Cities Skylines features industrial specialization. You can have a sector focus on Oil, Ore, Forest or farming. Whereas generic industries can level from 1 to 3 the specialized industries only feature a single level. However with 24 workers they are similar to level 2 generic industry. Each of these specializations has their own tax benefits and cost.

Keep in mind that early game districts will often be too expensive to build roads too. Late game high tech generic industries are cleaner and provide more jobs. So generally they only make sense mid-game.

The specializations

Cities Skylines features the following industrial specialization:

Forest Industry

Forests are a renewable resource giving a modest increase in tax incomes, but also slightly increasing the pollution rate (source: manual).

Farming Industry

Fertile land is a renewable resource that gives a modest increase in tax income without producing extra ground pollution. Instead, the Agriculture Specialization will requires more water and produce more waste water (source: manual).

Ore Industry

Ore is a limited resource that produces more tax income and ground pollution, although not as much as oil industry. Ore industry requires more electricity than usual industry (source: manual).

Oil Industry

Oil is a limited resource that will increase tax income significantly, but it also produces a lot more ground pollution and requires more electricity (source: manual).

Overview of Industry specializations

Let’s take a look at the different pros and cons of the specializations (source: manual).

Resource type Renewable Tax income
(compared to generic industry)
Pollution rate
(compared to generic industry)
(compared to generic industry)
Oil No +35% +30% Requires 15% more electricity
Ore No +20% +20% Requires 10% more electricity
Forest Yes +10% +7% Requires 7% more electricity
Fertile land Yes +10% Doesn’t pollute ground,
turns all fresh water used into waste water
Requires 25% more water

Keep in mind that while Forest and Fertile land can be re-used but the Oil and Ore deposits are non-renewable. You can run out of those resources. However do not worry; they will be imported when required. However this will lower tax income and increase traffic.

Using industry specialization

Step 1: Find the correct tile

If you want to use industry specialization then you will first have to check if your map actually supports that type of resource. You can do this by clicking the overview button OR by using the resource overlay.

You can  check if your map supports certain resources by using the resource overlay.
This Tile features fertile lands and forest. Oil and ores are disabled.

Step 2: Find the location of natural resources

Once you have identified a suitable tile the next step is to find the area that actually has the required resources. Do this by choosing the Natural Resource overlay located on filter menu (second row, 1 up from the bottom).

Once you have identified a suitable tile you need to find the area that has the resources. Use the Natural Resource overlay located on filter menu.
The Natural Resource overlay shows this area has fertile ground available.

Step 3: Zone and create a district

Try to build a network on top of the natural resource. Now use the district tool to “paint” a district on your new sector.

With the district tool you can paint a district on your new sector.
I painted a district and named it “New industry”.

Step 5: Assign an industry specialization to your district

If you press the specialization button and the click the district a little icon will appear below the district’s name.

With the specialize button you can assign a specialization to a section


If everything went well and the demand is there then your specialized resource will start to appear. Keep in mind that all buildings will be sold when you re-assign a new specialty.

In your specialized area your industries of choice will appear!
Look at all these farms!

Feel free to post questions or remarks in the comments.