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Spedbury

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About this City Journal

A city of contrasts, from huge smog polluting factories to the cutting edge of R&D. From densely packed decrepit public housing projects to sparkling waterside condo's.

Entries in this City Journal

Ion_Cannon

First off I just want to thank everyone that viewed, commented, rated and +1'd the last entry. I was rather overwhelmed with how well it was recieved to be honest, so thanks :)

Replies

I was trying to quote everyone, but it won't let me do that, so if I haven't quoted you don't worry about it. -later- And now there are to many emoticons, I may have to change how I do replies I think.

@sHnozZa

The housing estates look amazing. Nothing looks out of place. 5/5

Thanks, I enjoy building them, previously only middle class areas but over time I have come to enjoy building practically any type/wealth of housing.

@dubaidude303 : Thanks for the comment, I intend to.

@MamaLuigi945

I love the use of parks, trees, and all different kinds of custom content. Your suburbs are beautiful with the NWM and SAM roads and streets. 5/5

Cheers, and thanks for the comment, you must have commented on nearly every single update so thank you for that. As for the road networks, I like to mix things up a bit, one day I'll get the hang of the RHW :P

@10000000000000

Amazing! Love the building choice and everything fits together fantastic!

Just one question, how come you changed the name from "The Spire"?

I changed the name from The Spire because that was the previous city I was working on, The Spire is now essentially finished and as The Spire was just one city in the region it didn't make sense to keep the same name. However the region doesn't yet have a name really, so the CJ name reflects the city I am working on most currently, which is by far Spedbury :)

@Keder : Thanks :)

@Hazani Pratama : The people living in the slum areas don't think so, but as far as urban decay goes it has a certain aesthetic quality :P Thanks for the comment.

@Aaron Graham : Thanks Aaron, but none of this would be possible without people such as yourself making content for people to use, so you have my thanks. There probably isn't quite so much of your content in this update, you should BAT some industrials to remedy that :P

@greenbearcub

That city looks great and it's feel is awsome. What is that building in the third picture to the far left. (red brick with solar panels on top)

That is the TSC Ecological Building, you can find it here -

@Jetty Jockey

A very realistic mix. I also enjoy that you preserve enough green spaces within your city . Quite scenic !

Thanks for the comment, I'm going for the green but urban look and I think I have succeeded, besides people aren't robots, they need room to breathe. I'm not happy with my park creating skills yet though.

@Zulu2065 : Thanks Zulu :)

@Jamonbread : Thanks for the comment :)

@newyorka : Thanks, however you'll need to be a bit more specific in regards to housing, I have many many plugins. The marina/dock can be found here - http://www.simpeg.co...ownloads;cat=35 you'll need to register to download.

@Markus J

I am curious, how much have you finished of this region/city? It looks impressive.

The region has been in the works since 2010, hence the quality of the region varies alot, currently the regional population is 25,645,000 approx. Spedbury has 277,000 at the time of writing this. The city is probably around 60% finished, I still have a lot of land to build on :)

@david030400 : Nah, nothing is perfect, but thanks anyway :)

@aparrot7 : Thanks, I'm glad you like the style :)

@emogreen07 : I wouldn't have said it was "planned" I have an idea of what I want to do but its pretty spontaneous really, I don't plan out any networks beforehand I just go with the flow, though this does have its drawbacks, sometimes I have to delete a lot of stuff because I can't fit in what I wanted to fit in, anyway, thank you for the comment :)

@jc joopy : Where did I find the first one? I'm not quite sure what you mean, if you tell me which pic it's in then I can give you the link. The big factory can be found here - http://sc4devotion.c...php?lotGET=2578, thanks for the comment :)

@city89 : Sure, you can find that here - http://sc4devotion.c...php?lotGET=2578

@Cobra_nVidia : Thanks, I certainly wouldn't mind living here, on the nice side of course :)

@SimGuy23

Idk why, I just ditched SimCity 4 in late June, and then picked up RollerCoaster Tycoon 1 the night I went to the amusement park. I haven't played SC4 since. This makes me wanna play again. Very nice.

I go on and off Simcity myself rather often, I think most of us do, and like you, I usually pick it back up when I see something impressive in CJ's or "show us your" threads. So I'm glad my CJ was that spark, thanks for the comment :)

@SimCitySuperFan : Thanks, I upload them on an external image hosting website, in my case thats http://photobucket.com/, then you link the pictures directly into the CJ.

@paulvmontfort

yippee, Always nice to see my latest creations being used in a CJ . I love the setting, great job

I'm sure I won't be the only one, they're very nice buildings and the lotting by T Wrecks is also top notch. They fit so well into that pocket of affluence that I couldn't not use them, was a little problematic to grow though, thanks for the comment :)

@Lloyd0728 : I wouldn't worry about it to much, it takes time to learn how all the custom content fits together, what goes with what, and with more coming out all the time it's a constant learning experience, thanks for the comment :)

@Benedict

Well-received indeed - the response to this update propelled your CJ to number one on BTT this week.

Thanks, made for a nice little suprise after the hassle of moving house :)

@grstudios

Congrats on getting 1# on Ben's Top Ten! It really suits this so great CJ... Wish you many more beautiful creations, and no SC4 bugs/crashes for the near future.

Best regards,

Guy

Thanks, SC4 bugs, not so much. SC4 Crashes? To many to count :P

Update

A rather large update today, so apologies if you don't have much bandwidth.

The plan was to alternate the type of area shown each update, but as with many things the reality is a little different. I kept running out of ideas and going back to the "nicer" areas, and as such this update is really 50/50. So I suppose it has something for everyone. I've also experimented with an older area of buildings, and while I like it I'm not sure I will actually keep it. Anyway, less talk and more pictures I think, as always click the pictures for full 1680x1050 resolution.

We'll start in the poorer districts, this council goods depo was recently constructed on land previously occupied with an old factory, which arsonists burnt down.

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Some of the surrounding housing projects,including the massive Ashbury house, constructed in 1973 to house 4,800 people.

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The area is dominated by a huge ironworks and ore processing facility, the blast furnaces burn 24/7 and the twin chimmneys have become local landmarks.

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This once busy motorway seperates the housing areas of Northolt from the heavy industry of Workington.

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In some places old factorys have remained standing, and are now surrounded with low quality housing.

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More heavy industry lies on the other side of the A556.

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A few overviews of the main industrial areas and housing projects.

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The huge VW car factory and Blenish freight yard.

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The previous main street of this neighbourhood can be seen to the upper side of the 60's concrete dual carriageway.

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Now we come to the dividing line, stepping accross the railway line is like entering a different city (Well okay, driving or walking under)

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This area known as Fitz-Bellgrovia is the old merchants quarters, the old houses were recently done up and now fetch a pretty price on the housing market, the large imperial-era buildings also underwent extensive sandblasting and renovation.

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We're now heading into the commercial heart of the city, which is charmingly located along the old canals. In the last few years extensive traffic free cycleways have also been constructed along the canals.

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In some places the old high street remains, though with some additions usually.

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This large shopping centre is situated on the outskirts of the commercial area and is popular enough to have its own purpose built rail station.

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And lastly some middle class suburbia with a well performing school.

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EDIT: I've done it again, I was sure I had uploaded this image, but I guess not. It shows in greater detail the partially sunken railway junction I mentioned in the comments.

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Anyway, I hope you've enjoyed this update, please comment, criticise and +1 as you see fit :)

Ion_Cannon

Replies

@Simcoug : Thanks, growing the row homes wasn't as bad as I had thought it would be, making them all historical was through! I'll try and release more frequent updates this summer :)

@MamaLuigi - You are indeed correct, alot of this content has already been posted in various "show us your.." threads, but I know CJ's and the forums have different audiences. Thank you for your comment :)

@1000000(many many 0's) - Cheers, it should be "back" until late september, then it will probably have to go back into hibernation due to studies.

@westy177 - Thank you, I will make the change from maxis highway to RHW, but probably only when the next version is released. You can expect plenty more rail, industry and public housing projects though :)

@ROFLyoshi - Damn, I must have missed that, thought I had fixed it guess I'll have to go back and tinker with it, thanks for pointing that out :) I like using greenery though I feel I could do with something a bit less nice for certain areas, never the less I feel that everyone deserves some green :)

@Fox - Thanks for the comment, I'm also glad you bring up English areas because thats pretty much exactly what I was going for :) A mix of victorian terraces and 1960's/70's housing projects such as Trellick Tower (the larger brown towers) and the Aylesbury estate, which is pretty infamous (the lower rise grey blocks).

@testuser1234 - Cheers, there will be plenty more factories in this CJ, but that isn't going to be the focus of todays update.

@Morrinkt - Thanks :) Though this entry won't have quite so much in the way of industrial parks and soviet housing projects, I intend to do the updates as a cycle. 1- Housing projects/dirty factories 2- High-Tech industries, leafy suburbs, middle/upper class homes and 3, back to decrepit housing and dirty huge factories. All entries will contain a bit of both however. I have used a lot of mods to get this many factories, but send me a PM and I can give you a list. Almost everything by Jestarr on the LEX would be a good start though.

Update

The focus for the next 8 or so updates will remain with Spedbury. The intention is to showcase the two halves of the city in a cycle, the previous update focused on the poor neighbourhoods and their workplaces, this update will look at the middle/upper class and how they live and then the next will go back to the public housing projects,dirty industry ect

Spedbury is a city of contrasts and massive inequality, while the poorer residents scrape by on minimum wage living in outdated public housing projects the middle and upper class pay thousands for their children to attend private schools, jet around on yachts and either work in the burgeoning research and development area, or more likely - commute to the large offices in the region via rail. Although increasingly companies are setting up offices in the city itself. House prices are between 10-40x higher in the right areas and the average income is above the £100,000 mark. All pictures can be clicked to view at 1680x1050.

These large detached properties are worth hundreds of thousands due to their proximity to the coast and the marina.

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One of the main commuter stations.

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Offices line the canal, and the bike path has proved a popular addition for the locals, both for getting around and for pleasure.

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The penthouses in these highrises can command prices of several million.

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Moving away from the coast, man made waterways snake through the housing.

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Bicyle paths have made cycling a popular past time.

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A new office building with a private park area.

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Part of the R&D zone.

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Some general pictures.

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And an overview of the entire area.

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And to balance all that greenery..

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Admittedly, thats quite green as well.. Don't worry though, next time we'll look at more housing projects, urban decay, dirty factories, oil refinerys, petrochemical works and iron smelters!

EDIT: I'm a numpty, didn't post all the images I intended to, see below.

Suburbs_3.jpg

Anyway, I hope you've enjoyed this update, please comment, criticise and +1 as you see fit :)

Ion_Cannon

Spedbury_Intro.jpg

To begin with I apologise for not updating this, I have however been busy working away on most of the tiles in my region though not particularily on the Spire itself, the main reason being, it's finished. The Spire was the first city that I really paid attention to the aesthetics and put effort into making it look like something that could exist in the real world, since then I have built all kinds of more realistic things, waterfronts, suburbs, extensive railway networks, large industrial districts, ghettos, suburban office parks, outer city CBD's and have also spruced up alot of my older cities in the process. As such this CJ is going from a singular city focus, to a regionwide focus and I will rename it in due time.

Replies

@MamaLuigi945 - Thanks for your comment, although I like the sharpening it still doesn't resemble exactly how it appears ingame, hopefully there is another trick to give the images more clarity. I know it's possible because I see such images in other CJ's, but despite using high quality jpegs, and taking the pictures on the highest settings it still doesn't look right.

@7891122562059523 - That sure is alot of random numbers.. glad you liked it 1.gif

@JGellock - Thank you, thats exactly the feel I am going for, so it seems I succeeded 1.gif However, I might make some less nice neighbourhoods in future. I do have some existing in the region, but they are rather repetitive, and not of high enough quality to show. Glad to see you have enjoyed looking back through my CJ as well, your comments are appreciated 1.gif

@madhatter106 - Thanks for the comment 1.gif I'm a big fan of your lowrise offices, as you can probably tell. No doubt your second office pack will see similar simcity usage.

@simfarmer89 - Thanks simfarmer89. I get all my midrises from the usual places, here and SC4 Devotion. If you want a list of all the midrises, send me a PM.

@Legobuilder123 - Thanks, much of the stuff I do is suburbish, but you probably couldn't class much of it as pure suburbs at least not in the american sense anyway.

Update

We'll start off in the industrial port city of Spedbury.

Spedbury was an industrial powerhouse in the 19th and 20th century before going through a severe decline in the late 20th century, the past 10 years has been kind however with thousands of jobs created in pharmaceuticals, electronics and general manufacturing. Most of the general factory workers live nearby in the 1970's housing projects while another large portion still reside in the terraces that blanketed the city in its heyday. Those at a managerial or supervisor level tend to move to the other side of the river where the pollution from the factories is not so prevalent. All pictures can be clicked to view at 1680x1050 :)

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An overview of the industrial area.

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Moving on into the public housing projects and terraces.

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Next time we'll visit some other areas in the region, though I haven't decided which parts to showcase next yet.

I hope you've enjoyed this update, please comment, criticise and +1 as you see fit :)

Ion_Cannon

Spire_Banner-1.jpg

First off, apologies for the lack of updates. RL has been full of suprises, so I have not had as much time as I would have liked to work on my region.

Today we'll be looking at Bankside, a splinter business area of the main city. The borough is well served with transport links, being connected to the Spire Express mainline and a major A road, the A45. The A45 is the main thoroughfare between The Spire and commuters coming from the north west and as such it gets extremely busy, especially during rush hour.

This is an overview of Bankside, the A45 cuts the area into two, with the east half being dominated by houses and riverfront development while the western half is predominantly offices and residential midrises.

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And at night, the A45 a chorus of lights. Most, returning home as the longer winter nights draw in.

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Bankside stands on the northern bank of the river Derwent. The old industrial dock walls have been redeveloped and incorporated to serve as pedestrian routes, providing sweeping views up and down the river.

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Offices in Bankside with ample public spaces, these are popular with office workers during lunch. Bankside Central station is also visible. The newly built Riverside Gallery has large exhibitions of modern art, much to the chagrin of many. However it also runs creative schemes in the arts and writing, and is attempting to build up a relationship with the university, over time it hopes to be seen as more a part of the community and less as an unwanted attention seeker.

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Some middle class homes near the A45. All homes come with triple glazing as standard to mitigate the effect of the traffic noise.

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These residential midrises are predominantly studio apartments for the general office staff.

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Elsewhere in the region the area continues to sprawl. The new electrified rail lines to these communities have decreased commute times considerably. These areas are now becoming places of investment themselves, and the movement of some jobs to the suburbs reflects this.

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Thats all for now, hopefully you have enjoyed looking at what I have created. You may also have noticed that the images are sharper than they used to be, this is because some of the sharpness of the image seems to be lost when uploading. Is this an improvement on the earlier images or did they look better before? Personally I prefer the sharpened images, but I would like to get your impressions as well. If you have any other thoughts on anything I have shown today feel free to comment, it is always greatly appreciated :)

Ion_Cannon

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Replies

@ Greekman - Thanks, I really enjoy building them as well :)

@ k50dude - Thank you, but honestly I don't think of this as realistic really, transport networks maybe in some cases, but compared to what some people come up with this isn't realistic.

@ terring - Cheers, since starting to use railways I've never looked back :)

@ MamaLuigi945 - Thanks, and maybe I'll add a bit of interactivity to my next project, such as members being able to live here and there, give them their own story ect ect.

Update

As companies have continued to flood into The Spire space has become tight, to tight. This has driven up prices so much that the area has become less attractive for big buisiness, the rates in the spire are nearly comparable to the big cities now but the regional government has a plan, and that plan is expansion of the CBD. The authorities hope to increase the office space from the current 15.4 million sq feet to 21 million sq ft and this will be achieved in a number of ways.

The current state of the CBD

CBD_ReDev_Before.jpg

1. Currently the ringroad and the railway forms a collar on the constraints of the CBD, stopping expansion in all directions and forcing the offices to build up, height regulations are also imposed via the proximity of the city airport and the area surrounding the runway must remain undeveloped for safety.

2. The first phase of the project involves removing a section of the ring road, this will increase congestion in the surrounding streets and cause delays throughout a majority of the construction phase. This is required in order for the railway to be rerouted. This will also involve destruction of the Booths Factory and further demolition will be required when the railway is rerouted. This phase is scheduled to be completed in 2 years at a cost of £150 million.

3. The second phase involves modernising the station to increase it's capacity, it was built to handle 65,000 passengers a day, but during weekdays the figure passing through is closer to 90,000. Additionally the attached subway station below will be expanded and the services increased from 1 train every 15 minutes to one train every 10 minutes. This work is scheduled to take place over 5 years and will have minimal impact on passengers, the cost of this phase is estimated to be £450 million. Phase 2 will begin at the same time as Phase 1.

4. Phase three involves rerouting the railway and alterations to the junction, a good deal of the railway will also be elevated for ease in passing over roads, three new railway overpasses must be built. The present railway configuration will be kept, with the new one built alongside it, this should entail minimum disruption for rail passengers, once the new configuration is complete the old one will be sealed off and the new one integrated into the system, once this has been completed the old railway line will be dismantled. Timescale for this phase is 3 years, with construction and demolition costs estimated at £250-300 million.

5. Phase four deals with the ground preparation of the new sites, along with infrastructure for the new building plots, water, gas, electricity & internet cables, the subway network will also be extended and a new station built in the area. Estimated time for phase four is 2 years, at a cost of £150 million.

6. To encourage development the plots will then be subject to a decreased amount of corporation tax, the sites will also be sold at rates lower than market average.

7. Once the sites have been sold and planning consent applied for the planning process will be relaxed, local groups will not be able to veto developments. Additionally the planning process will be sped up by removing middle men and un-needed bureacracy.

This is the same area - 20 years later, looks like the governments plan worked.

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And this is an overview of the entire CBD district as it stands today, once again it is being forced to build upwards, but there are already plans for a long term solution.

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The reworked rail junction.

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Some of the new buildings in greater detail.

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And now a few other pictures from around the city.

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Next Time..

Ambitious City Building Plan Revealed

The regional government today approved the construction of 3 new towns across the area, as part of its "Cities for the Future" policy. Over the next 20 years the government will pour £49 billion into the creation of three new cities. The names of the towns have not yet been revealed but is understood that they are to have populations of 30,000 ; 90,000 and 350,000 respectively. The government hopes this will relieve the overcrowding in the cities of Eaton, Washington, Old Oak and Harrington. It is expected that the cities will be served by extensions to current transport lines and a new high speed line will be developed from Eaton to the largest new town. The government intends the cities to be a vision for the future with ample green spaces, good access to key state of the art facilities and a comprehensive and efficient transport network, there is also a big push for ecologically and environmentally sustainable municipalities.

Interactivity: The new cities currently have no names and this is where you come in, I will be naming a minimum of 1 and a maximum of 3 after your suggestions :)

I hope you have enjoyed this update, comments, crticisms ect are appreciated.

Ion_Cannon

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So far this CJ has focussed almost entirely on my city The Spire, which was kind of fitting seeing as thats the name of the CJ. However today I have decided to show you some pictures of other cities in the region. Nobody wants to see skyscraper forests so I won't show those, but I will show some interesting transport layouts, some different kinds of industry, some port related pictures, a supertall financial core and more sprawling suburbs among other things. I have also done a tad more on The Spire and that will also be shown.

95% of these pictures are from old cities I haven't updated for a while, as such the quality may differ, for example some cities were built without a slope mod and all except The Spire were created with maxis houses turned on. I think this also shows how I have evolved my style of building quite well and I hope you enjoy looking at these as much as I enjoyed creating them, with luck this might even give people some ideas.

I'll start with The Spire. Due to a large influx in rail passenger numbers and an increased number of services and connections two major rail junctions have been reworked to allow for greater volumes of commuters to pass, these improvements have also reduced the reliance on two hub stations to act as a line switch, though they can still do so if neccessary.

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Additionally one of the major commuter routes has been redirected in order to open up more land to residential development, this changes the course of the motorway so that it mirrors the path of the railway lines.

Before realignment.

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After realignment and subsequent development

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Now we'll head off to a new port development. This is also a fairly recent construction.

Overview of a majority of the port development.

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And a few closer shots.

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Next we'll visit Somersby, a large suburban area which is home to a small and growing edge city.

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Following on from Somersby is another suburban area - Milton.

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From Milton we'll plunge into a much more urbanised area. Hazel grove is situated between one of the regions megacities and the suburban communities of Silver Lake, while not as dense as the megacity it is still a highly populated area and is located along the massive outer ringroad.

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Now We'll head over to Riverside Industry Park, which has recently gone a renovation, while keeping much of the original layout and masterplan.

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From High-Tech paradise to Smog Hell, welcome to Oaken. Oaken has the regions largest concentration of heavy industry outside of the port cities of the west coast, most of the populace has low levels of education and respiratory problems are rampant, the more wealthy residents tend to live on the eastern side of the city, which is much less polluted than the other areas.

An overview of Oaken. Heavy industry dominates the North and West of the town.

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The only hospital in the entire town.

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Plunging back into urbania this is the Clarkham Golden Triangle, a large buisiness district well outside the megacity hub ideally located on the outer ringroad. It was built as a result of an overwhelming demand for grade A office space, it currently employs 180,000 people directly and many more indirectly. The construction also caused Clarkham to boom, making it a large and influential city in its own right.

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And now for something completely different, the Taroun Mountain Pass. Originally an old mining track it was transformed into a high mountain pass over a number of years, it is currently the only way to pass the Taroun Mountains using a vehicle.

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I hope you've enjoyed this whistle stop tour of my simcity history and if this is well recieved I have enough content to do more such updates. Comments, questions ect are as always, welcomed :)

Ion_Cannon

Replies

@ Zulu2065 - Thanks, I'm glad this continues to be an inspiration.

@ Tekindus T - Thank you, this tile is nearly full now, but that won't be the end of my suburban cities.

@ hahei - Thanks.

@ Soer_II - Thank you for your kind words.

@ Weecaeks - I take it you like it then :P

Apologies for the lack of updates, hopefully this will whet your appetite until I can update properly.

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Ion_Cannon

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Replies

@ Exla357 - Thank you :) My intention with the waste disposal area was to have some sort of large facility, there are some large waste plants available but I do not think they are that great myself, being mainly made of maxis lots. Therefore I opted to use a repetition of Simgoobers waste to energy, I hoped to introduce a bit of variety by rotating them all different ways - Though having looked at it two adjacent plants are turned exactly the same way, I also should have mixed it up a bit, I'll download more waste stuff and reconfigure this area for the future I think. Probably as part of an update, not a seperate update in its own right.

@ Zulu2065 - Thanks :) I'm glad this CJ has been of some inspiration to you, a suggestion though, I wouldn't take pictures that close unless all the props and lots are HD, otherwise they look pixellated which can ruin even the best images.

@ jmarshall - Thanks :)

Update

Bit more of a gap between my previous updates and this one and that will become the norm, much busier now sadly. I'll still try to update weekly though. Anyway moving on to todays update which showcases the area of Kings Heath.

Kings Heath is a predominantly residential neighbourhood which lies on the spruced up canal and is arguably the nicest place to live in the city. The area was previously dominated by large cotton mills but now only one remains, this remaining mill has been converted into a large art/exhibition space that showcases both local artists and more reknown ones. Additionally the mill also contains an extensive crafts and gifts shop, a museum on the history of the mills and two coffee shops. The presses and other machinery was removed 23 years ago, the building then stood vacant for a while before being bought with government cultural funding. The building was renovated for safety but much of the original character and structure was kept.

One of the floors of the mill as it stands today.

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Making a return is the comparison overview. Though some of this was shown in the previous update.

Before.

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After.

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Overview of Kings Heath and the surrounding area.

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Kings Heath, located around the canal and light rail line. The light rail line crosses the city, providing a quick method of transport to the mainline rail network.

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Although the area is predominantly residential there is also a presence of high tech industry and small startup companies, they occupied land once taken by dye factories, brickworks and other heavy industry.

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This road provides commuting traffic with a quick fast route to the station, passengers can also change from the main line to the light rail here.

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A picture of the renovated Knightsbridge Mill, which is now a major cultural centre for the area.

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Railyards, industry and the recent Photex Hydrogen Production plant. The development is part of a prototype compact hydrogen production plant, it is a joint venture between Spires University and Photex Energy. Research is carried out onsite and at the nearby University Science Park.

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The residential area of Kings Heath is as leafy and greeny as they come and the area sports several pleasant parks and numerous green spaces.

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On the other side of the city property tycoon William Emerson has finally been allowed to build his second tower. The site was previously occupied by the old town hall which has been inadequate for city use since the population passed 100,000 many years ago. The new town hall is currently under construction, until it is built the councillors, clerks and other local government staff are occupying the first 15 floors of the smaller Emerson Tower.

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Elsewhere in the region Astoria finally got it's long awaited connection to the national rail network. Though sadly the old church could not be saved and had to be demolished for safety. The nearby canal was also improved. This is from one of my older cities, this is the beginning of an entire reworking of that tile.

Before.

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After.

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I hope you have enjoyed todays update, comments, suggestions and criticism are welcomed :)

Ion_Cannon

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Replies

@ Adrianor - Thats a fair criticism and maybe for my next region I will adopt a particular building style. As it is, it's sort of deliberate to have such a mish-mash, if this is based on anything I suppose it is the UK, just because there is such a mix of building styles here. In my native Manchester it is quite common to see a new sleek apartment building right next to an old victorian factory or a modern detached house right next to some run down apartments. As you move towards the outskirts it becomes more sectioned I guess, particularily in the posh/rich villages which surround it.

Thanks for the comment :)

@ Molinari - Thank you, I had been wanting to use Calibans stone canals for a while now, this presented the perfect opportunity.

@ Exla357 - Thanks :)

@ MamaLuigi945 - Yes, it's very expensive, but there are more expensive places to come.

@ NMU Spidey - Thanks for your comment, I'll be using more canals in this update and ones to come, I would probably have the tile finished soon, but I'm off to university soon so it will take a bit longer yet.

@ DCMetro34 - I agree, though I suppose I am somewhat bias :P

Update

This update was originally scheduled for the 15th, but with the extended ST downtime now will have to do, as such the area is more developed now (but thats for another update), I've also connected the city up to more cities around it, which has caused my traffic to skyrocket, never fear though, it's still below 1min average commute :P

Today shall focus on the Mooreton Industrial Estate and it's surrounding environs. The area has a good mix of manufacturing and high-tech industry and is bordered by a canal, the large rail yard is also used as a holding area for much of the surrounding industries. Residentially Mooreton is a rather poor area, though this has changed dramatically in the last few years.

The now pristine gleaming canal was 8 years ago a dirty, weed ridden mess, it was surrounded by run down abandoned factories on the south side and slum housing and crime hotspots to the north, as such this was seen as the pits of the city, the least desirable place to live. This reputation was cemented by the nearby waste disposal complex. However, 8 years ago this began to change.

The process was kick started by a generous gentrification grant awarded by the regional development body, they poured millions into the area. The canal was unclogged, cleaned and in places the brickwork was reworked and restored, a towside path was also constructed. The factories on the south side were cleared and the nearby roads resurfaced, parks were constructed, and an entertainment venue with cinemas, bars and shopping boutiques was built. On the north side the slums area was cleared, which resulted in some forced evictions, though the current tennants were provided with new council housing provided they didn't kick up a fuss. In it's place a tramway is under construction and there are plans for more new houses as well as a small commercial/industrial area.

Since that all took place; jobs, opportunities and investment has poured into the neighbourhood. Where once crumbling dilapidated factorys stood is now home to several shimmering high rise apartment blocks. Their canalside location as well as fabulous views over the city makes this a property hospot, the addition of the Canalside entertainment venue raised the stakes even higher. To complete the effect £30 million was spent upgrading all the waste disposal plants to reduce emissions and therefore smell, the most hazardous thing they emit now is H20, it's still unsightly, but no longer does it reduce the life expectancy of those nearby.

An overview of Mooreton.

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Now some closer shots of the area.

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Canalside Entertainment Venue.

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Mooreton Industrial Park, provides most of the jobs for the area.

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Spire Waste Disposal Inc.

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Some more recent industrial developments, as part of the development rights they had to incorporate and improve the small waterway.

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Bishops Wake Hospital.

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Brubaker Park & Socialite Club.

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The new council housing for the displaced residents.

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We'll be seeing what Mooreton used to look like, soon...

I hope you've enjoyed this update, comments and criticism are appreciated.

Ion_Cannon

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Replies

@ Zulu2065 - Thanks, and I'll be looking forward to seeing yours finished, Pineville looks very nice.

@ELEMENT - Thanks, I really enjoy creating my networks, nice to see others enjoy them as well. Downtown has 4 plops total, 1 Five Ways, the small brown office building below the main station and two of Il Tonkso's high street shop buildings. Funnily enough all of those are by him actually :P I try as much as possible to only use growables, but I haven't yet got around to making 1 Five Ways and the small brown office building growable, so this was the only way. The shops can grow, 3 of them did, but I wanted a full set and despite zoning the correct area and bulldozing for several minutes, they never grew.

Blending in is a result of a few factors, luck, planning and patience. I have been very lucky in that at times stuff has just grown how I want it to be straight away, this happened with Masshouse in particular, and when I like how something has grown I make it historical pretty quickly. The planning comes in, in that before I have even started to grow I know what I want it to look like and which BATS's will achieve it, sometimes there is also a bit of improvisation though. Such was the case with the first housing estate, which I think you saw in my forum thread. That was intended to be something else but once it grew I realised I could make it look quite nice. I also play around with wealth levels using taxes, zone different size plots specifically in the hope building X or Y will grow, zone different densitys and yes there is still quite a bit of bulldozing, but not as much as you might think. I also tend to build my public spaces and carparks/filler areas, after the buildings have grown, then I can somewhat adapt it to fit the surrounding buildings.

If even after all that and waiting a long time, the specific thing I want hasn't grown I will then plop it. I have about 8 plops total in my city. 4 in the downtown, 3 stubborn industrial buildings which wouldn't grow (despite growing all the time before that :P) and I also have 1 Toyosu building by Deadwoods that despite my best efforts, refused to grow. The other one in Masshouse grew, first time I've managed it :)

The last thing is just having alot of plugins, so that you can get as much diversity as possible. That of course wouldn't be possible without all the dedicated BAT'ers and lot'ers, so if I have used some of your content in my city and you're reading this, you have my eternal thanks :D

@MamaLuigi945 - Thanks.

@Adrianor - Thank you for your kind words.

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Update

Todays update won't really have any specific focus, other than looking at some areas I have now finished up. Masshouse is now finished, the university has put stage 2 of it's building program into place and Coxburgh is finally finished.

We begin as always with a comparison city shot.

Before.

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After.

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First of all we will look at Masshouse and it's surrounding area, some other areas of development should also be visible.

After 23 years of development Masshouse has finally sold all it's plots and it wasn't long before they were all built on. The area now serves as the jobs and social hub for the east of the city, though some sims commute from the west along the railway line. Another smaller commercial development has also sprung up along the other side of the inlet. Part of the university science and technology park can be spotted to the bottom of the image. The canal was also developed by the university, it thinks it adds a level of prestiege for some reason. This was only part of the reasoning though, the canal has driven up property prices in the immediate area and funnily enough guess who owned the land? Thats right, the university.. Of course it's all been developed into top rate waterside property now. The university vice chancellor lives in one of the canalside houses.

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Moving back to Masshouse, this shot illustrates the new developments, mainly small offices and shopping precincts.

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Lets take a closer look at those canals shall we?

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The completed university science and technology park. All kinds of research is carried out here from midge repellent that actually works to a cure for baldness. The facility also has a bigger on the inside than it is outside factor, this is because of the extensive basement, 4 underground floors. It also extends under the canal and under part of the new university.

Spire_Canal2.jpg

Coxburgh is also finally finished, as can be seen here, the new development isn't quite as nice or up itself as the initial Coxburgh development, this area has a strong sense of community and the local amateur football team have beaten all the other local teams so far.

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Some closer shots.

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This area is known as Spire Central, originally the heart of the city the focus has now moved to the CBD. Nevertheless it remains an important part of the city, it is also much quieter now that 90% of all traffic no longer has to pass through the double roundabouts, it is still busy however as you can get anywhere in the city from this point.

Spire_Central1.jpg

Finishing off todays update is a nice picture of the CBD at night, there has been further encroachment on the old industrial area as well as two new high rise developments in the CBD itself.

Spire-CBD_Night.jpg

I hope you have enjoyed todays update, comments and criticism are appreciated.

Ion_Cannon

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Replies

@heitomat - Thanks, I've really enjoyed creating my rail networks though at times it has been frustrating when the puzzle piece I wanted, simply didn't exist :P I'll be showing the development of the central station in a forthcoming update. The terrain mod I use is the Meadowshire terrain mod, another cycledog creation and I love it. I would love to take credit for that airport, I really would but that would be wrong of me. It's actually an AC functional airport. It replaces the maxis airport and has 9 stages, each one requires more passengers. I stumbled upon it and had to have it. Here is that very thread - http://sc4devotion.c...99200#msg199200

@MamaLuigi945 - Thankyou :)

@Exla357 - I would imagine it is located in one of the dependencies for the AC Functional Airports, but which one I have no idea, sorry. Here is the link for the download http://sc4devotion.c...php?lotGET=1664

@SkyGuy - Thanks, plenty more lush greenery with urban touches today :)

@Equilibria - Thanks, I plan to create a massive regional airport at some point, but that will be many updates in the future, unless I get bored of building urban/suburban.

@7891122562059523 - Thanks, though as already mentioned the airport isn't my doing.

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Update

So on to todays update which will showcase the new Spires University, the new Hollin Cross Central Railway Station and various other bits and bobs. To begin with a comparison overview shot.

Before.

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After, the new university is clearly visible.

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Spires University has been looking to move from it's overcrowded outdated maxis designed facilities for over a decade now and thanks to some generous donations from former alumni, has pooled enough funds to begin construction of a brand new state of the art campus. Building work took 7 years and employed several contractors and specialist building agencies. The campus opened up 4 years ago and it was another year before all departments had been fully transferred there. The building gives the impression of that is has been around for years, but this is an illusion, underneath the period brickwork is high tensile steel and concrete. Likewise this allows the university to get around the hassles caused by using older buildings. The looks of a beautiful older building, with none of the drawbacks. (They've actually done this at my university)

First an overview of the entire facility, though the university isn't finished yet, it has big plans.. oh yes. In addition to the new campus a railway station was constructed on the nearby line to deal with the 28,400 students, 7,900 academic staff and various other university staff, this was built in the same way as the university buildings.

The entire university campus and surrounding developments.

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The university in all its lush green glory.

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Now a few closeups.

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The other major development in the region is the Hollin Cross Central Railway Station, which is located on the site of a former carpark. The station now handles half of the traffic demands for the entire CBD, which has drastically reduced the strain on the road system and encouraged development. Among the first of these developments is the Network Rail HQ and administration buildings, which are located in very close proximity to the station.

Before construction.

Spire_StationDevBefore.jpg

After construction.

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In the 5 years following the building of the station, office building boomed drastically, most of the older factory units once present were sold off, demolished and redeveloped. Office space in the area now stands at 12.2 million sq ft, up from 9.7 million 11 years ago.

The area before redevelopment.

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After.

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An overview of the CBD today.

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And the current CBD in a citywide context.

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The old university site was bulldozed and put up for sale, it didn't take long before developers snapped it up. Interestinlgy enough one of the main developments on the new site, Spire Biomechanics, was founded by a university alumni, they specialise in the kind of research which made the Stanton Hydrogen Electricity Generating Facility possible, the main labs are located in the much larger city of Hazel Grove, some 25km to the north east.

The old university quarter, redeveloped.

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Now some general pictures.

More affordable housing developments.

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Coxburgh Swimming Centre.

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I hope you have enjoyed this update, comments and criticism welcomed :)

Ion_Cannon

3. New Developments

Replies copied over from previous update:

@Adrianor - Thanks, to me a semi realistic layout is key, though in honesty power plants are probably bigger than this in some cases. For example Sellafield in the UK is the size of a small town. I'll be showcasing more power facilities in later updates.

@escilnavia - Thankyou, I really like the JRP river kit, and you will definitely see it in later updates :)

@Zulu - The powerplant is from SOMY's site - here is the link http://members3.jcom...my000/index.htm ;Scroll down past all the images and you will see the download link. The water treatment buildings are by NOB - here is the link http://www.simtropol...3-water-system/

@Exla357 - I block some maxis content, and I am in the process of trying to block the maxis houses, however I actually want to keep the highrises and apartments. In theory this should be easy, but reader isn't playing ball at the moment.

@MamaLuigi945 - Yes they are, the link can be found in this very comment:)

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I've been hard at work (hah, if only work was as fun as Simcity) creating some more areas in The Spire, I've also updated and redone some, but you won't see to much of that just yet. These areas are generally high density and more urbanised, but without becoming skyscraper forests, see what you think :)

First here is an overview of the city as of today. The new developments should be pretty clear, but I'll also repost the previous city shot for comparison.

Before

Spire_OverviewDay.jpg

After

Spire_Overview2Day.jpg

This next picture shows the new developments in more detail. We'll look at each area respectively, later.

Spire_NewDevelopments.jpg

The first new development is dominated by several large tower blocks, the nearby pleasant green scenery, wonderful panoramic views and proximity to a small growing high tech industrial park have made this area prime real estate, the sims here are generally well to do, they know it and they'll make sure you know it to. Much to their horror however the regional government also elected to build some affordable housing here, but no tensions have broken out other than some stiffly worded petitions. The burgeoning population also made a rail connection to the area neccessary, it was hoped to be able to tunnel through the mountain and then bridge the river but this wasn't cost effective so instead a new spur was built, work has already begun on extending it further, in preparation for further developments to the west.

Spire_NewDev1.jpg

This next development is centered on the Masshouse Rail Interchange, the existing railway station to the West was upgraded to 4 platforms and building restrictions nearby lifted, additionally to encourage further investment the regional government cut property taxes for the area and gave smaller companies which started up, tax incentives. The land just to the south of the new railway station was allocated towards government funded affordable housing, the area immediately to the south and east of this was sold off to developers. The commercial area has expanded rapidly in just 12 years and it is planned to form part of the Masshouse-Bexley Circus employment corridoor. Bexley circus is to the west, no development has yet taken place.

Spire_NewDev2.jpg

1km to the east of Masshouse is the main commercial centre for the area, several companies have moved regional headquarters here and Pedriana Pharmaceuticals has even moved its world headquarters here. However the majority of the office space is on lease to many different companies. Over the past 10 years office space in the CBD has increased from 3.2million sq ft to 9.7million sq ft. The railway still has no connection here, but a new station is planned to be built over the car park in the next 9 years. Other proposals have involved demolishing the existing industrial buildings to create more office space, this will likely go ahead in the next decade or so, with the industry relocating to a new out of town site.

SpirePic13.jpg

For many years the national government had been looking for a site to build a small regional airport, the growth of The Spire meant it was put up as a possible location for the new airport. Thanks to it's huge growth and excellent transport links The Spire won the contract, currently it serves the rest of the region and also has some short haul international flights.

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With that all out of the way now here are some general pictures of the city.

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I hope you have enjoyed todays update, comments and criticism welcomed.

Ion_Cannon

First off I'll copy over replies from the previous entry, and add some further comments.

@Exla357

Thankyou, I imagine I'll be updating pretty frequently so you won't have to wait long to see more suburbia :) Although the next update might be something completely different.

You know, that's probably the only maxis thing I haven't changed, I'll have a look around for something better, thanks for the advice. (I now have a train mod, you'll see it in a future update)

I already have all of Mattb325's houses I believe, though I suppose I should say I don't let R$$$ grow in alot of cases, which reduces the variety I guess, however I am not prepared to make every single R$/R$$ home historical just to get a few R$$$ sims.

@escilnavia

Thanks, I'll show some of the larger cities at a later date although to be honest they're not very nice - yet :P

@MamaLuigi945

Your comment is appreciated. I love Mattb325's stuff, can't wait till some of those suburban bats he has shown in his thread are released.

@kakado_to_save

I have some closeup shots, though generally I prefer to have larger shots as they show more of an area. I'll have some closeups ready for the next update.

Anyway, onto the update :)

15 years ago it was decided to move all power production for the region to one central location. After looking through the various options the regional government decided to build a large modern nuclear facility. At the time the location chosen would have been many miles from civilisation but the spread of the city surpassed projections and the sprawl started to creep dangerously close, this led to local opposistion to the plant, although the building work continued. Additionally it was feared the new facility would not be able to provide enough power for the entire region, as it had been designed to provide power for 20 million sims but the projections signalled it would need to support 25 million. However a number of developments throughout the planning and initial construction phase provided the way forward. Thanks to a scientific discovery The process for splitting hydrogen from water could be sped up massively due to the genetic engineering of biological catalysts, this made the prospect of a large scale high capacity hydrogen power plant much more feasible, the only drawback was the cost

Thankfully after the regional government held talks with the regions prime technology companies an agreement was formed. The government would put up half of the 10 billion cost, while the technology consortium would provide the remaining half. Shortly after the plan was amended and the regions first large scale high capacity hydrogen power plant was underway, 12,000 people were employed during the construction and now the site is home to 10,500 permanent workers. The development has also been a huge bonus for the technology industry with 1,300 startup companies forming in just 5 years.

The location of the plant is Stanton, and the plant is very originally named - Stanton Hydrogen Electricity Generating Facility

Power is transferred around the region primarily in huge underground conduits, which also carry high speed fibre optic cables. This is one facet of the deal between the government and the technology consortium.

A day overview, the plant requires a huge supply of water to function, the primary intake is underground.

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Here is a night overview, the plant operates for 24hrs, each day there are three shifts of workers to make sure the plant is running at maximum efficiency 24/7.

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The plant is not open to the public and security is tight, there is also a research facility onsite which conducts more research into the hydrogen process, it's all very hush hush though.

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Each of the four reactors operates at 1650MW, over a year the plant will produce 57.8GW of power

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The region continues to expand at great pace however and plans are already in the works for more power solutions, proposals for a giant hydroelectric dam have been floated and one of the major technology companies is in talks to build another, though smaller hydrogen plant.

I hope you've enjoyed todays update, comments and criticism are welcomed.

Ion_Cannon

1. Introduction

Hello and welcome to my first CJ :)

This CJ will explore the Crater Lake Metropolitan Region (Though it's been built on so much you'll have to look for it), this is my first and only region so the quality will vary, and I will likely go back and rebuild areas over time, I have done some of this already, but there is still a lot to go.

I started off trying to build the biggest and most dense cities I could with minimal cheating & plopping, however I turn off crime to stop the buildings going icky. Over time this has become much more an exercise in trying to build pleasant, somewhat realistic areas with interesting transport networks while retaining a definitive suburban or urban feel, I also have a soft spot for high-tech industrial parks.

Anyway, without further ado here is a region view. Bit of a mess right? As a general rule the cities in the middle of the region are the oldest, while the outermost ones are most recent and thus most polished. I apologise for the imageshack quality, but photobucket shrunk the image to much.

craterlakemetropolitanr.jpg

And now as I'm sure you've worked out we shall start our tour in the city of The Spire, so named because of the extremely jagged mountain which dominates the landscape. This city is my most recent creation and isn't yet finished, but it will be in time.

Here is a current overview, day and night.

Spire_OverviewDay.jpg

Spire_OverviewNight.jpg

Current stats, for those who like stats.

Residential Pop : 182k

Commercial Pop : 88k

Industrial Pop : 60k

And now some closer shots.

This picture shows the main roadway through much of the city which is creatively named, the Southern Circular. The main rail line for the area can also be seen, it carrys both passenger and freight traffic.

Spire_Pic5.jpg

I like using roundabouts, side effect of being British I think.

Spire_Roundabout1.jpg

Again with the roundabouts.. this is the busiest section of road in the entire network, almost all traffic has to pass through one or two of these roundabouts. Just off to the left is the main rail terminus.

SpireTrans1.jpg

This next picture is where a large proportion of the populace live, originally a suburban paradise it was protected from development - or so they thought. The crafty developers found a work around using reclaimed brownsites and before they knew it several large towerblocks had been built, blocking out the sun. There is still some semblance of suburbia here though in the form of leafy green streets and good schools. The maxis university is due to be knocked down on the grounds of being horribly ugly in comparison to the University of Clayhurst, but it hasn't been built yet.

Spire_Housing2.jpg

Thats all for now, I hope you've enjoyed my first update, I'll have more to show soon. Comments and criticism are welcomed.