Now that Widening has 754,129 inhabitants it is about time that city hall gets upgraded. The first picture of this update shows the building as it has reached its largest size. The city is doing quite well. Since the previous update many new high tech factories have been established. At the moment twenty tokens of it are being sold to OmniCorp for the sum of 69,600 per turn. Widening is still expanding its office sector, but only to accommodate the new factories.
Widening has also greatly expanded on the services being supplied to the citizens. The next picture shows the new private school on the left. This is with its maintenance cost of 40,000 a very expensive service. Many thoughts have been spent on how to keep the city expanding without losing service coverage. At the moment expansion works well. As the city grows enough money becomes available to buy more tokens of what is needed, but soon new service buildings will have to be constructed and as things are going there will not be enough money to do so. To the right in this picture you can see city hall in the distance.
In Cities XL there is no area of coverage for service buildings. Happiness of each citizen is in part determined by the distance of his or her home to the various service buildings. But that kind of creates an area of influence as well; since you can determine the distance it takes for a person to start complaining about lack of a particular kind of service. Doing this I found that leisure services have the smallest area of effect, so the buildings need to be quite close to each other. Police and health care buildings can be spaced over a much larger distance, while fire protection and educational buildings can be apart over a medium sized distance. This is a good thing, since now Widening will have to spend far less on services. The next picture shows the new skate park in front and the new science museum to the right of it. The museum is the tall, metallic tower.
But even with a wider spacing of services Widening will have to make more money with each factory that is being established, otherwise at some point expansion will stop. Breaking even is not an option. So for this reason city hall has decided that from now on Widening will produce some of its own food. Each token of food that is being produced does not have to be bought. And since each token costs 9,100 this can create quite some money. It may not be enough, in which case there will need to be some manufacturing industry in the city, again. The next picture is a nice shot of a farm road in the new farming area. To the right are the farms and the fields, to the left are some low density homes.
Another way for Widening to create some extra money is by expanding its fuel production. This is a good time to do so. Widening’s overcapacity has fallen dry, so soon shortages would arise. Furthermore, there is now access to relatively unpolluted areas close to the city, where new pollution can be created without damaging the environment so much that satisfaction drops dramatically. So a second refinery has been built, shown in the next picture, in the front. The large building behind it is the new Chemical Research Labs building. With its maintenance cost of 60,000 it is the most expensive building in the city, but it increases fuel production so much that it produces a nice profit. And it does that without creating pollution, so it is a really good service. Yet another building can be constructed to increase fuel production dramatically, but that one creates so much pollution that construction has been postponed till a really clean spot not too far away from the city can be found.
Widening now sells 75 tokens of fuel for revenue of 261,300, whereas it costs the city 125,000 to produce it, so the oil business has become really profitable by now, and still there are five tokens in surplus to accommodate future growth of the city. The trade balance has further soared to -132,800. I guess having more high tech industry requires more manufacturing tokens to be bought. But income for the city has risen to 96,251 nevertheless, which is enough for a next set of fire protection and educational services. The city’s treasury now holds almost 400 million. The next picture shows the ultimate police protection service: the police headquarters.
The main reason for developing the high tech sector is that the city wants to attract more elites. Otherwise it might have kept focusing on the office sector. And with a 7% share of the total population the elites are doing well. Another effect is that the number of executives keeps growing steadily, whereas the numbers of unqualified and qualified workers now are dropping. These are all considered desirable developments. The next picture shows one of those people the city wants to come here: an elderly elite woman in the neighborhood where she lives.
The next picture shows the elite area from above. This reminds me so much of the old Caesar games. It looks just like a patrician neighborhood. Looking at this I would absolutely not be surprised if a dialog would pop up stating that Caesar demands wine. Those were fun games.
Overall satisfaction has risen to 80%. This has only been made possible by lowering the income tax rate back to 10%, otherwise satisfaction would have dropped. Satisfaction with police and fire protection services has dropped dramatically. Fire protection has become inadequate since services have been spread over the city in a new way. It has top priority to get this service completely covering the city again. I have to take a look at the police services; I’m not quite sure what’s causing this to go down. Satisfaction with all the other services is somewhat stable. Satisfaction with the environment has dropped by 3%, to 31%, which is probably caused by the new refinery. Satisfaction with traffic flow has always been a bit above 90%. The next picture shows traffic flow in the city. The farm lands can be seen in the top right corner.
Part of Widening’s financial difficulties is caused by the decision made a long time ago to always use large luxurious avenues. The avenues need to be large, as the above picture clearly shows, but them being luxurious only serves the eye, as the final picture of this update shows. I like the way this looks, so I’ll try to stick to the luxurious avenues. In order to get more money I tried raising the corporate tax rate. Since all businesses are 100% happy all of the time, that seemed a good thing to do. Let them be a bit unhappier, I thought. But raising the tax rate gives a lot of extra money for just a short while. I guess immediately their profits drop, and so does the city’s tax income. So there’s not much to be gained that way. There seems to be no point in changing the corporate tax rate, since there is no reason to lower it as well. Businesses are very easy to keep happy.
The next update will be when Widening reaches the amazing number of one million inhabitants. I hope my computer will keep things going. Widening surely puts it to the test.