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Maryborough

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About this City Journal

The redevelopment of a vanilla region into a modern, plugin-filled metropolis.

Entries in this City Journal

Retep Molinari

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On November 5, 2010 it was official: Emily Maxwell was the newest Mayor of Maryborough.

Election night partying.

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Maxwell has a major task ahead of her: how to revitalize the City. The first Green Party mayor of a major American city, she also faced major skepticism that she had the skill and practicality to get the job one.

To silence the critics and make good on her promises, Mayor Maxwell jumped into action on her first day on the job.

The project to daylight the Wapato Creek was chosen as the first major project. The plans called for demolishing a little-used freeway which ran above the creek. Where the freeway once stood, a canal holding the creek would be built. Within the canal would be a mall of mostly local shops displaced by the construction along the freeway's corridor. Finally, a new roadway, light rail line, and bike path would be built along the creek.

This project was chosen because it Incorporated all of Maxwell's major campaign promises: building livable commercial districts, improving transportation, and supporting environmental sustainability.

The demolishing of the freeway.

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To avoid floods, the creek was piped through to its outlet while construction continued.

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Construction continues and the mall canal begins to take shape.

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While the canal was being build, Maxwell also undertook the massive modernization projects needed for the city's civic infrastructure. School buildings hadn't been replaced in years; old elementary schools were made into high schools while the younger students were pushed into smaller temporary buildings. Also, police stations were so outdated that they couldn't support adequate broadband networks and were seismically unsafe.

Schools would generally be rebuilt from the ground-up, while police stations would be a modern glass facade which would mask the retrofitting work.

A typical civic block, with a high school (top left) police station (top right), and "temporary" elementary school buildings (center).

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An updated subway station where the high school was, with the retrofitted police station and a new elementary school. The redevelopment also includes pedestrian pathways.

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In other, more blighted blocks, all buildings were torn down. This block now includes a new hospital, educational facilities, and parkland.

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Until Next time!

Retep Molinari

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This CJ will explore the process of transforming a 10-year-old, vanilla SC4 region (made by a ST member) using urban development and a wealth of user-created plugins. Feedback, suggestions, and interaction are highly encouraged. For example, you can see that I respond to each and every comment...

MamaLuigi945: Thank you for the advice! Balancing the budget is really hard. A challenge is that really inefficient buildings are all over the city. For example, rather than a high or mid-capacity elementary school, 4 small Maxis schools will be on one block, all with their own school buses. There were 72 on the main tile alone! Also, you have every single roadway paved as a road; no streets! So problems like that need to be worked out.

Jimmy Buzaid: Oh yes, the NAM is a mainstay of all of my cities.

TekindusT: It has been harder in some ways that I didn't expect at first. I am also trying to avoid just bulldozing perfectly good blocks; I am trying to keep this realistic. And the cost issues are amazing and, yet , realistic.

Schulmanator: Thanks! I hope you stick around and see how it goes. I'll always appreciate your feedback.

On August 22 10, 2010, late in the ongoing mayoral campaign, Emily Maxwell entered the race.

She was an unlikely contender. A Democrat representing the Hampton district, she switched to the Green Party after the primaries to challenge the two-party system that hadn’t delivered anything to Maryborough in decades.

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At her campaign launch, she outlined her plan for the city:

1. Support and develop business districts and communities

  • Make human-scale streets and urban landscapes.

  • Daylight Wapato Creek as a canal and business district.

  • Build and rebuild parks, schools, colleges, and civic buildings.

The freeway under which the Wapato Creek runs.

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2. Rebuild the transportation system

  • Revitalize useful subway lines and abandon others.

  • From scratch, build tram, bus, and bike routes.

  • Remove underused highways for better land use.

An old freight rail line. Future commuter line?

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An artist's rendering of a bike path.

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3. Create a utility system for 21st century sustainability goals

  • Develop a new water delivery and sanitation system, including recycled water

  • Create a landfill diversion system, including compost manufacturing for local farms.

  • Build clean power sources.

A skeptical voter meets with Emily Maxwell.

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Will Maxwell make it? Stay tuned to see what goes down next!

And as always, your comments and wishes are appreciate!

Retep Molinari

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This CJ will explore the process of transforming a 10-year-old, vanilla SC4 region (made by a ST member) using urban development and a wealth of user-created plugins. Feedback, suggestions, and interaction are highly encouraged.

The City of Maryborough was founded as a trading outpost in 1883. Located on the southeastern tip of the Puget sound, the city got its start as a port for the many nearby farms. The economy would grow to include the processing and shipping of lumber, minerals, and textiles.

Maryborough in 1892.

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Prosperous for a time, the metropolitan area reached a peak population of 1.4 million in 1945.

Downtown Maryborough in 1941.

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The next two decades saw major economic stagnation and recession for Maryborough. As the old industries faded away, Maryborough failed to keep up with the times. Much of the economic decline was (incorrectly) attributed to the lack of modern transportation systems, which in the 1960s meant highways and roads. In turn, the citizens elected Mike Hayes, a local businessman with strong connections to the auto industry, Mayor.

Highways and water treatment. Yum.

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Without State or Federal aid, the roadways were built by local funds raised through bonds. Twin, intersecting highways cut through the city, while every street was converted into high-capacity roads.

The result? Disaster. The roads did nothing to stop the economic changes afoot, while the bonds drowned the city in debt. Worse, the high capacity roads and lack of services killed off many once-thriving communities and the service economy fell apart. Soon, families were leaving in droves for suburbs located around Olympia, Tacoma, and Seattle.

For the rest of the 20th century, Maryborough was a shell of its former self. As old school buildings deteriorated, portable classrooms replaced them. Subway lines were planned only to be abandoned half-built. Investments in better utilities couldn’t be afforded and suffocated the city’s budget with infrastructure cost overruns. Moreover, few civic buildings were up to earthquake codes.

A typical school site, with the original building surrounded by "temporary" classrooms.

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In 2010, it seemed that nobody wanted the Mayor’s job. Sure, the Democrats and Republicans ran candidates, but their campaigns were recycled defeatism. Until, that is, one City Councilwoman took charge and jumped in the race.

Who is she, and what's her plan for Maryborough?

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What do you want to see done?

Let me know what sorts of development projects you'd like to see. There is plenty of land for everyone's ideas.

Until next time.... mayoral intrigue!