Hi @Dordolio! Let me explain to you why things work this way in Fractured (which is not only about avoiding the P2W mentioned by @GorTavaro and @Zori).
You have to forget the idea of a classic MMO city that is populated by NPCs, where at most the NPC shops can be owned by players (like in Albion Online).
In Fractured, cities are the places where players actually live. The land claims in the wilderness you've seen so far are going to be used only by those who really want to live by themselves, we expect most players to claim a private land parcel in a city and build their home in it.
NPCs in cities will exist, but their role will be limited - most of the work will be carried out by players... and you really can't be in a city without players, since to rank it up and unlock new technologies you need both prestige and citizens. The highest rank for a city (30) requires 100 citizens, specifically.
Also, I see you've decided to stick to a large territory, which requires 15 players to be started. If that looks like a high number, it's because you haven't grasped how large a large city is - if you didn't have to make roads, you could stick 300+ buildings in it! Since you have to build roads it's probably half that, but you get the idea. Once the game is well populated, we expect 100-200 players to live in a large city and 25-50 to live in a small one
Hope that made it clearer!