in the very beginning to give your incoming money a boost.
- Residential & Industrial First
Focus on residential and industrial at first, once your city has grown a bit, then add commercial zones. This may not be true for cities connected to regions. If there is a demand for commericial right away, then build it!
- Fire & Police Departments
Build fire and police departments when the citizens are demanding them. I usually just wait until the first fire to build a fire department.
Healthcare isn't a big concern in the beginning stages, if your budget can handle it, build a clinic. Expand slowly as your budget starts to show a profit. Don't build so much that your budget goes so far into the negative it feels impossible to get out of.
Building a metropolis takes some patience. Build wisely and soon you'll have a thriving city!