Welcome to Tromperton!
After several attempts at trying to make a functional and realistic city with Cities XL 2011, I gave into the temptation and decided to use a few cheats and mods to create a city. The bugs within the trading system are too much for me to live with, so I installed a few sandbox mods providing me water, heavy industry, waste removal, etc. This isn’t the way I had intended on making cities within this game but I am glad that I did. Below are the results of my first attempt at a metropolis within Cities XL and my first attempt at a city journal.
Tromperton is a humble city with 380,000 residents. 14% of the people are unskilled workers, 45% are skilled workers, 33% are executives, and 5% are elites. The city’s focus is on office space and high tech industries. All manufacturing and heavy industry goods are imported from outside sources to avoid pollution within the city.
So far all development has occurred within the northeast corner of the city limits. Future boroughs have been proposed along with a large metropolis near the river that splits the city in half. This will be addressed later on. What exists so far will remain as one separate borough.
The city began thanks to the intersection of Highway 11 and Highway 26. Enough traffic came through the city for a few retail outlets to form. What followed was the development of several residential neighborhoods and eventually a downtown at the intersection of the two highways. As the city grew, an inner loop and an outer beltway were constructed to alleviate traffic concerns. A separate highway, Highway 42, was constructed by the state to further facilitate growth in the city. A tunnel (Vasto Tunnel) was created underneath Sunset Ridge recently to complete the beltway loop. It is rarely traveled and was constructed mainly for the mayor’s enjoyment of having a complete beltway in his city.
Within the original borough there are several neighborhoods that are separated by aforementioned highways and loops.
Currently there are 6 individual neighborhoods including the downtown district. These neighborhoods do not have their own governments but have been formed out of regional identity.
The oldest neighborhood in the borough, Northside is bordered by the inner loop and Highway 26 to the south. The population is mostly skilled workers, but as the high tech park in the northern corner of the neighborhood grew, executives started to move in. Being the oldest neighborhood, it sufferers from the worst infrastructure and traffic problems. Many of the roads initially constructed were undersized for the city’s eventual needs. This has resulted in the widening of several roads and the demolition of many homes.
The high tech park to the north has been the cause of much of the neighborhood’s traffic problems. This has resulted in some interesting road designs in the park. At the top of the park an apartment complex was created to prevent skilled worked from having to travel across the city to access the site. Additionally the entrance to Vasto Tunnel can be seen at the base of Sunset Ridge.
The second oldest neighborhood in the city, Sudden Valley, was developed to provide low quality homes for the unskilled workers in the city. The neighborhood is bordered by the inner loop to the south and continues into the actual Sudden Valley to the north. These worker’s commutes have them traveling all over the city to the several retail complexes that are scattered across all the other neighborhoods. A traditional 2x7 grid pattern was executed for a speedy construction. This has since been determined to be a very ugly way to build homes. Several parks have been proposed to clear up this eyesore.
There are also plans to develop the actual Sudden Valley with more homes for the unskilled workers. Recently a highway was constructed up the side of valley to facilitate the construction of a new borough. This project took several years and wrecked havoc on the valley. It now sits idle until the new borough is constructed.
As the downtown district grew, so did the need for more executive homes and homes for the skilled workers. West Brighton came into existence as the Bingham Loop was extended along the river between Phil Stephens Highway and Main Street. A 2x7 grid system of skilled workers can be seen at the center of the community. Executive subdivisions were developed along the shore of the river, quickly becoming the nicest place to live in town.
Riverside Drive was constructed along the shore and is currently the longest two lane road in the city. The road starts at the eastern border of the city, continues under the Main Street Bridge, and into West Brighton. A neighborhood of stilt houses constructed on top of the river bank has been proposed. However the plan is facing stiff resistance by the residents who live along Riverside Drive who want to keep their excellent view to themselves.
As East Brighton grew, the neighborhood expanded across Main Street, southwest of downtown. Eventually this area grew to become larger than West Brighton itself and started to develop its own identity. This neighborhood also straddles Bingham Loop and runs along the river as it towards Highway 42. Closer to downtown, several rows of homes were created for skilled workers. The rest of the neighborhood houses subdivisions for the city’s executives and the newly arrived elites.
The neighborhood is also home to the city’s high school, Lovett High. In front of the school a park was created alongside Riverside Drive equipped with walking trails and park space for the students.
The newest subdivision in town, Lake Bell, sits directly under the new high tech hub in town. It is the city’s only gated community so far. It houses the city’s Mayor, Judge, and the CEO of the city’s largest commercial development company.
Once a simple two block space for office buildings, the borough’s downtown has grown into one of the city’s most popular features. Filled with several medium density office buildings and skilled worker apartments, the downtown is at the center of everything in the city. Several parks fill awkward blocks equipped with artificial lakes and walking trails. Instead of filling open space with plazas and concrete, developers opted to plant trees and create as many green spaces as possible. This gives the urban hub a very healthy and refreshing feel.
At the center of it all there is the City Hall and Dawes Park. The buildings behind the City Hall house the city’s municipal offices. The Three Towers Complex sits along Main Street.
The most popular location in town is Myers Field. The stadium is the site of Lovett High’s football and soccer games. The parking lots on either side serve as the site of the city’s annual 4th of July carnival.
The last neighborhood in town is also the most controversial. Initially the mountain that Sunset Ridge sits on was intended to be a state park equipped with hiking trails, campsites, and a public golf course. However some influential developers were able to convince the city to turn the space into a new neighborhood. It is the only neighborhood in the city outside of downtown that has areas that are zoned for office buildings. This was done to prevent a traffic nightmare on Sunset Bridge, the only way to access the community.
Since its inception, the city has attempted to separate itself from the rest of the city. There have been several pushes to make the community a self governing entity, therefore becoming the city’s second borough. The neighborhood has even parceled out a space for its own city hall within its downtown. However all proposals have been denied by City Hall due to its small size and limited access.
Another controversial component of the neighborhood is its only access point, Sunset Bridge. After the plans to development the mountain were approved, engineers hastily decided that the best way to build a highway to the community would be to construct a massive bridge over a very affluent subdivision. To some, this bridge serves as engineering eye candy while others sees it as an ugly blemish to the city’s landscape.
One of the most popular conversations in town is the question of what the city will do next. Recently City Hall released a map showing proposals for new boroughs and high density zoning along the south side of the river. This will all take many years to come to fruition. As it stands, the city plans on looking inward as opposed to outward over the next few years. Plans for a bus system, the development of Sudden Valley, and new green spaces and artificial lakes are in the city’s immediate sights. Until then the residents can only speculate as they attempt to gobble up the surrounding real estate in anticipation of future growth.