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Exploring Vitarvis

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About this City Journal

Come explore Vitarvis, a thriving tropical metropolis on Atlantica's northeast coast.

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Exploring Vitarvis #5: Gahan

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Bit of a summer hiatus, but even though I haven't been posting, I have still be working on Vitarvis. On today's tour, we're going to the Gahan neighbourhood on Vitarvis's far eastern edge, a place that is almost completely surrounded by water. The updated satellite map below identifies the location in relation to our previous stops.

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Unlike Point Inglis, Augustein and Piedro, Gahan was never much of an independent entity. Its growth has been entirely the result of the success of Vitarvis. Gahan's seaside location proved to be attractive to suburban residential development and things really took off after the subway (Blue Line) was extended into the area. Over time, the low-density residential has slowly given way to some height and the neighbourhood is now very much an old suburb transitioning to inner city. Gahan is still though a largely low-rise district. In the picture below you can see all of Gahan including Coral Point, Warbler Pond, Gahan Beach and the Gahan Crossroads. The high-rises of Muriel Square and the waters of Lake Presario dominate the background with the Vitarvis skyline visible on the distant horizon. From down at street level in Gahan of course, you wouldn't see Vitarvis's towers.

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First stop is Coral Point. This jagged bit of rock is named for the coral reef that is located just below the surface on the sheltered northern side of the point. The reef is a popular stop for snorkellers while the Point is a great place to walk catch a fantastic sunrise over the sea every morning. The number bus route terminates in the road circle on the point and connects all the way to Downtown.

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Walking from the point, you can follow a path down to the seaside to enjoy the sand at Gahan Beach. Gahan Beach is Vitarvis's least popular beach because it's located at the bottom of a steep stoney hillside. Paths have been built to provide access, but it still means a long walk out at the end of the day. On the flipside, Gahan beach doesn't get the crowds of Vitarvis's other beaches, which means that it's popular with anyone who doesn't mind a little bit of a hike in exchange for a bit more space and solitude.
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Here you can see the substantial engineering that had to occur to provide a second access route down to the beach. It was a tricky walkway to build and design because of the steep hillside. The project ended up being way bigger than the surface path that was originally envisioned and of course ended up way over budget. Still, it does the job without creating additional erosion problems.

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Up the hill from the beach, Warbler Pond Park breaks up Gahan's street grid. Named after the large flocks of warblers that would gather in the trees on its shores, the park is much more urban now and the flock of warblers are greatly diminished. It's still a favourite promenade for locals though. Low-rise residential used to completely surround Warbler Pond, but high-rise development has shown up in recent years on the southern end along Merit Road and on the western end close to the Gahan Crossroads.
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Strolling in Warbler Pond Park

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Looking east over Warbler Pond towards Coral Point. The old McCormick Building has been recently refurbished into high end condos. The patio on the top offers a $1,000,000 view of the Pond and sea with units on the upper floors priced to match.

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Two main roads meet in the centre of Gahan, Muriel Avenue and Balcom Street. Muriel Avenue takes you towards Muriel Square and, eventually, Downtown Vitarvis while Balcom Street is the only road that runs along the north side of Lake Presario to Tignus Hill. The intersection of Muriel and Balcom is known locally as the Gahan Crossroads and blocks around the Crossroads function as Gahan's commerical hub. The Crossroads is also a major transit hub, featuring the second last stop on the Blue Line Metro and two intersecting bus routes. When the Metro was built, several small heritage buildings on the corner had to be demolished leaving a blank wall behind on the surviving historic Lanekirk Building behind it. There has been talk of putting a mural on the Lanekirk Building's blank wall for years, but, so far, nothing has come of it.

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The Crossroads from above. Note the stream of ambulances just past the intersectoin. For some reason, Gahan Hospital is a go to place for emergency services and the dispatch of ambulances is constant (not sure why Cities Skylines is picking this hospital so much but it is). A siren is a steady sound at the Crossroads.

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Just down from the Crossroads on Balcom Street is Rosebloom Row, a stretch of rowhouses built into the side of the hill.

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Rosebloom Row is overlooked by the twin Tobek Corporation Towers. Tobek Corporation is a real estate holding company and, in actuality, only occupies a few floors of Tower 1. The rest of the space is leased out to a variety of firms that want a convenient location, but not at Downtown Vitarvis prices. Before the Tobek office development, the rowhouses of Rosebloom use to extend all the way across the block.

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Looking up Balcom Street. Muriel Square to the left (a future update), Lake Presario and Coral Point.

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One final shot of the low-rise residential development that still characterizes much of Gahan. You can see the Tobek Towers to the left and the Crossroads at the top of the hill.

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That's all for now. Hope you've enjoyed your visit to Vitarvis.

 

 

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On today's visit to Vitarvis, we're heading up the harbour to Piedro at the mouth of the Colteck River.

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Piedro is another one of the Vitarvis area's older settlements, but its origins are quite different. While Point Inglis and Augstein were primarily settled because of their access to the harbour, Piedro began as a Christian monastery. Set in a deep valley, its limited entry and exit points provided the monastery with solitude while the fertile land and river allowed its monks to be relatively self-sufficient. The monastery didn't occupy the entire valley though and its presence spurred the growth of a smaller supporting community on the river front. The picture below show's the entire Piedro valley, which is nicknamed the bowl because of its steeply sloping walls and generally round shape.

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Piedro's two defining features are its waterfront and the monastery's central bell tower. We'll start by taking a closer look at the waterfront. The waterfront is defined by Anthern Avenue, with its commercial buildings on one side and a pedestrian promenade on the other. This is the secular community that formed to serve the monastery. Once upon a time, Piedro's waterfront was a much more industrial place. There was a network of small piers which made up a thriving working waterfront. The rise of modern containerized traffic though rendered the old piers obsolete and most of them were abandoned and have long since rotted away. One of the old piers, Slayter's wharf, however, was bought by the city to provide a landing place for pleasure boats. Slayter's Wharf is now an integral part of Piedro's waterfront, attracting walkers, fishers and recreational boaters.

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Close up of some of the commercial buildings along the waterfront. The Piedro Valley Link Bus can be seen moving along Anthern Avenue. The bus route comes down one side of the valley and goes up the other. It provides a public transit link from Piedro into the rest of the urban area above the valley.

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From the waterfront, it's only a short distance up Saint Road to the Piedro Monastery and its distinctive bell tower. The Monastery has a long history in Vitarvis. It once covered the entire northern end of the valley and was home to several hundred monks. As Atlantica society became more and more secular though, their numbers shrunk and the monastery came under increasing financial pressure. Some religious orders would have sold everything off and moved to the country, but the Piedro monks had come to believe that they needed to be with the people. The Monastery sold off their agricultural lands for development. and the proceeds of the sale created a fund. Through some lucky investing, the fund has ballooned in value and has made the monastery self-sufficient, despite the hefty upkeep costs of the bell tower and adjacent building. The garden park to the right of the bell tower is a city park designed with a colour palette and lines to compliment the monastery.

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Looking up Saint Road to the bell tower. There is always a crowd of tourists out front waiting for their chance to scale the stairs to the top. Gotta love the symnetry.

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There are two roads that bring people in and out of Piedro. Old Augstein Road below was carved into the cliff to get to an erroded channel and the plateau above. It was the first means of accessing the valley from the land. I really liked the way the curves turned out on this one. Felt very natural to follow the contours.

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Once you're at the top of the valley, you can follow the edge all the way around. The views from up top down into Piedro, the inner harbour and Colteck river can be quite pretty.

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The other side of the valley is capped with a gentle mesa. Known as Piedro Heights, it was not developed until after the Valley had filled up. Piedro Heights was quite controversial in Piedro itself because it wiped out what had been a spectacularly green hillside and popular hiking destination. The development was eventually approved, but only after the developer had committed to an aggressive tree planting program. Today, it can sometimes be tough to pick out the houses from the mature trees and the mesa is green again... at least from a distance.

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That's all for now!

 

 

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Next on our tour of Vitarvis, a quick trip across the harbour from Point Inglis to nearby Augustein. The satellite imagery below shows Augustein's location relative to Point Inglis.

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Like Point Inglis, Augustein was one of the first places in the Vitarvis Metro Area to be settled. While Point Inglis remained a sleepy fishing village, Augustein developed as an industrial centre and port. The arrival of the Atlantica North Railway cemented its role as a manufacturing powerhouse and, for a time, it threatened Vitarvis for dominance of the harbour area. Vitarvis eventually emerged as the Region's preeminent city, gobbling up all the surrounding communities. To this day, however, Augustein retains its own distinctive character. It is sometimes referred to locally as a “city within a city” or, by residents of Downtown Vitarvis, “the other side.”

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As you can see above, Augustein is built on the harbour on the side of a hill. The hill levels off several blocks up from the waterfront into a more gentle rolling plain. In the photo, you can see the waterfront, Old City Hall at the crest of the hill and Augustein Plaza behind.

Over the years, Augustein’s waterfront has changed dramatically. The construction of a new container port to the south shifted industrial development away from the harbour. The derelict industrial lands languished until a major redevelopment project was initiated by the City. The redevelopment’s signature piece was the new sea wall, which runs for several blocks along the waterfront. Residential development, including the two shiney glass towers (top right in pic below), was a major part of the redevelopment and crucial to bringing people back to the harbour. The two new towers won’t rival the Downtown Vitarvis skyline anytime soon, but they do mark a significant change in Augustein’s typically low-rise streetscape.

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Height limits have kept the building along the northern stretch of the waterfront in front of the towers low to preserve the sweeping view from the street above.

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Like in Point Inglis, the view from the Augustein waterfront across to Downtown Vitarvis is stunning.

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Parking is at a premium just a block up from the Augustein waterfront on the revitalized, mixed use streets.

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Fine grain commercial shops stand in stark contrast with big scale of Vitarvis’s skyline.

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The Atlantica North Railway meets the sea at the Augustein Port Lands. The railway and port form a crucial link between Vitarvis and the outside world. Goods arriving in Vitarvis can be quickly loaded onto trains and shipped inland to Atlantica’s landlocked capital, Dalhousie and vice versa. The Railway marks the southern boundary of old Augustein. Here you can see a train travelling over the viaduct portion on its way to the docks.

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A legacy of Augustein’s past status as a separate city is its central square. Augustein Plaza was laid out shortly after Augustein’s settlement to serve as the civic heart of the community. City Hall was built at one end overlooking the harbour and the distinctive St. Augustus Church was built at the other. Other civic institutions and businesses have traditionally centred on the Plaza. Over the year, the Plaza has been the site of both protests and celebrations. It also hosts a farmers market every Saturday. Although Augustein no longer has its own City Council, Old City Hall still houses a number of municipal offices as well as a small museum dedicated to Augustein’s history.

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View down the hilly street from in front of Old City Hall.

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The garden/lawn in the middle of Augstein Plaza

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Close up of St. Augustus Church on the other side of the Plaza. The busy Augustein Metro Station is the quickest and easiest link to Vitarvis because the Metro runs right under Vitarvis Harbour. Just 4 stops to Downtown compared to a long drive in traffic all the way around the harbour. The Plaza also serves as a bus hub with several bus routes converging on the Metro Station.

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Just across the street from St. Augustus is Augustein’s police station and the Vitarvis Community College (VCC). VCC has enrollment of about 1,500 in a variety of trade and technology programs. The VCC has a mostly friendly rivalry with Point Inglis's Point Centre for the Humanities. Most friendly in that they both agree that the students at the Region's largest post-secondary institution, Vitarvis University, are the worst.

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Thanks for checking out Vitarvis. So long from the other side!

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Tonight, we're off to Vitarvis's Point Inglis neighbourhood. Let's check it out on our spy satellite.

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Point Inglis juts out into Vitarvis Harbour and it's where the city began. Often simply referred to as "the Point" by locals, the area's great exposure to the harbour and the abundance of freshwater in Lake Adello on the ridge above made it a natural place to settle. The first settlers were fishermen who made a living off the sea's bounty. Often, they wouldn't have to go far to land a day's catch as fish are drawn to the nutrient rich mix of fresh and salt water that makes up Vitarvis Harbour. The seeds of Point Inglis's success were also its limitations though. As the community grew, the presence of water on three sides and a steep hill on the fourth meant there wasn't any available land left for expansion. Growth shifted towards Augustein and Vitarvis on the harbour's other sides and Point Inglis languished. As Vitarvis developed into a major centre, Point Inglis eventually became more fully incorporated in the larger city and it shook off its humble fishing origins. Today, the neighbourhood is defined by a small, but very well regarded, post-secondary institution, the Point Centre for the Humanities, and wealthy low-rise residential development. Let's take a look!
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In this aerial, you can see the Point's most well-known landmark, the monument to the settlement of Vitarvis's at the very tip. Across the street from the monument, is the Point Centre for the Humanities (PCH). PCH's impressive dome makes it another well-known local landmark.

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PCH has an enrollment of around 2,000 students. There are very few apartments available in Point Inglis that are affordable for students and and as a result, most students have to live elsewhere. Fortunately, PCH is very well-connected to the rest of the city. Three of the Inglis District bus lines (1, 2 and 3) stop at the Centre and the Point Inglis Metro Station is located just across the street. The view from the monument and PCH across to Downtown Vitarvis is stunning!
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Many tourists take the Metro across to the Point just to take in the view. Local real estate developers have also tried to cash in on it. The two luxury high-rise buildings next to the Metro Station were very controversial when they were built. Many of Point Inglis's inhabitants opposed them as blocking one of the most scenic vista's in Vitarvis. Of course these views were precisely why the developer wanted to build high-rises there! They were eventually approved by the Regional Planning Review Board, which led the local council to introduce tighter planning rules in the Point that have effectively blocked any further high-rise projects in the neighbourhood. The result is the Point's streets are typically made up of high-end, low-rise, residential houses, such as these ones just up from the PCH on Witherell Road.

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Note the modest wooden red house amongst the higher-end properties. A registered heritage property, the McConnell House is one of the few structures left from from Inglis Point's early days, making it one of the oldest buildings in Vitarvis. Continuing up Witherell Road, you enter the Point's small two block business district.
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This quirky commercial strip contains a mix of commercial services that cater to both the 2,000 students that visit the Point on a regular basis and the Point's wealthy residents. You can see PCH's dome and the top of the settler's monument peeking up through the trees and the Vitarvis skyline beyond. The need to provide transportation for the students means that there is almost always at least one bus making its way down Witherell Road and the Metro Station across from PCH is always busy.
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I hope you've enjoyed poking around the Point with me. We'll be off to explore some more of Vitarvis soon!

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Welcome to my first ever City Journal. Some of you may know me from the custom content I created for SC4. I have been enjoying Cities Skylines so much that I have been inspired to share. In this journal, we'll explore my first Cities Skylines city, the burgeoning metropolis of Vitarvis. I started this in the forums rather than the CJ section and I'm just moving it over so apologies if you've already caught the first three entries.

 

First, let's situate ourselves. When I started playing Sim City 2000 back when I was a kid, I didn't just build a city, I put it into a fictional world. The map below contains every city I have ever made in SC2000, SC3000, SC4 and now, Cities Skylines. It was originally a paper map, but I eventually digitalized it.

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It's a very wet world with water making up most of the planet’s surface area. Vitarvis is located in the northeast corner of Atlantica (just down from centre on the right). Atlantica is a prosperous and developed nation with five major cities. The capital, Dalhousie, was my last SC4 region.

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Vitarvis is situated on Atlantica’s most northerly corner, near the cape that divides the north and east coasts. Since Atlantic is in the southern hemisphere, Vitarvis's northern location means it’s the most tropical part of the nation (roughly equivalent to Florida). Vitarvis was settled just after Atlantica’s independence as part of an effort by the fledgling nation to spread out from the colonial centres of Edatha and Lakota in the west to the sparsely inhabited east. Atlantica’s capital, Dalhousie, also dates from this nation building era. Vitarvis is built around a large harbour, which made it a natural centre in the east.

 

Here's a good chunk of the map before I built anything on it showing Vitarvis's large harbour and coastal beaches.

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The map is my own creation, heavily modified from a greyscale of Valles Marineris on Mars.

In my next entry, we'll get down into the streets to explore this thriving city. Stay tuned.

Mods in Use:
Traffic++
Traffic Manager

Automatic bulldozer

Terraform Tool

Extend Public Transport UI

Area Enabler (all 25 plots from start)

Control Building Level Up

Enhanced Hearse AI

Automatic Emptying