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12x12 Expansion

Expansions are used to increase the size of your city, therefore allowing more space for buildings and decorations. Each expansion costs Coins-icon 20,000 Coins (or at discounted price) plus an increased population and incremental number of Zoning Permits (up to 40) to obtain the expansion. See the Zoning Permit article for more information on the number needed for each expansion.

Each expansion will increase the size of your city by 12x12 (1/9 of the starting area). The new expansion must be placed adjacent to an already purchased or expanded area. This square of land can be placed by any border of your city but must be placed on one of the blue-highlighted squares on the "invisible zoning grid". While the city's starting area consist of 36x36 building grids it only consist of 3x3 zoning grids, this limits your freedom when choosing where to place your expansion.

The previous expansion method required an incremental number of Zoning Permits and coins. The current system is widely scorned as players find themselves filling all the newly acquired land with more residence to meet the next population requirement.

In December, 2011, the expansion requirements were re-vamped and were heavily criticized by players [1]. Originally there was a cap of Population-icon 64,780 Population. When players reached this population, they only had to pay the cost of the expansion and 40 permits. Due to this, players continued to expand without increasing their population and with the updated system, they were hit with outrageous jumps in population needed to expand. "Once you reach that population, the next time you expand, your population requirements will normalize after this initial hurdle and become considerably easier."[1]

Later on, in response to feedback, Zynga again tweaked the system to reduce the gap in population required[2]. The "initial hurdle" appears to have been removed. The incremental increase for each expansion appears to be calculated based on your current population.

Earlier in March 2012, due to the increasing demand, Zynga has returned Zoning Permits back to the free gifts tab.

More Space[]

On November 22, 2011, the city map was extended to allow players to purchase more expansions on the right of the beach, as well as areas above.

The Original game board was 1600x1300

Old Map Full Clear - edited 256

The original 1600x1300 game board

While the new game board is 2300x1600

New Map Full Clear - edited 256

The new game board 2300x1600

However, not all the spaces seen on your screen may be available for purchase; these expansions are highlighted in red when you try to place an expansion there.

Some of the previously locked expansions became available during some quests where you had to expand to reach certain places, which makes us beleive that such expansions are locked for a reason now.

Full Map 1202

New Map as of Feb.'12

On the map, the locked expansions are colored red (land) and purple (water), while the white expansions are not decided yet.

Once again more expansions were unlocked, look to the right to see the new opened areas compared to the earlier maps.

On August 28, 2012 the map was expanded once more, adding a second river and Drawbridge to the right side of the map. This allows players to gain access to the Lakefront, a new area similar to the Downtown.

On March 25, 2013, The Alps was added to northern part of the map, adding a new World area.

Expansion Sale[]

Expansion sale icon Starting on October 11, 2011, players would occasionally have limited time offers to buy expansions at a discounted price of up to 40% off. The discount depends on how many expansions the player has already placed in their city.

Expand Your City!
Discount Sale Price
1 20% Coins-icon 16,000 Coins
32 25% Coins-icon 15,000 Coins
40 30% Coins-icon 14,000 Coins
50 40% Coins-icon 12,000 Coins

Downtown Expansions[]

When expanding your Downtown, you will still require City Permits and gold, but will require Downtown Value rather than City Population.

Because the demand, Zynga changed the way of expanding in Downtown. Now you need also City Population and Zoning Permits to expand. Downtown Value is no longer needed.

Goals which require expanding[]


  • When you are ready to place another expansion, store your housing in the Warehouse to meet the exact (or very close to) population requirement. This method may minimize the pop number from being too large for your next expansion.
  • If you have high-pop houses in your Storage and are running out of room due to houses that cannot be stored in neighborhoods, store as many of these to equal (or get as close to as possible) as one of the high-pop houses and place this in their place. Eg: if you have an Eco Skyscraper stored and have multiple Frigid Retreats in your city, store some of the Frigid Retreats to approximately equal the population of one Eco Skyscraper. You can then use the stored Retreats towards your next expansion
  • For more tips, see "Expansion Tips and Tricks from Mayor Max" [3].
  • If you have placed an expansion that is on the edge of the map and is partially cut off, place a Zoo Habitat near it. Click on the zoo which will open up to the Zoo Menu. Click on the "See My Zoo" button and you should be able to see the full expansion.


  1. 1.0 1.1 A Note From Mayor Max and the CityVille Team - Official Announcement
  2. Important Announcement Regarding Expansions - Official Announcement
  3. Expansion Tips and Tricks from Mayor Max - Official Forums