Was about to say exactly this. We already established that pop after 10, heck I would say for most cities size after 4 is a questionable investment. With a few marshes and jungles growth is truly not an issue for most cities. So once you build chop in that campus or theatre + market/harbor, what good is additional population in that city anyway? 4-5 pop can be 20 hammers easy with the right tiles, sometimes a bit more, sometime a bit less. Additional population is truly best utilized to provide a bit more gold (coastal resources, luxury resources) or science (offtopic Ziggurats are freaking awesome) or whatever you need. Since filler cities don't need to produce anything of relevance, a worked lux/fish tile yields at least 2 gold. At pop 4 that's at least 8 gold, but usually around 12. Have 5 cities like that and you're sitting at 60 GPT just from that. I know people say gold is not relevant. Well yes, I started skipping marketplaces in my primary cities lately. Also skipping harbors if not coastal. NOT building what you don't need is a much better investment. Also, gold is not relevant, but it certainly helps. Buying buildings or units for your victory of choice certainly speeds up things quite a lot actually. On every map, there will be quite a few cities that will grow to size 12-15 with minimum effort, and there will be a double of that number that will struggle. Why pushing something that's not supposed to work, except for sake of "roleplaying"? And if you want to push your cities to pop 10 for the bonus, well, you can. In that case the priority is truly fresh water and a bucketload of food, even if it's otherwise a crap city. If it can chop in your campus or theatre square - it's good.