Collaborating on huge builds for a display or convention is one of the hardest things that we AFOL can do; Making time for meetings virtually or in person is difficult. The modular building scale did wonders in the Lego convention world because everything was built to a standard. The Micropolis standard does the same thing, just much, much smaller.
What is is?
Invented by TwinLug, the Micropolis standard allows individual builders the ability to construct standardized modules that are easily added to a group build to create a micro scale city. Each 16x16 stud plate is 25% of a city block and when you stick 4 corners together, you have a short city block.
How do I make a base?
A sandwich of plates and brick create the base of the module. One layer of plate for the bottom needs to be 16x16 studs. You can do this however you wish, four 8x8 stud plates or 2 8x16 plates for example. Utilize one brick layer on top of this, including at least a 1x2 Technic brick with one hole in the 8-9 stud position for attaching to other modules via a Technic pin. Then another layer of plate on top of that.
The two outer rows of studs on two sides of your build are the road, utilize black tile for these elements. except on the cross walk which is a 1x2 white tile at the 4th stud position on the base for each corner. If you want an alleyway behind your building, use one row of dark grey tile on the opposite two sides. Sidewalks and parking lots utilize light grey tiles. A simple base is pictured below.
Bluff and waterfront modules have been added in the most recent specification to add elevation and/or water to the already existing city modules. These are a little more complicated but fall under the same 16x16 base module standard. The bluff inner corner is pictured below.
Here is an example of several waterfront modules attached together.
The building standard allows for some amazing builds with minimal collaboration as long as everyone keeps to the standard. The great thing is once the base is created your imagination can run wild in this micro city scale as long as you keep to the established rules, which are pretty easy. One brick height is 9 feet, one stud wide is 7.5 feet, Cars are 2 studs long by 1 stud wide, buses or trucks are 1x4 studs in size.
I suggest joining the Micropolis group on Flickr and checking out some of the wonderful builds that people have done. Get some ideas and make some of your own creations in this standard. Share your builds in the comments!