is just me or does it take far too much to get your houses to upgrade. I have been to cities set up during medieval times. an I did not see near as many parks as it appears I will need to build to get 25 homesteads. Seems like the curve is a bit steep.
You’re trying to make reality out of a game. Many of us fell down that same hole starting out. The parks are simply one of the game’s methods for achieving desirability.
I find I usually level my houses much sooner than I reach the population required to upgrade the town center.
The proliferation of statues, parks, gardens, decorated everything is jarring in a ‘medieval’ setting - I lived in towns in Germany while in the US Army that still retained much of their Medieval center, and there was nary a park to be seen - no room inside the city walls, for one thing.
My personal mental picture to make sense of it is to think of all the gardens, parks, and shrubbery as representing the small garden plots growing food, herbs, medicinal plants that were common around homes and houses in small towns and villages - right up to the early 20th century, because my Great Grandmother moved into her home in a rural Missouri town in 1896 and had a 2 acre garden in back and her own personal storehouse for preserved goods next to the house - and that was normal in rural Missouri and many other Very Small Towns in America as well as Europe.
And, personally, like @perdix I usually find that I can get the houses upgraded long before I reach the overall population totals required to Upgrade: in my current game I have 16 Large Houses and another 10 almost ready to upgrade (after I finish a few more Small Statues and Parks!) but am still a good 85 population short of the 400 required for Tier 4.