Starting a new city is a big deal. You have to worry about location, trade, defence, water, food, Gods, and that wino in Rome among other things. I find the first two years to be the hardest. That is when you make the decisions that will bite you later on if you're wrong.
I am going to try to describe to you some of the things that I consider when I start a city. I am not an expert. I am not even really good at this, but I have learned how to muddle through.
So, the plan is this: I will start a new city (Tingis), and take you through the first year, showing you what I do, step-by-step. Maybe there will be something you can use in planning your own cities, maybe not. I duno.
By the end of the first game year I want my city to be well on the road to being self sufficient. By that I mean:
Loans from Caesar will not be accepted. If I go broke, I quit and restart.
I will quit and restart before I give any of my salary either to the city or to Caesar.
The city is Tingis (present day Tangier). It is a warlike scenario which means that defence will be a major concern. There is no iron in the province, so weapons must be imported. This is expensive, and trade has to be developed to the max in order to pay for them. Then first years are tricky, after that its just a matter of stacking stone.
Let's get started. If you wish, you can download a copy of Tingis from here.