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.
Prosperous for a time, the metropolitan area reached a peak population of 1.4 million in 1945.
Downtown Maryborough in 1941.
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.
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.
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?
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!