There was a big celebration when the one millionth inhabitant came to Widening. People here have a lot to be happy about. Since the previous update overall satisfaction has risen by 2%, to 82%. This has happened for several reasons. Satisfaction with the environment has risen by 9% and is now at 40% because all buildings that cause pollution, but do not necessarily have to be in the city, have been moved to the other side of the map. Furthermore several service buildings have been moved to new locations and some new and improved services have been provided. One such new service is a large fire station, which is shown in the first picture of this update. It replaces the smaller fire control center.
Another improved service building is the hospital, shown in the next picture. It replaces the medical institute, does a much better job, but is strangely enough cheaper in maintenance. Further investigation into the area services cover has revealed that the large variants of medical, police and fire protection services, as well as extra large leisure services, cover a very large area, larger than the current city. Schools and large leisure facilities cover a medium sized area, and small and medium sized leisure facilities cover a small area. The latter are the only kinds of services that have duplicates in the current city. As a result of this moving around of service buildings the city gained 20,000 in income, even though expensive new services have been added. Overall satisfaction didn’t suffer from it, except a 1% drop in satisfaction with leisure facilities. I think it’s worth the price.
An impressive extra large leisure facility that has been added is the tall panoramic restaurant. It is shown in the next picture as it raises high above the city. Satisfaction with services is continuously dropping as the city grows. Things are all the time kept stable by adding new services when they are being unlocked. But soon no new buildings will become available, so I hope that the rate satisfaction drops with goes down, otherwise the growing city will at some point make people leave it, especially in the polluted areas. At the moment however happiness abounds in Widening, ranging from a 78% score for the elites to an 88% score for the unqualified workers.
Besides new services some special buildings have been constructed as they were unlocked, tremendously improving Widening’s financial position. To the right in the next picture you can see Lloyds, which improves high tech productivity by 35%. To the left you can see the Communications Institute, which is another building that improves the productivity of offices, this time by 45%. As a result Widening is now selling 190 tokens of office services for the astounding sum of 663,700. Also 40 tokens of high tech industry are being sold for 139,200. These two buildings alone made the city’s income rise from 100,000 per turn to 300,000 per turn.
Another building constructed is the huge and magnificent Fuji Television Headquarters. The next picture merely shows its entrance. This building improves leisure satisfaction by 10%, which results in an overall satisfaction increase of about 1%. With a cost of 114,000 per turn leisure is the most expensive category of services the city has to provide. This means that finding the right balance in providing what is needed at a reasonable cost is of tremendous importance in the long run. At the moment satisfaction with leisure facilities is at 68%, which is a result of the city expanding beyond the reach of existing services. A lack of leisure services is almost always the first problem arising when the city is growing.
With so much money coming in each turn you might think that Widening can buy whatever it needs, but that is not true. First of all, the current big surplus is a one time event. It will soon be spent on new services, from which point on buying everything the city doesn’t want to produce will again result in a break even situation, leaving no money left to expand any further. Secondly, the trade capacity of the city is limited. You can only import and export so much over the intercity roads. Foreseeing these future bottlenecks city hall has decided that Widening again needs to have some manufacturing industry, so its needs for imports will diminish. Since not all needed tokens have to be produced here, it was thought that some manufacturing plants could be spread over the city, producing some tokens while worsening the environment only slightly. This appeared to be all wrong. Satisfaction with the environment dropped dramatically from just a few factories. Nevertheless here is a picture of a medium density manufacturing plant in the middle of the city.
So again the solution to place manufacturing industry on the other side of the map was tried. This time however the city has enough money to build a decent road through the mountains. This means that everybody who works there can keep on living in the city, near the services. They have to travel a long way to work, but that doesn’t pose big problems. An expensive luxurious avenue with six bridges and one tunnel now connects the city with the industrial park far away. The next picture shows the most impressive bridge that has been constructed. The road, however, is already quite busy, so more roads might be needed soon. Also, the city will either expand in the direction of the industrial park to reduce travel times, or a highway will have to be constructed.
The next picture shows an entrance to the long tunnel. On the right you can see an intercity connection. Widening now has fifteen intercity connections, for a trade capacity of 300 freight and 300 passengers, at a cost of 1500. Already most of this capacity is being used. Widening now buys 22 tokens of waste treatment and still has a shortage of 11. It buys 10 tokens of water and has nevertheless a shortage of 5. The city still buys 9 tokens of food, but thanks to its own production has no shortage. Of manufacturing industry Widening needs a lot: 33 tokens are being bought and still there is a shortage of 17. Of heavy industry the city needs less: it buys 21 tokens and has a shortage of 9. Also, shortages of heavy industry don’t impact happiness as much as shortages of manufacturing industry do. Finally, Widening buys 10 tokens of electricity and 7 tokens of holidays, leaving shortages of respectively 5 and 3 tokens.
And of course we have a view of the inside of the tunnel, shown in the next picture. Tunnels and bridges are expensive in maintenance, but it’s unclear how much exactly. Roads cost the city 64,950, transportation costs the city 66,550, and infrastructures cost the city 260,000. I really have no clue as to what these numbers mean. All roads and bridges and so forth would be the same as infrastructures in my opinion, but apparently it is not. The best I can think of transportation is that it would be the total sum of public transports, but Widening has nothing of the kind. So if anyone has an idea what exactly is meant with these costs please tell me.
The next picture shows the new industrial park. It is still small, and the most polluting factory is the one in the front: the oil processing factory. This one improves the productivity of nearby refineries, so all refineries have been moved here. These are the white buildings. With nine fuel extraction fields the city can have three such refineries, so fuel production in Widening has reached its maximum. At the moment 120 tokens of it are being sold to OmniCorp. Total profits are amounting to 247,000 per turn. This small industrial park produces a horrific amount of pollution which covers a large part of the map.
Removing as many polluting industries from the city as possible has a clear impact on the environment, as the next overview of the city shows. The pollution you still see comes from nine oil extraction fields and traffic alone. It is still a lot, so I guess the idea of the creators of Cities XL is that if you have an oil field, and you’re going to use it, you don’t build a city on top of it. My guess is that it would be better to not dig for oil at all, build your city and buy the oil you need. However, the oil business brings in lots of money, which is in part why income per turn is now at an astonishing 499,526. The city’s treasury is coming up on one billion. I wonder if the bookkeepers of the city can cope with that much.
Another new building that improves production is the Merchant Guild, shown in the next picture. It improves food production with 35%. In the case of Widening this meant three extra tokens of food, which makes the building profitable if you consider that buying these three tokens would cost the city 27,300.
Since the previous update some new farms have been constructed and fields have been laid out, so here’s another nice picture of some farmland. No food deals have been canceled yet, but city hall hopes that some day Widening will export food instead of importing it.
Already some time ago city hall has decided that only luxury business hotels would be constructed, since these generate more money than the low budget ones and are equally good in satisfying demand. The next picture shows two large ones. Not many of these will probably be constructed, since if you calculate the profit made per square foot the medium density hotels make much more profit.
The final picture of this update is a nice view from a rooftop in the qualified workers area. In the distance you can see the panoramic restaurant. The composition of the population has remained constant, and will probably not have changed much when the next update arrives, which will be when Widening has one and a half million inhabitants.