Setting: partially rebuilt post apo world (with human settlers)

Technology: comparable to early XXIst century (so yes, the most human works in services)

Affluence: first world equivalent

Population: very low, around 10 mln for whole planet

Planet: A slightly colder than Earth, tidally locked planet orbiting red dwarf.

Energy: Effectively no fossil fuels, main source of energy is hydropower

Which climate and geological conditions would be the most suitable for capitol of tidally locked planet? (capitol means not only the sit of gov, but also a place where most of population would live; everything is built from scratch, so for practical purposes assume no historical reasons for preferring any specific location)

(so either I would have to put capitol to such place or think desperately of an excuse, why it wasn't possible)

1) The dark side of the planet (ice desert) and point closest to its star (hurricane rain forest) is the place that would be automatically excluded from any significant human settlement. So which climate would be the best? I mean sea climate or at least a bit continental? Also which average temperature would be optimal? (any ideas on comparing cost of central heating to air conditioning?)

2) Transport - on such poorly populated planet waterways are going to be crucial. But does it mean that a city would really have to be at sea/ocean shore? Would there be any problem to place it near local Nile/Amazon equivalent?

3) Geology - seismically dead zone (so no hot springs).

4) If having to pick one resource, what would be the most important to have nearby? Some specific ore? Fertile farmland? Nearby place of hydropower? (or maybe it is an issue of low priority because of easy transport with modern tech and more practical would be shallow bed rock to facilitate build of high buildings?)

Did I miss any crucial factor?

  • $\begingroup$ I think you probably mean "capital" not "capitol" A capital is a city, a capitol is a building. $\endgroup$
    – smithkm
    Commented Apr 20, 2020 at 23:58

2 Answers 2


The area right on the verticale equator (is that what you'd call it?), or just slightly past it. In a fun sideeffect, it would always look like a sunrise/set or even just twilight. So you wouldn't be in Ice Hell, but you wouldn't be in Hurricane Hell either. The weather would probebally be arround 40-60 degrees depending on how close to the equater you put the city, and on which side.

Edit: Personally, I would put it right in the middle of hurrican ville, but I love hurricanes for some reason so... You do you.


So a tidally locked planet orbiting a star is going to have a continuous temperature gradient from very hot on the side towards the sun through to very cold at the point furthest away.

Weather would be very predictable and there would be either no seasons or if the orbit is eccentric there might be "winter" and "summer" so there would not need to be compromises between winter and summer. You would just find a place that is at the right temperature for humans to live comfortably.

This gives you a circular "band" around the planet where the city could be placed. Local geography would then come in. If you want sea travel then you want to be on the sea, if rivers are a big deal then on the river. With the technology level you describe they would be able to build roads and rail, have good sized ocean going ships, airplanes, etc so a lot of the things that constrained our early cities would not apply. For example London is placed where it is due to the River Thames, it was the point closest to the mouth of the river where it could be crossed.

Look for raw materials, good transport links, food sources. What was important to the settlers? That's where they will build their first settlements. The most successful settlements will then tend to grow and the biggest will tend to become capitols. This is not always the case (for example see Canberra in Australia) but is the most common case, particularly in countries that grow organically.


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