I've played a couple of the Anno series of games. I enjoy those type of strategy games a lot, if you liked those you'll probably like Colonization (colonial era civilizations) and imperialism (an older but still great game).
The big advantage in those games that makes them more enjoyable from a city-building perspective was the "need" to gather resources in order to move your population to higher levels of numbers, happiness, and prosperity. This game doesn't have this. For example, in the Anno 1620, which I played a couple of years ago, the economic system totters on a needle-balance, which is increadibly kool. Not only do you need to plant the tobacco plantations, and the marble quaries, and the iron mine, and I think whale oil for late game expansion to that highest population prosperity level, but the actual construction-placement of the buildings had a *huge* effect on your citizens of that city. In fact, there were whole threads on optimal building construction & how to position the buildings. For example, you wanted the tobacco stores near the widest amount of people, the church radius and later cathedral covering the widest radius of people, too many houses clumped together without roads would be more likely to cause fire. When a fire did occur the fire engine actually had to travel down the roads to put out the fire, and if you didn't position the firehouse & construct the roads well, half a block could burn down before the fire engines got there. The whole city constuction had a *huge* dimension of its own that this game doesn't have as far as city building goes.
In this game 1) it just doesn't matter where you build individual buildings, makes no difference except with regards to resources which you can envelop, which is a small thing in the big scheme of things 2) There's absolutely nothing limiting expansion. There's no "teetering" that's present in 4x strategy games which have a strong economic system in place (the best part of Anno was that economic "teetering" .. the AI was weak, as unfortunately pretty much all strategy games suffer from that, but that game was much more fun to play from the "economic" city building & pirate confrontation dimension). The Civ series is just a much better developed city-building & economic system than this game is, but in all fairness this game is bran new so I'm willing to cut a little slack there since it has the potential to have a very good tactical combat dimension which I like a lot too (Civ is a bit weak in this area).
In this game I could build 500 cities, and I usually do have well over 100 citeis by turn 300, but there's nothing really special about them. There's nothing that the citizens need beyond food. In anno you could see the people walking around & talking and the fire engines putting out fires. In Civ, the graphics would show very viscerally the food bars with the grain & the stacks of coins when money increases, or the happy elvis faces (in version 3 I think it was). In this game all this info is just in a bland table two-clicks removed. Maybe if they had a toggle that showed the output on the strategic map (like colonization does: it had a resource display toggle & a yields display toggle, that you could set on the strategic map and the cities would show this info on the strategic map where the city is so players could see at a glance, there was also a caravan display that showed the trade routes & expected yields).
In this game, you only need to expand for military conquest reasons, there's no other factor pushing a faction to increase its size. citizens need nothing beyond food. The economic & city building dimension of this game is massivly lacking & weak.
Gold is only a need early in the game, once I have 100 cities I'm usually rolling in 100+ gold every turn and it's just not a problem any more. There's nothing "limiting" gold enough in this game. In Anno you needed that gold for city devolopment and shelling out for military was a PITA. The economic system in this game has not developed that well-rounded teetering point yet, which other games have developed better & more fully. The underliying problem is that there's probably not a good match between upkeep costs , taxes, & income in this game as there are in other games. A tax slider which affected morale & population growth would be a good thing.