Need some advice on making a decent looking city/large town
So I'm currently working on a DnD campaign that takes place in a post apocalyptic setting, or rather after one. I'm currently in need to make the first major city the players are to visit. I'm pretty alright at making maps, but I'm unfortunately incompetent when it comes to design, at least for realistic things.
Anyone have some tips/advice for making a good/interesting city?
The general concept behind the one I'm making is (lore wise) it was mostly destroyed/ruined during the cataclysm, but the northern most part of the city was the most salvageable, and over the years was stripped and re-built. Though the denizens are still working to restore more and more of the city the work has been slow, especially as more people want to return to rebuilding their lives.
The city is poor and mostly ungoverned since the cataclysm. Though the average citizen will smile and greet you bearing no ill intent, the large ruinous area's of the city are mostly unoccupied and a haven for the ill mannered, so crimes are pretty common. There is no "official" law enforcement but there are groups of mostly volunteers that work to keep the peace. Being as things are, they tend to be very unskilled at their jobs and ill equipped to deal with more major problems, which have been a growing occurrence as various gangs have been taking foot and operating in the vast and largely uncontrolled ruined areas.
My idea for this city is for it to be large enough to have at least 2 different major bioms, the rebuilt area, and a sharp line between that and the ruins. I'd like to make it so theres enough room for a fight to maybe break out (say a gang tries to rob them) and they could take to the streets, and have enough nooks and cranny's that if they wanted they could sneak around in the back alleys.
The problem I'm having is, I just dont know how to go about it. This could frankly be my largest map yet, by a large margin, and I'm feeling a bit over whelmed at this stage. I've just learned to use the tools competently, and have never done something so large, but I want it to be good. I know I can make it look nice, if I can get the design down properly.
Any hints, tips, advice and feedback would be quite welcome at this stage.
Thanks in advance!