Assumptions, main:

  • literally Earth like planet, looks just like modern Earth, just without humans, without pollution, without depleted natural resources, even megafauna is left. Just in this timeline somehow primates did not evolve anything brighter than chimps and planet can be taken by people from paralel world.

  • no emotional value for any specific place (like it doesn't matter that's ex. Jerusalem in RL in that location)

  • whole planet is taken by one group, so there is no problem of someone else trying to hog some resources

  • the decision is based on some rational criteria concerning practicality and efficiency

  • the indended number of moved population is something like a 10^7 to 5x10^7 people

  • capital is supposed to be the biggest city on the planet and together with its satellite cities be inhabited by over half of total population

Which would be the best place to build capital? (whichever one has idea, please provide justification)

Here the tricky part starts for example in ancient time one needed warm climate and river; in XIX century what mattered was nearby coal and iron ore. What should matter in XXIst century? Judging from example of Germany:

agriculture (1.6%), industry (24.6%), services (73.8%) (2011).


Goods-producing, excluding agriculture 12% (mining 0.6%) Services-providing (81%) Agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting(1.3%) (2014)

Nowadays one does not need much of its labour force for agriculture or mining. So placing city near fields or mines don't make as much of sense as it used to. Actually highly industrial country means a country, where anyway overwhelming majority of people work in services

OK, people don't want to live in Antarctica. So actually that eliminates too extreme climate. Living in a place where one spends fortune on central heating or air conditioning would eliminate quite a few places.

Next step is that such city would anyway need a nearby water way for transport and source of fresh water transport. So New Orlean would be perfect? Yes, that should be also place with rare natural disaster...

So my reasoning right now is moderate climate (better a bit warmer, Americans like Florida, while Europeans Mediterranean) + water + not so many natural disaster (I'm fine if someone disagrees with this reasoning but please explain)

Then even more tricky part starts - with plenty of places is there any obvious deal breaker? Like getting some crucial strait (Like Bosforus)? Anyway some plentiful key natural resources nearby? (is there a place that would have such like dunno South Africa Republic?) Or its post industrial economy, in first world no one worries about food, about coal, what matters is dreamt living place with palms and beaches???

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    $\begingroup$ What is "best" is highly subjective. What particular criteria for best are you using? $\endgroup$ – sphennings May 3 '17 at 18:09
  • $\begingroup$ I guess he actually is asking for criteria to apply. $\endgroup$ – Mołot May 3 '17 at 18:18
  • $\begingroup$ Shadow, are you asking about people with modem day tech, plus gates to parallel dimensions? Lower? Higher? And do you plan to have a trade with "Earth 0"? Because I think I might have an answer for you,but I'd rather didn't start to write it without knowing these details. $\endgroup$ – Mołot May 3 '17 at 18:23
  • $\begingroup$ @Molot Tech from Earth + gates + seriously limited ability to trade $\endgroup$ – Shadow1024 May 3 '17 at 19:13
  • $\begingroup$ Is Europe mostly forest then? $\endgroup$ – user58697 May 3 '17 at 20:35

I answered a similar question in what I hope is a thorough manner.

However, you are asking something a little bit more specific, so let's go about stripping away some pieces: You are discarding any historic or emotional connection to a particular spot on Earth 2.0 (but I will touch back on that in a minute), and are looking for a place that would be beneficial for 5 million to 25 million people to live in (half your proposed population).

The answer actually depends a lot on your technology. If you just grab modern day technology, and the apparatuses to produce it all, you're going to need a lot of people to support production of things (the world economy currently utilizes some crazy economies of scale to produce all the wonderful things you see at your local Blue-Mart). However, if you have this world as a "leisure" world and are providing technology and goods from another source (e.g. warp portal from Earth 1.0) your demands change significantly.


Let's assume you aren't going to just portal in all your stuff, and have to make it, particularly your food, but we will give you the benefit of the doubt and say you have modern GMO technologies (to help adapt to any weird things that live on Earth 2.0). You'll need your capital to be near a source food to ensure you aren't wasting a lot of time and resources on transporting food. Some of the best concentrations of arable land on Earth 1.0 are in India and Eastern Europe. Each of these areas has their own problems, but India has torrential rain, making Eastern Europe a slightly better choice (though India has supported massive populations throughout history). Additionally, Europe provides ample opportunities for expansion, while India is bounded by mountains to the north and the ocean to the south. Both have navigable rivers. India is surrounded by a fault line, however, and may have higher than normal seismic activity. This could be useful (if you can harness geothermal energy in an efficient way) or detrimental (as earthquakes, tsunamis, and other things are more common there than in Eastern Europe).

As a fun fact, the average American farmer with modern techniques feeds 155 people a year.

Natural Resources

Another consideration that is a moot point if you are just beaming everything over from Earth 1.0 is natural resources. The kinds of complicated things that go into a cell phone or tractor come from all over the world, with a varying degree of rarity. Glancing at a resource map shows that India is again a decent contender, as it has several kinds of resources, as is South Africa. Like with food, it may be important to place your capital near these resources. As to what is important to your society, that depends on your level of technology. Oil will always be important, if not for fuel then as a component to make stuff (plastics, for example). While competing over resources may not be much of an issue (with only 50m max people) availability and access may be critical to ensuring your industry is running well.

Fresh Water

Fresh water is another issue (also sidestepped if you just say desalinization is cheap and effective in your world). India and Eastern Europe have adequate access to fresh water tables for significant populations. Most places in the world, with modern technology, have sufficient water supplies "nearby" for a large population, the issue today is sharing it among 7.5 bn people. Obviously the middle of the Sahara is not a great place for a capital for that reason.


Here's another fun consideration. How are you generating power? If it is all nuclear, being somewhere near sources of Uranium is a good idea. If it is all solar, then around the equator is a good idea, as they get sun all year round. Geothermal? Well, places like Iceland that are built on geothermal hotspots are great.

Historic Context

I know you said nobody would have a connection to a place, but consider this: You are given a blank slate on a new world, what would you do? I'd visit some of the natural wonders and just stare in awe at them, perhaps comparing them to Earth 1.0. Some people may go to religious sites and see what they look like without all the humanity (others might try to recreate their religious sites on the new world. Consider, for example, how would a Muslim person pray on Earth 2.0? Would they pray towards where Mecca would be? Would they make a pilgrimage to the middle of nowhere?)


Accessibility of an area is also important. This makes where your other population centers are important. For example, India might seem awesome in terms of arable land, water access, and other things, but if your other population centers are in Asia, then you have to put roads through high mountains or travel by sea to get there. Not very convenient. However, if you are in the middle of the United States (say, my home town of St. Louis) you have convenient waterways and easier routes to a variety of resources and climate types.


I think you want a temperate environment with a moderate amount of rain. It isn't the most comfortable to live in (steamy summers and snowy winters) but it is where much of the best food growing land is. Your capital can be isolated somewhere in a slightly different climate band, but it will still experience much of the weather swings as the farmland it is near. I'd avoid obvious things, like flood plains and tidal zones, and rely on some "terraforming" to improve the area (draining swamps to reduce bugs for example).

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  • $\begingroup$ Curious: which would be the most comfortable climate to live? $\endgroup$ – Shadow1024 May 3 '17 at 19:16
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    $\begingroup$ Mecca 2.0 has no significance even to the Muslim: Muhammad had never been there. They would have to make a pilgrimage back to Earth 1.0. $\endgroup$ – user58697 May 3 '17 at 20:33
  • $\begingroup$ For the food, remember that most Europe is dense woods, really hard to grow anything. Sure, not now, but it took us centuries to get rid of woods and create soil for for crops. $\endgroup$ – Mołot May 4 '17 at 6:11
  • $\begingroup$ @user58697 If Mecca 2.0 has zero significance, what direction would they pray towards? $\endgroup$ – Marshall Tigerus May 4 '17 at 13:35
  • $\begingroup$ @molot True, but with modern technology it wouldn't take Centaurus. They can slash and burn down rainforests in South America and turn it into crop-producing land relatively quickly (months/years instead of centuries). $\endgroup$ – Marshall Tigerus May 4 '17 at 13:38

Initially - The easiest place to land space ships & stay alive.

Presumably, these humans are coming in from space (OP doesn't say, so this is an assumption.)

They will need to find a place to land all of their ships to move millions of people, a place that is open enough to do that, but also have surrounding land that can be used as farmland.

It isn't clear from the Question, but, it seems like this is a one-way trip. If not, then the location would also have to be able to be a feasible space port - where one could return to space.

Thus, the easiest and cheapest place to do that will be the main center of activity of the initial colonists - and their initial Command & Control location.

That location will naturally grow into the initial Command & Control center of the colonists and is likely to become its Capital as it will naturally receive the most attention in terms of money and work.

Most people will live there first, and the move out further to start building farms, mines, factories, etc to provide food and manterials.

Other cities will spring up around these outer groups of farmers, miners, etc - first as towns then as cities if they are in locations convient for transport.

Of course, if there are multiple convenient places to land ships with sustainable land around, then they too would be candidates.

But, by the time they caught up with the 1st landing zone, time, resources, and money would have been poored into the first site and the secondary sites will be hard to claim the right to be the Capital. But, if they did, it would likely be due to political reasons.

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