# How much space do I need to fit 1 million people in an isolated city?

Imagine an isolated circle-shaped city in a medieval setting. Within this circle is another circle, where the Highborn are living (around 100k people). Common folk (around 900k people) lives on the outter circle, where they are working. My question is, how much space in km^2 or square miles do I need to have in the outter circle for living space, working space, farmland, livestock etc.?

Resources such as water and firewood will be dealt with with magic. I just want to have a rough idea of how much space I need.

• The main question with isolated medieval cities is always how you get food and other resources (like firewood) in. That's why cities were usually surrounded by vast swathes of farms and managed woodland Commented Jun 20, 2023 at 10:59
• @biziclop I just wanna have a rough idea of how much space I need. Resources such as firewood will be dealt with magic or something Commented Jun 20, 2023 at 11:02
• I think that's worth adding to the question then, to avoid answers about stuff you're not interested in. Commented Jun 20, 2023 at 11:06
• Um. I literally googled largest medieval city. You can take your pick from Constantinople to Cairo to Kaifeng. Also, you might want to consider offering some guidelines for the kind of answer you want. You don't specify how built up a place you're looking for, how many parks and public spaces, how broad the streets, etc. Basically what population density are you looking to achieve? Commented Jun 20, 2023 at 11:21
• One thing you might consider is putting this question in the Sandbox (in Meta), rather than posting here in Main, since it seems like you're kind of vague on important details and prior research! As expressed, there are literally 689 entirely different and equally valid answers to this question, and that's not the kind of question SE is looking for. Commented Jun 20, 2023 at 11:22

how much space in km^2 or square miles do I need to have in the outter circle for living space, working space, farmland, livestock etc.?

-- that depends very strongly on climate, soils, the general geography etc., but generally the medieval population densities in Europe ran from 10 to 100 people per sq km, or 25 to 250 per sq mile. So for your 900 thousand commoners, you would need somewhere between 9,000 and 90,000 sq km, or 3,500 to 35,000 sq miles. If they were uniformly spread over a circle centered on the Highborn city, their settlements would stretch away from it to a radius of 50-170 km, or 30-100 miles.