After a good month's absence, Glenvale is back. Today we are going to tour some of the city's more suburban areas.
Glenvale is so much more than its downtown core. Working and middle classes meddle together, and real estate is experiencing a surge. This all hides severe inequalities, where the poor stay poor and the middle class barely thrives. Along Ashford Avenue, high-rises pile up like a tentacle that sprawls outwards from downtown - but most of it is low-wealth residential projects where workers are crammed under the watchful eyes of the big corporations downtown..
Nothing is all bad in Glenvale. Thanks to its extensive freeway network, the city is actually quite well served, though traffic does not always flow smoothly. Here, the major freeway M1 meets spur freeway M101, which links the airport to the industrial wards.
In Lakeside, Glenvale Basin is crucial to the whole south half of the Kingscote province, and its many water treatment plants purify the water of the whole city. There is also a dam to retain some of the waters that are emptied into the Basin.
Even without freeways, the road network is good enough. This is Stanton Avenue, a one-way road and one of the major east-west routes into town. Though, during evening rush hour, it tends to be quieter.
In the suburbs, it is not uncommon to find bigger parks and sports facilities. This football field in Mulbury, just by the beach, is home to one of the most successful junior teams of the season!
This stadium, also in the suburbs, is being prepared for a blitzball match. Soon a sphere of water will magically rise in the middle of the arena, hours before the match begins! Blitzball is a popular sport, and Glenvale isn't too bad at it, though they tend to stay in the middle of the results table.
The suburbs of Trillby and Falsworth are newer and were built in the plains west of Glenvale itself. To the far right of the picture, we can see the town of Rochdale. While not part of Glenvale, many people commute back and forth and slowly but surely, suburbs are expanding, linking the two urban areas together.
Glenvale is surrounded by forests, and exports a lot of wood. Most plantations are further than the suburbs even, in the less populated areas; however traffic easily clogs up, to the dismay of many suburbanites.
Falsworth is also home to Falsworth Kingdom's Hospital. It is also known for being run by Glenvale University, and a lot of research occurs there.
And every evening, a long line of trucks loaded with wood slowly makes way across the city...Good thing the road is isolated from the suburbs with trees.
Tamriel keeps up a fleet of Concordes Mk II. Imperial Airlines run business class services between the Imperial City and other cities in Nirn.
Near the airport, the community of Long Beach lazily sprawls along pristine beaches...
Long Beach is served by the M1, which goes on to link many low-lying islands south of Glenvale. That taxi is going to have some trouble...
The freeway network was to be far bigger, but due to riots and a lack of funding, many plans were shelved. The bridge to Evergreen Hills was cancelled, leaving this junction as the only part of a much higher freeway that never was.
It's probably better though. Would this serene garden be as quiet and safe if the road in front of it was constantly jammed by people trying to reach the highway? Would children still be able to step out of their houses and run to one of the nicest beaches in the country? Not to mention noise abatement - the runway nearby already generates enough noise of its own.
Traffic in suburban Glenvale remains a city-wide problem though. In the northern suburbs, the baseball stadium generates massive backups and the small size of its parking means many people park in local, residential streets, putting the management at odds with most residents.
It is pretty understandable for residents to be upset - twice a week, this quiet street becomes full of parked vehicles and traffic - not to mention the drunk and noisy supporters that come with every match and gathering.
At least suburbs in the south are quieter. Maybe that is precisely why the land value there has skyrocketed since a few years...
Or maybe it's just the beach. In Glenvale, one can work in a very busy office tower by day and by 6pm be lazily tanning on warm sand. Well, by 7pm, depending on traffic on the Memorial Bridge, but well, who wouldn't pay more for that?
There is, however, the constant lingering complaint that the water is not as clear as the city officials would like people to believe. Glenvale is also home to a harbour and its industrial wards are full of heavy industry.
And the future is not as welcoming for those who work here. As the economy booms and collapses, officials in Glenvale watch the success of smaller towns, such as Amesbury, while their own industry decays steadily.
Glenvale is a heavy producer of steel and other manufactured goods, and its nuclear power plant sells electricity to the whole province. However, its economy is steadily shifting to business and corporate finances - offices - which worries the working classes in the town. Strikes and restructuration plans are not uncommon at all in Glenvale.
The end result is that while the city transitions between economic models, 15 to 20 percent of the population is in fact workless, and barely survives on the meager benefits granted by the province's conservative government. The city of long beaches and warm, sunny days is also one of idleness where the working classes, more than anyone, struggle to survive on a day to day basis, and those lucky enough to have a job desperately cling to it.
There's still hope, though, as exports go up and the new city council unveiled radical policies to redynamize the industrial wards, including tax cuts and subsidies. For now, though, it's just that : hope.
But hope is what drives people to achieve great things, in Glenvale and elsewhere. After 25 years with a relatively unefficient city council, the new PCC government seems very eager to change things around.
Will this spell sunnier days for the sunny city? In the days of boomtowns like Amesbury, will the old guard of Glenvale be able to reconcile two polar opposites, fix its budget, and invest in the future?
And while there will be the need for further reforms in transportation and infrastructure, the city can stay confident that it will grow steadily, once again.. Next goal : 300.000 inhabitants. That's only 20.000 to go!
That's it for today! I intend to post more again, I just had a good month's holidays =) Quite excited about the day/night system to be fair! Next entry we will work on the city's infrastructure...subway maybe? Or maybe a Rochdale based entry? We'll see! Until then, here are some updated maps. Thanks for reading, and see you next time!
Updated city street map : I added the new districts of Baxford, Falworth and Trillby.
The bus network also underwent a few changes. Line 20 is a new line that links Lichfield, Rochdale with Glenvale, including the district of Falsworth. Line 21 reinforces Line 5 through town. Lines 9 and 13 were also swapped between the airport and Willow Glen.
Finally, the updated country map! You can see the major federal roads : the freeway M roads, and the A roads. In effect many A roads are almost at freeway standards, but not quite. Not shown are the provincial roads (B roads, or P roads in Humberland) that are managed by each province, and even under that, county roads (C roads, though not always signed) managed by counties.
That's it for now! Enjoy