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I feel like this question is related enough to this thread that I should just ask it here. Anyway how do you guys go about planning and building cities?
Well, I'll double down on Rednal's advice, at least on the terms of, "focus on one or two bits they're going to remember". If the city is not the dungeon setting, you shouldn't put much effort into it, just set up a couple hats if you aren't confident making them up on the fly.
By hats, I mean interesting things that you can put on top of anything they decide to do.
Hat: Clockwork Man
So, if they go to the mayor to request assistance for dealing with a goblin menace? Have the mayors adjutant be a clockwork man.
One of the players wants a custom weapon mod or something? Tell him there's a clockwork mechanist/smith/alchemist/enchanter of great skill in the city who might be able to assist.
Visits the bar? Have there be an argument on the side where an arm-wrestling ring is arguing about whether a clockwork man can compete. Or he could be the bartender, or whatever.
Say you don't want clockwork man? Well, there are options like: Man with a funny accent, young lad with an impressive set of scars, lady with a baby pet owl on her shoulder, hybrid form lycanthrope, or whatever, ranging from mundane to zany, depending on the setting of the city. Hats can also be things like "this city is floating in the sky/water/lava/swamp" or "magic is super common here."
Just drop that in and give him, her, it, a line of dialogue or two that stands out (Or for something like the case of "this is magic city" make an off hand note of something normally done by hand be done by magic, like someone clapping their hands to open the door). If the players don't bite and start roleplaying into it, you haven't invested much, back off and don't pressure them. If they do bite, expand on it. The players will gladly listen to you flesh out characters and cities... if they're seeking it out. If you read them a page or even a couple sentences (depending on the group) of flavor text they didn't ask for, you can quickly get twiddling thumbs, nodding heads, and general "get on with it". You can't force them to be interested, but you can reward their interest if they show it.