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About this City Journal

Once a thriving port city of good standing, Imperial City today stands as a chaotic city of crime, vice and corruption. Whilst there is still great wealth and affluence in the city, the...

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Mayor Browne

Royal Ports

The Royal Ports grew extensively along the southern shore of the East Imperial Island along the Kings Bay

Estuary following on from continued military operations of the British Colonial explorers since 1797. As the

Imperial City grew rapidly and the New England Colonies became a fortified settlement, the docks were further developed in order to accommodate the increasing import and export activities to feed the growing city.

Container docks that replace the old labour intensive manned dockyards. Containerisation of docks across

the globe has contributed to the unemployment in dock worker communities

containerdocks.jpg

By the time the industrial age was fully underway, the Royal Ports had become a heavy workhouse for

industries, such as ship building, machine assembly and artillery and weapons manufacturing. Steel works

and various heavy industries developed over the years and the import and export activities based at the docks

were highly busy. The Royal Ports and the Baron’s Ports acted as the first landing stages for all inbound goods towards the rest of the New World Islands within the New England Colonies. Food supplies, equipment and

technology have been sent to and from these ports from the beginning of the British Colonial era, right up to

current times.

Industry beside a rail terminal. During the 1980s and 1990s, teenagers and young adults tagged trains

docked in these railyards

industrybesidearailfrei.jpg

Poor labourers, factory workers, sailors and their families lived in the neighbourhoods of the Royal Ports. Many

a cramped tenement and densely occupied blocks can be seen where poverty is rife. The highly profitable

businesses operating in the Royal Ports were owned by 2ndDuke John Longstride of Rutland, England. A man

far removed from the poverty of the workers and their unemployed neighbours who reside around and work the machinery of his wealth.

A street well known as a gang hideout where hired hitmen and muscle for mob activities could be found

killerslaneroyalports.jpg

Part of the dock area in the North Section

moreinthenorthsection.jpg 

From around 1880 to 1930 the Imperial City saw waves of Italian immigrants arrive on its shores. Numerous Italian communities were formed, most of which were primarily based around dock areas on the East Imperial Island. Many of these communities can still be seen in Royal Ports today, still maintaining strong Italian heritage, culture and presence to this day.

Neighbourhood around Storch Town

neighbourhoodaroundstor.jpg

Neighbourhood in the North Section

neighbourhoodinthenorthu.jpg

More in the North Section

neighbourhoodinthenorth.jpg

With the typical urban characteristics of industrial port areas and their surrounding neighbourhoods, crime has traditionally been high, accompanied by the poverty and struggles of day to day life. The inevitable reality of high

crime areas, is that criminal gangs form and expand powerful influence over local residents.

 
The Scolacci Crime Family established a solid hold in and around the Bottlekneck Town, running bootlegging operations, thefts rings, extortion and protection rackets among many other crimes from which a profit could be

made. Various other crime families have existed in around the Royal Ports and wider Imperial City generally,

such as the Gambalino Family, the Baninni Family and the Vialli Mob Family. Over the years many immigrant ethnicities have formed communities here, including German, Irish, Scottish and North American persons.

Caribbean, African, black British and African Americans have also been represented in the area, however these communities have traditionally been concentrated in further inland ghetto areas such as those in the Oak

Temple, St. David’s and East Grands.

More in the North Section

northsection.jpg

 

North Section area around commercial land uses

northsectionparts.jpg 

Parkland west of the Commercial Docks

parklandwestofcommercia.jpg

Residential blocks in the North Section

residentialblocksinthen.jpg

Scolacci Mob turf

scolaccimobturf.jpg

More of the Scolacci Mob area

soclaccimobarea.jpg

Storch Town

storchtown.jpg

Blocks south of the Commercial Docks

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Waterfront industry

waterfrontindustry.jpg

Mayor Browne

Location of York Town within the Imperial City metropolitan area, Kings Bay:

locationofyorktownwithi.jpg

York Town, like New Victoria is a retreat city that grew from the demand for cleaner, safer locations for dense office space and

commercial land plots. As the Imperial City Central grew and expanded rapidly, corporations and businesses were looking for

alternative desirable land, well connected to Imperial City by transport but also free from the chaotic and crime infested nature that

has characterized the Central city for many years.

 
As a result of companies relocating to York Town and New Victoria, Imperial City Central experienced significant declines in the

land value of much of what was previously prime real estate. The gradual process of decline in Imperial City caused this process

of business relocation to increase.

 
York Town provided a quality environment for businesses and attracted many affluent residents that once resided in Imperial City,

its nearby suburbs and people from rural communities outside of the metropolitan area.

One of the Central Business Districts in York Town:

oneofthecentralbusiness.jpg

York Town United Stadium and training pitches, also used by City of York Town Boys School:

yorktownunitedstadiuman.jpg

Mayor Nathan Browne's home and the York Town City Hall:

mayornathanbrownehomeani.jpg

Another factor leading to the increase in population and economic activity was the containerisation of goods

process, through which many previously manual labour intensive shipyards and docks became redundant.

Whilst most of the primary docks in the Royal Ports, Baron’s Port and Scarborough implemented the

container port technology, they were not as efficient as desired due to retro-fitting and limited land issues.

In 1955 York Town City Council announced it would commission a firm to build a shipbuilding complex along

with an import/export dock system to improve efficiency of port activity in Kings Bay. As a result, large

numbers of people flocked to York Town to work on the construction and operational phases of the York

Town Docks. To this day the docks and associated industries provide employment for many residents in York Town.

Shipbuilding dock:

shipbuildingyorktown.jpg

Container docks - York Town:

containerdocksyorktown.jpg

Container storage:

containerstoragebesidet.jpg

Wealthy homes in the South East Section:

wealthyhomesinthesouthe.jpg

York Town North West Section:

yorktownnorthwestsectio.jpg

York Town from above:

yorktownfromabove.jpg

Wealthy apartments North West Section:

wealthyapartmentsyorkto.jpg

Train station serving the wealthy South East Section:

trainstationservingthea.jpg

One of the railway stations:

oneoftherailwaystations.jpg

Offices and high-rise apartments:

officesandhighriseapart.jpg

Office blocks in the Lower Town:

officeblocksinthelowery.jpg

Industrial sites on the edge of the CBD:

industrialsitesontheedg.jpg

Industrial land:

industriallandyorktown.jpg

In and around York Town:

inandaroundyorktown.jpg

inandaroundyorktown2.jpg

High-rise apartments - North West Section:

highriseapartmentblocks.jpg

Apartments popular with young professionals:

apartmentspopularwithyo.jpg

Mayor Browne

The Ports Approach is a small borough sandwiched between the highly dense and low rent neighbourhoods aligning the Royal Ports to its south, St. Paul’s Borough to the north and Oak Temple and Can Town to the west and east respectively. Much of the land in the neighbouring land is occupied by heavy industries, port/dockland activities and vast swathes of residential tracts. Social housing in neighbouring boroughs is very high, although the low rent housing in Ports Approach is predominantly private sector, land-lord owned tenement apartments.

Tenement blocks in Ports Approach:

tenementblocksinportsapj.jpg

Somewhat similar to tenement blocks that can still be found in the South Bronx, the large blocks tower

over the streets and in some cases provide poor conditions for families, as families here tend to be

large and cramped into these living conditions/environments. The area became popular for low rent

immigrants due to its location around some of the important rail trade/freight routes from the ports into

the main-lands of the New World Islands.

Tenements occupied by Italian immigrants:

tenementsoccupiedbyitalr.jpg

Tenement style housing in Ports Approach:

tenementstylehousinginp.jpg

tenenmentsinportsapproa.jpg

Industrial land uses along railways leading to the Royal Ports:

industrialsitesalongthe.jpg

During the period between 1880 and 1930, Imperial City, like many cities in the North West of the United States experienced a large surge of immigration from Italy. Many of the Italians who settled in Imperial City formed

strong communities, mainly based around dockland areas and districts close to the ports. Much of the first economic activity within these communities was based around dockland activity and the associated trades.

 
Ports Approach was like some of the Italian communities in American cities like New York and Chicago, with a

strong sense of community cohesion and a code of silence surrounding the illegal activities carried out by mobs formed by those predominantly of Sicilian ancestry. The Gambalino Crime Family first established protection rackets on small businesses in Ports Approach before later expanding into neighbouring boroughs and building a wider base of operations. Joey’s Meat Parlour was one of the gang’s bases.

Mayor Browne

The Borough of Rockport is an affluent commuter belt suburb located north west of the Imperial City and is in closer proximity to the New Victoria CBD than it is to the Imperial City Central CBD. Many of the residents commute into New Victoria for work in the many offices there. Rockport is like many other similar commuter belt suburbs with a green environment, low density neighbourhoods and is served by good schools and healthcare. The wealthy residents of these communities try their best to turn a blind-eye to the ill existence of the poor, the 'have-nots' of Imperial City but many such residents drive through or beside many of Imperial City's inner ring slums and ghetto neighbourhoods to get to work, some of which were once affluent neighbourhoods themselves.

Rockport in location to the Imperial City conurbation:

locationofrockportinimp.jpg

Affluent homes:

affluenthomesinrockport.jpg

highlandvalueaffluentsu.jpg

rockportneighbourhood.jpg

Rockport High School:

rockporthighschool.jpg

Sir Frances Drake Lower School in Drake Town, Rockport:

draketownrockport.jpg

Mayor Browne

By the 1990’s Oak Temple was one of the most violent ghettos in the country. Drug wars and gun crime were the day to day. Theft and assaults a norm. Whilst other ghettos in the Kings Valley/Imperial City conurbation were more run down or decayed, the Oak Temple was by far the most violent and gang infested. This was partially due to the fact that so many gangsters and poor citizens in the Valley’s other cities and neighbourhoods were re-housed here. Many slum dwellers from the notorious East Grands, Mulford Lots and Near South East-side slums of Imperial City Central were relocated to Oak Temple. Slum dwellers from the pits neighbourhood south of University Village were also housed here. This relocation of various communities into the packed Oak Temple contributed to the gang disputes, as mobs formed in previous communities tried to re-establish themselves in Oak Temple, only to find fierce competition from other older mobs and newly forming gangs.

Pics in and around Oak Temple:

Boundary between Parish Town and Centre Oaks
boundarybetweenparishto.jpg

Centre Oaks Houses, a gangland breeding ground for criminality!
centreoaksoaktemple.jpg

Centre Oaks Secondary School
centreoakssecondaryscho.jpg

Gang infested Centre Oaks where gunshots and sirens can be heard ringing out throughout much of the day and most of the night
ganginfestedcentreoaks.jpg

Gang neighbourhood in Centre Oaks just north of the Centre Oaks Houses. Police have been ordered not to enter this section amongst others in Oak Temple. Whilst this has reduced gang on police shootings and civil unrest due to aggressive and irratic law enforcement, this has allowed the criminal gangs to establish their own violent marshal-law. Neighbourhood disputes, often the most trivial in nature, often end in bloodshed and sorrow for the community.
gangneighbourhoodjustno.jpg

Gunner Block in Centre Oaks
gunnerblockincentreoaks.jpg

Hard Block 99 and 100 beside Centre Oaks Secondary School
hardblock99and100beside.jpg

Hard Block Villains gang neighbourhood
hardblockvillainsgangne.jpg

Hard Block Villains on 99 Block
hardblockvillainson99bl.jpg

Heavy Industry in Oak Temple western section
heavyindustryinoaktempl.jpg


High-rise social housing in the north west section
highrisesocialhousingin.jpg

High-rise towers in the gang infested north section of Oak Temple
highrisetowersinthegang.jpg

Housing north east of Parish Town
housingnorthofparishtow.jpg

North of Centre Oaks
northofcentreoaks.jpg

Oak Temple City Hall just south of the Centre Oaks Houses
oaktemplecityhallsoutho.jpg

Parish Town in the north section of Oak Temple
parishtowninthenorthsec.jpg$

Piff Block in Parish Town
piffblockinparishtown.jpg

Piff Block in Parish Town 2
piffblockinparishtown2.jpg

Piff Block in Parish Town South
piffblockinparishtownso.jpg

Poor planning means the railway line splits the John Oaks Secondary School from the concrete football pitch. Access requires pupils to cross the lines at the crossing on the maine road, which is time consuming and partially dangerous. Measures to improve pedestrian connectivity to the ground is under internal consultation in the Oak Temple Council's Planning Department.
poorplanningmeanstherai.jpg

South west section of Parish Town
southwestsectionofparis.jpg

West of Centre Oaks
westofcentreoaks.jpg

Mayor Browne

Tower block social housing in St. David's around the footpath that replaces the old disused railway line:

towerblockhousingaround.jpg

towerblockhousing2aroun.jpg

The St. David's ghetto is home to a number of prolific criminal gangs, most of which originate and operate in and around the St. David's Houses (social housing development). Swarms of goons and hoodlums can be seen at the base of the many tower blocks in St. David’s. The city/borough has experienced mass poverty due to the high levels of unemployment, drug and alcohol abuse problems and a widespread culture of crime that has caused poor employability for residents of the St. David’s Houses.
 
Many of the black immigrants in the central areas of Imperial City were re-housed in the Oak Temple and St. David’s social housing developments. Re-housing schemes to these cities/boroughs was partly in response to overcrowding and slum housing conditions in Imperial City Central and partly due to market forces such as gentrification. During the 1960s and early 70s St. David’s, Oak Temple, Swine Town and a number of other Local Authorities in the Greater Imperial City conurbation were commissioned to build large schemes such as the aforementioned St. David’s Houses, the Centre Oaks Houses in Oak Temple and Riverview Houses in Hudson amongst many other developments.

More pics in and around St. David's:

St. David's section of Port Maine Boulavard

stdavidssectionofportma.jpg

St. David's City Hall

stdavidscityhallandpoli.jpg

Average low-wage/affordable housing east of the high-rises and east of the shopping area around Port Maine Boulavard

stdavidseastoftheshoppi.jpg

Mayor Browne

Various pictures around the Central Business District (CBD):

imperialcitycentralwest.jpg

imperialcitycentralwest.jpg

imperialcitycentralwestj.jpg

imperialcitycentralwest.jpg

imperialcitycentralwestt.jpg

South west section of Imperial City Central West CBD
southwestsectionofimper.jpg


Inner city residential neighbourhoods:

Imperial City Central West - Near Northside
imperialcitycentralwest.jpg

Low rent apartments in East Grands (Imperial City Central East)
lowrentapartmensintheea.jpg

Nearside South West
nearsidesouthwest.jpg

Old Town, near to Near Northside
oldtownneartothenearnor.jpg

Tenements on East Imperial, just south of East Grands
tenementsoneastimperial.jpg

Tower blocks on the eastern shore of the Royal River, just south of University Village
towerblocksontheeastern.jpg

towerblocksontheeasternm.jpg

towerblocksontheeastern.jpg

towerblocksontheeasternn.jpg

Apartments in East Grands
apartmentsineastgrands.jpg

The edge of Clifton beside the CBD and the once thriving theatre district
clifton.jpg

Housing south of Central Park South
housingsouthofcentralpa.jpg

Mayor Browne
The city was once a thriving manufacturing port where ship building, the construction of military equipment and vehicle assembly took place at a scale unlike many other a place in its time.
 
The city was first occupied by Spanish settlers during the age of the empires. Dutch settlers took over the New World Islands in 1776 but were later overthrown by British invaders in 1797. Following a period of turmoil and war, the Island was declared part of the British Empire and was formally settled by an administration under 1st Baron Edward Drake. Edward Drake the 1st ruled the colony for some time before passing over rulership to Baron Montgomery of Scotland who was later followed by Lord Rubens of Shropshire, England.

               imperialcityfromabovesh.jpg
 
The port was used from its beginnings under British rule as a stage post for weapons and arms manufacturing and export to various British operations in the ‘New World’. For many years it was due to the success of the Imperial City of the New World Islands that the British were able to out power their European competitors. No other empire had such a powerful arms base to supply the ongoing wars occurring over the New World Islands, the Caribbean and the Americas.
 
Once the empire wars had simmered down and the colonies were more or less established, the facilities built for arms construction were transferred into vehicle parts manufacturing and ship building thrived, further ensuring that the Royal Navy of the British Empire was fully stocked with state of the art ships and maritime equipment, outdoing the other colonies that had established bases in the New World. Imperial City was a staging post for raids into new Spanish, French, Portuguese and Dutch settlements nearby.
 
Much of the success of the ship building in Imperial City was dependent on trained naval engineers from the homeland of England. Shipments of experts, scholars and academics were brought over to ensure that there was a sufficient skill base to feed the wars with the equipment and knowledge needed. Map experts and geographers were also shipped in mass, alongside economists, architects, medical practitioners and law enforcement officers to police the growing populace of workers and loafers.
 
The Imperial City Naval School set up in 1801 continues to compete as one of the leading naval training and education institutes in the world.
 
By the time the Imperial Port had established itself as a serious base of British military, political, and economic operations it was a comprehensive and well run administration. The population had grown significantly and the port became a popular destination for many a British sea bearer. It was popular with pirates and privateers as a stop off harbour on their journeys due to the abundance of gambling dens and drinking houses. The atmosphere was one of chaos and bedlum. Brawls were common place and theft was so common as if it were not even a crime. ‘Finders keepers’, any man’s game. It took some time before official laws were drafted, although there were some acts that were considered crime, despite the lack of official laws and state enforced punishments were imposed.
 
Mayor Browne

Imperial Fort City from above:

locationandboundaryofim.jpg

birdseyeviewofimperialf.jpg

The event known as the ‘First Flood of the Aristocrats’ took place in the Imperial Fort City. The city had functioned for some time as a quiet place of trade, wealth and a retreat city for many of the Imperial City’s wealthy traders, aristocrats and nobleman. The city managed to remain relatively low density, clean and quiet for many years, despite its immediate proximity to the Western Central Business District of Imperial City which had caused similarly placed areas and cities to become rapidly urbanised. However events across the country would cause the areas image and character to change drastically.
 
During the middle of the 19th century (period within the industrial revolution) many nobles across the country were losing land and assets at an alarming rate due to localised citizen uprisings and changes to governance across the country. Parishes in surrounding counties were experiencing a kind of unionisation as industrialisation swept across the country. Previous land owners, Lords, Barons and other aristocrats were rapidly losing power and influence due to the emergence of the new entrepreneurial classes forming under the industrial revolution. Unions were taking power and demanding more rights and care for workers, which took away the iron-hand control many nobles had previously afforded and maintained.
 
This caused many aristocrats to flee their lands which were becoming very difficult to manage and control. Many flocked in search of refuge to the Imperial Fort City, where the Emperor King George the Great ‘s land was seen as a safe haven for aristocrats. At the same time as this, aristocrats already residing in the city realised that significant moneys could be made by accommodating the migrating upper classes, as these citizens would appear to make better tenants than the poor migrants coming to the King’s Valley to work on the docks, the factories and in other heavy industries.

oneoftheelevatedraillin.jpg  

 

Previously noble families with lost fortunes combined with other factors of the time meant that the flood of aristocrats painted a completely new picture of the Imperial Fort City. The city that was once quiet and remote became a construction boom town as landlords raced to build luxury but profitably dense accommodations for the demand created by the flocking aristocrats. Not only did this mean that working class labourers were now spending time and money (on food and drinks amongst other things) in the city, it also saw a huge increase in the population and the inevitable increased strain on the existing amenities, infrastructure and services.
 
Violence became rife as herds of new residing aristocrats would swarm into the bars and public houses to drown their sorrows and attempt to rebuild their lives, whilst socialising profusely. Pubs, taverns, eateries and inns flourished during these times. Many men and women of the upper classes were out and about the town networking, attempting to form business partnerships, speculating for profit, real estate and all other forms of social existence were prolific. Dancehalls became popular dating, mating and seduction houses where drunkenness, drug use and all things vice became the norm.
 
The rapid population increase and urbanisation of the area by many of the elite, rich classes of previously rural settlements and counties inevitably attracted the attention of criminal classes from neighbouring districts. Large groups of criminals organised themselves into teams to penetrate the Imperial Fort City’s wealth. Gangs of burglars, pickpockets, snatch thieves, muggers, drug dealers and fraudsters were seen frequenting the city in masses.

32717059.jpg

 
At night many fights would breakout in and around the drinking and gaming establishments as tough aristocrats, many of whom descended from war victors and military excellence would stand for no violation from the riffraff of the under classes. Many spectacular brawls took place on a common basis with hardened villains in full-blown scuffles and fracas with the elite classes who were attempting to protect their assets and their pride from those they referred to as scum.

theneighbourhoodlocatio.jpg

 

The Police force had a handful of cases and the officers operating in the Imperial Fort City became tough and vicious in order to cope with the daily agro occurring. Murder was not rare in Imperial Fort City, especially as many a burglar caught in the act would be killed on sight by those with a potent pride and, anger and arrogance enough to deliver the death they would justify as greatly deserved by sneak burglars or armed raid burglars alike.

29882407.jpg

 
Many of the previously military class aristocrats took weapons stashes with them to Imperial Fort City, which contributed to the rapid rise in violence and the ease of availability to weaponry across the Valley. Unscrupulous, previously military class aristocrats, were known to be flooding ghetto communities with firearms in later years.  

Various pictures of Imperial Fort City:

imperialforttowersonthe.jpg

imperialfortnortherneas.jpg

Imperial Manor School:

imperialmanorschool.jpg

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Mayor Browne

Imperial City conurbation from above:

imperialcityfromabove.jpg

The old dockland areas can just about be seen in the south along the coastline. Up river in the Imperial City Central Business District (CBD), over-density, poor refuse management, decay and general inner city problems led to the long-term decline of real estate land values. This caused businesses to relocate into the new CBD found in New Victoria just north on the banks of the Imperial River where it meets the Royal River tributary. New Victoria is generally cleaner, better planned and regulated by the authorities and the New Victoria Planning Department in order to avoid some of the problems that the more organic and historic Imperial City Central has experienced.

Suburbs can be seen sprawling along public transport and trade routes away from the chaotic inner city districts that have grown along the ports and riverfront activities.

Imperial City from above with sub city and borough boundary map:

imperialcityfromabovesh.jpg

The most rife with gangs of the ghetto neighbourhoods of the Imperial City are found within the Oak Temple, St. Paul's and St. David's city/boroughs. There are however numerous notweworthy gangland and ghetto areas across the wider city, some of which can be found in Imperial City itself (Mulford Lots, East Grands etc. [East Central] - Nearside North, Clifton, Nearside South West [West Central]), Swine Town, Baron's Port, Royal Ports, Cannon and Forest Hill.

Various ethnic communities and demographic trends exist in the city which will be explained in greater detail in later posts. At this stage, from a basic geographical stance, what can be seen is widespread deprivation and poverty in overcrowded neighbourhoods that have traditionally housed the low wage workers on the docks and the associated heavy industries aligning the city's waterfronts.

As the city experienced rapid expansion, 'leap-frogging' has and continues to occur, whereby residents up-sticks and move from relatively urban areas into nearby/further out suburbs, in search of greener environments, less overcrowding and generally a better quality of life (QOL). When inspecting the Imperial City and the wider conurbation of Kings Bay/Imperial City in greater detail, evidence of the previously wealthy classes can be seen in areas that are considered as slums today. 

Affluence through architecture and property is visible where once beautiful buildings have become decrepit and run-down. Manor houses can be seen as converted into multiple dwellings, i.e. split into flats and apartments.

As can be seen in London and many other British cities, migration trends and employment shifts, coupled with different residential demand characteristics has led to greatly changing socio-demographic characteristics of the city's urban nrighbourhoods. On the contrary to the obvious slumification of certain neighbourhoods, there is widespread evidence of gentrification in Imperial Fort, where previously run-down areas have become popular and in some cases yuppified, partly as a result of the many university students, young professionals, artists and creative industry types in search of cheap rent and urban areas steeped in history, character, nightlife activity and culture.

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