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The tale of one man caught in a country (and it

Entries in this City Journal


Just a quick shot to whet the appetite.


Apologies that I haven't produced updates. I've been having trouble with my internet (gotta love wireless - NOT!), and have also been a little busy. Update should come in the next few days, connection standard pending.


South City

I haven't included an orienting image this time. You'll recognise the plaza from the last update (it's the same one).

South City

One of the more recent redevelopments in Senatoria is the resumption of the former South City industrial district for commercial. There is still some industry in the area:


You can see the old airfield as well with still a few planes there; that's going to be demolished soon; the nearby airfields have more than enough capacity to compensate. The old grid layout from the industrial days was retained throughout the redeveloped area.

Seha's toying with the idea of some sort of landmark for the lower headland (bottom left). I can't say I'm opposed to the idea; being at the junction between the Loudon River and the Inlet, it certainly has a standout location.

Whatever it is, it won't be an observation tower; we already have one of those in downtown.

Walking down the fairly freshly paved streets of South City is quite a different experience from downtown. The road layout in this part of the inner city (to be fair, it could be considered an extension of downtown) is much neater thanks to the industrial legacy.

One of the more successful parts of the redevelopment was this:


The inletside stage of development wasn't originally planned to be anywhere near this height, but there has been a lot of pent-up demand for office space in the city over the past few years. This continues at a somewhat more moderate pace to this day.

As you can see, the South City district is best viewed at night:



You can see the South City Plaza in the background, which we've already visited. The district of small shops visible just to the left of there is working itself into some sort of Chinatown. This wasn't expected, but it's quite welcomed by the authorities, as it's generated some life for the precinct. You can also see the heliport; Senatoria's inner city has four or five of these, and this is the newest.

One of the more unfortunate problems the district has is a problem with problem drinkers. Night after night, they crowd Chinatown (also a popular bar district), and invariably make an awful mess. Brawls aren't uncommon, although it's generally considered safe.

Seha's passion for law and order was obvious when he opened the South City Local Command (not visible, but you'll see it later).This was one of his earlier moves towards the right. At the time I, and I'm sure many others, wrote it off as just another example of the typical politicking that goes on. Sadly we were mistaken.

Seha has consistently pushed for tougher laws, tougher sentences, and in general a tougher society. Too bad, he says, if you have a drug problem. Too bad, he says, if you had a poor upbringing. If you did the crime, you'll do the time. In addition he has pushed for, and in a number of cases successfully so, the cutting of prisoner rehabilitation programs.

Needless to say recidivism* rates in Senatoria have risen dramatically in the past few years.

To finish, here's a final shot with an overview of the main area of the South City district:


The Local Command is smack bang in the centre of the district, seen above (the building on the corner with the bluish nightlights not far from Smith Tower.

NEXT TIME: You've probably been waiting for it. Downtown and its environs.



As you can see folks, I did get the nightlights fixed up at last. :) Turned out the exe was patched. It was just in the wrong folder :boggle:


Where are we today?


Motorways in the Inner City (and some Parks, too)

I woke up bleary this morning, which is never a good sign. I hate Wednesdays, which doesn't make things any better.

Senatoria's inner city motorways are, for a city of our size, quite extensive. The city actually has three orbital routes:

The Inner (which consists of a number of freeways with a number of names, which is an historical artefact of the fact they were built as planks in a larger system)

The Middle, which again has a number of names,

and the Outer Senatoria Orbital Motorway System, which only has three different names along its length despite its' astonishing size (we referred to this in the last update as the M57).

Today, we'll see a lot (though not all) of the Inner Orbital.



Motorways on the Northern edge of the CBD; The M3 and M31 (which flirts with the CBD's Western Edge.

We've already seen another part of the M3; It featured in my intial message. The CBD's motorways form quite the labyrinth around the CBD, flirting with its southern edge also.

One area I want to show you before we move on to the other motorways is City Island:



As you can see, the island is bookended by two landmarks. The one on the northern end of the island (top of the first image above) is City Hall. Yes, this is the building I referred to in the first update. City "Island" is a bit of a misnomer these days as works in the 60s (when much of Senatoria's inner city motorways were first constructed). It got its name mainly because of the fact it plays host to City Hall.

In the second image above this text you can also see Island Stadium. It was rebuilt much more recently than the 60s (in the late 90's in fact), but the name has stuck. I believe it has a sponsorship, so that's not its official name, but people always call the place either Island or City Stadium.



The construction of the M33 was a controversial chapter in the city's history. It severed the what was then the city's largest contiguous parklands. Tempers at the time flared on both sides of the arguments. Planners explained that the link was an essential leg of the Eastern Motorway, which now links Senatoria to Oesthaven, one of Senatoria's larger ports on its eastern shores. Without it, it was argued, traffic would snarl along the city streets.

Not a favourable thing when trying to promote your nation.

You can also see one of the city's smaller convention centres above (about centre). It's usually used for live music performances rather than conventions (thanks to its location; the park and Eastern CBD area ensure a good buffer against noise complaints from inner city residents).


We interrupt this broadcast to announce that Seha has officially announced the North East Infrastructure Program. "It's hoped that this project will enable the city of Senatoria to better handle its freight needs." He added, "the NEIP is stage one of a much larger plan to segregate freight movements from passenger rail movements, to the benefit of both. The project isn't yet in its final form, and further details will be available through the usual avenues. We urge you to comment if you have any suggestions or objections to the project."

And so it went on. It's very odd for the President to announce such a project... Normally this sort of stuff is handled by the Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Planning, not the President. Very peculiar.

"The President will now take your questions."

From the SPAN (Senatoria Political Analysis Network): "Is it true that this is all a vote-buying exercise to try and push through the referendum? We've heard this from more than just a few sources. They seemed to be very uncomfortable with the power shift involved."

Seha: "This is absolute nonsense. I don't know if you should trust your sources."

SPAN reporter: "I trust my sources, Seha."

The look on Seha's face at this moment was telling. He knew who was responsible. And from the look in his eyes, they were going to pay for this... The rest of the questions were bland, no need to report them here.

Today was a short day at work for me, and on my way home, I decided to stop in Northside Park. I love its' fountain; it's one of the city's finest:


Apparently the management at that Marriott hotel was horrible.

Before I go, here's a shot of South City Plaza at night:


NEXT TIME: We'll see more of the South City area...


OOC: folks, that's probably the last night shot you'll see for a while. It's noticeable, but not glaringly so above: I've lost BAT nightlights. And yes, the BAT patch has been applied to the game post re-install (I had a computer problem since last update).

In good news however, I now have an additional 4GB of memory. :ohyes:


Where are we today?


[From now on, I plan to include an image like this in every update to help you find your bearings in Senatoria.]

The North East Infrastructure Plan, Or: Vote buying for dummies

It was a pleasant commute into work this morning, but the pleasure quickly ended upon arrival.

I should show you our work building. It's somewhat older than the building we're going to move to, and it's located right in Senatoria's Capital District:


Current Senatoria Planning Commission building.

It really is a fantastic building, but it's much too small for our current needs. Many of the employees (and I'm one of them) will be sad to leave it behind, but it can't be helped. We just don't have enough space.

Meanwhile, back in office land, the whole office had descended into an argument over Seha's politics. I regret to inform that about 2/3rds of the office sides with Seha. I elected to stay out of most of the fight, but alas my friend Shaun managed to drag me into the bunfight as always...

"What's your view, mate?"

"Uhh... Well, personally, I side against the President. The whole point of Senatoria's legal system is that the President does essentially two things: acts as a veto authority, and assists those departments requiring a more long term approach to their activities." I stammered, trying to avoid getting further involved.

"Really? You dare stand against the president?" Too late.

"Dare? What, is this a dictatorship or something? Of course I dare. This is a democratic republic!"

"We're not arguing what sort of country this is. We're arguing..." I wasn't going to let Shaun dodge the point.

"Keeping in mind the kind of political system we have here is PRECISELY the kind of thing we should consider when proposals like this, quite frankly, dredge water from Seha are concerned."

The look on everybody's face as I delivered this line was quite unimaginable. It was as if the whole world had been smashed and only this room remained... There was utter silence. My reason for defending my position so fiercely is that it is a somewhat unique aspect of Senatoria's system of government that the President holds his position for 12 years, or 3 election cycles (whichever comes first), although the President is an elected position.

"You don't like Seha's work at all, do you?" This time the question came from Shaun's other friend, Marcus, who was always slinging accusations around.

"Not particularly," I replied, and thankfully at this point I was finally able to excuse myself from the conversation as I was called into another office.

Good old Shaun. Always good to drag you into arguments you don't want to be involved in. Still, he's helped me out quite a few times, and aside from this aspect, he's quite reliable.

It didn't get much better from then on unfortunately. It was the meeting I had been dreading all morning that I'd been called for, and as you'd guess, Murphy's law still rang true. As a result, almost nobody recieved any new work.

Except, of course, me. At least I had a chance to escape my colleagues clashes over Seha's politics. If they asked, I had work to do.

After such a heated morning, I thought it might be a good idea to take a walk to clear my head. Hopefully I'd be able to get the release for the NEIP finished. after lunch.

Office politics... Ugh.


As you can see, the district wasn't *ahem* exactly planned. Senatoria wasn't meant to be the national capital, and although the district has its own charm, and certainly has its architectural triumphs, the capital area is now virtually surrounded by skyscrapers.


Federal Plaza is quite a popular hangout for government workers, including myself. The backdrop of the Parliament on one side and the courthouse on the other makes it a great place to sit and ponder about the world and the way this country is heading, and it's where I usually spend my lunch breaks. A surprising amount of information gets transferred between departments here, and today was no different. I learned in today's lunch chat that Seha is toying with a western rail freight bypass as well as the one in the north east proposed under the NEIP. Again, I applaud it, but can we afford to spend money like this? Really?

The shops in the building to the left of the courthouse in the shot are quite popular. They're the only real convenient shops to the capital area, and so they get a LOT of business.

Most capitals preserve a vista to their capital building, but since it wasn't known whether a new building was to be constructed, or whether city hall (which at the time was just new, on City Island). In the end, a new building was built, and you can see the result. The Parliament building is something the country is proud of. Although the surrounding district is somewhat eclectic, the building shines in reality:


For all its graundeur, the actual sitting chambers are underground. This was done to allow the two central courtyards, which aren't much but give the building's employees somewhere to have a coffee. Or a smoke.

Ironically, City Hall is far more visible on the skyline. I'll show you city hall another day.

But back to work.

We've been working on the plans for the NEIP at the Commission for a while, and it's my task to get this proposal release finalised. The artwork isn't fancy - the initial proposal never is.

Essentially the plans are to provide a dedicated route to the east for freight. There's also an extension of the St Mary's Bypass proposed as part of the project, which is intended to better link Loudon into the M57 (the city's outer orbital motorway)... Oh bugger it, it may be easier just to show you the release.

North East Infrastructure Program (Initial Proposal)

Senatorian Law requires the display of proposed projects for public comment before their approval and commencement. In respect to this notice, the following investment program is to be displayed for public comment:


The Proposal, in summary, is that a series of new rail tracks are to be constructed in order to better facilitate the movement of freight, and to increase the degree to which freight rail traffic in Senatoria is segregated from passenger services. In addition to this, a new motorway link is proposed from the end of the existing St Mary's Bypass to Senatoria's outer orbital motorway. Some surface roads are to be rebuilt and realigned around the new link, and some property acquisitions may be required.

To see if you are affected, visit Senatoria Planning's website, click 'Major Projects', and select the North East Infrastructure Program. Public submissions will be accepted for the gazetting period specified in the Major Projects Act.


It's no small project, and similar plans have been in the process for some time within the SPC. I have serious misgivings about Seha's motives for this project however. I suspect it is simply vote buying on his part. It is rumoured that this is a payoff to some of the industry barons in exchange for votes for his bid for power.

That he's considering another bypass (no doubt to allow greater passenger rail frequencies on the network) only cements my concerns.


OUT OF CHARACTER: Folks, feel free to make suggestions on this idea for this infrastructure project, especially if you have suggestions on how to improve it.

*For those not aware, sextuplication here simply means that the rail corridor would be widened to six tracks in total (currently there are four along that stretch). it is a correct term, and one I've actually seen used. (I follow Sydney's planning processes rather closely).

NEXT TIME: The parks, greenery, and motorway system through Downtown.



Loudon City: A Short Tour


My business today is in Loudon, and while I'm there, I might as well show you around a little. The Loudon area is quite large, and Loudon itself is the second largest business centre in the region, behind the combined Downtown-Riverside area.


(Interjection by the author: Sorry folks, I forgot to un-pause while taking the shot apparently and didn't notice 'till now.)

Most people end up approaching Loudon itself from the West, passing briefly through the Breakdown (above).

The origin of the  name is not exactly known, whether it arises from the fact that the skyline basically drops away here, or whether it refers to the uncanny number of cars that choose to break down in the area is uknown. The name has however stuck, and it's regularly referred to in traffic reports. You can also see the Barricade River Theatre, a converted church, at the centre of the picture. Let's move on into Loudon Proper:

Loudon Central Station

The last time Loudon Central Station, the main station in this area, was remodelled was nearly 60 years ago. They did quite a good job, however it's unfortunate that the station now faces in the wrong direction for the major developments (when it was built, the southside (shown below) was about equal to the north, and it was thought the south would continue to be the major area.

South Loudon CBD 1

The Coca-Cola building was built in the early 70's in response to the proposed upgrade of Loudon Central Station. The upgrade was later quashed, but the company chose to remain in the building because of its prime location.

South Loudon CBD 2

Some recent growth has occurred in the south side, as the North is quickly running out of room to grow, with 17 River Road being the tallest on the south being built in the past 20 years, but the north side of the rail line will be dominant for some time:

Loudon CBD core

You can see the main area is very dense. AIG is the newest addition to the skyline, and although the council of the area was unsure about approving it, it is glad it did. You can also see at the centre the Loudon Revolution Museum (the domed building roughly in the centre above). It's a small one, and in fact it used to be Loudon Council's city hall. They've long since outgrown the structure, and a few years ago moved out completely, when a local historical society approached them with the proposal for the museum, which was accepted. Loudon Central Library is visible centre top.

And here's the Philip St. Tower, the one I'm here to inspect. The building is of an older design, and as such, the owner hasn't had much luck selling the office space. The Senatorian Government is moving a lot of the major department HQ's away from the main (heavily congested) CBD, and Seha has suggested this building for our department:

Philip St. Tower

The owner seems to love the building. Despite being vacant the past 3 months, the building is in top condition, and given the luxurious interior of the structure, I'm amazed companies aren't jumping at the chance for such a status building. He mentions the plans for a bus stop  right in front of the building. Apparently several previous prospective tenants have worried about access (even Loudon can get quite congested in peak hour). I'm of course well aware of the plans, and set a date for the department to finalise the transaction.

Now that that business is sorted, I've been curious for some time now how the Loudon Riverside redevelopment has come along. The area used to be part of the industrial area to the north, but the area had largely become abandoned, and as such, a redevelopment was scheduled. It appears to have gone well...

Loudon Riverside

...although I would prefer it to have been a little more dense, especially given its location in the Loudon Council Area. Loudon Hospital and the North Loudon shopping strip are also visible. The hospital was rebuilt a few years ago, and it now has one of the highest ratings amongst hospitals in the Senatorian region.

Quite a few large projects are mooted for the North East of the Senatoria region (of which Loudon is the main hub). Indeed, I suspect it's an act of vote-buying by Seha. Locals are none too happy about the power he's taking, so he uses the one tool he's got - bribery. Thankfully most of the projects proposed are actually quite sensible, and despite my objection to his politics, I have zero qualms about planning to implement the projects. They're about due.

I did mention the industrial area. That area also flirts with the Loudon River. I'll leave you with a pic running along part of the river:

Mosaic, part 1

Mosaic, part 2

Mosaic, part 3

NEXT TIME: The North Eastern Infrastructure Program, OR: Vote-buying for Dummies



Teaser I 

While I finish up on the next update, I thought you might like a better overview of my region:

Normal Region View:


Transport View:


(Click on either of the above images for a larger view)

Moderators: I apologise profusely if the file size is too high, but there was no other way to display a preview of the image; ImageShack didn't generate a preview for some bizarre reason, so I had to use the actual image and rescale it in the editor.





Preview image of Senatorian Core Area

Senatoria, a once forlorn land, torn by strife in the past, now stable at long last.

Freedom reigns in her, Liberty be her currency;

The land rebuilt, the troubles gone, a city rises from the dust.

                                                                                --- Extract from the Inauguration Speech of the First President of Senatoria, Herman Bartling


I write at a time of new turmoil in my land. I am but a common man, my name is not important. However, I must tell this story as it unfolds, for I do not wish the future to have an excuse. May we never forget this:

“Fellow citizens, it has been two hundred years since this city’s foundation, and the foundation of our grand nation. I implore you, nay, I beg, do not engage in this action. Do not give this man the power he seeks. For if you do, with this transference dies your freedom. It will erode, turn to dust. Heed the warning. Do not give President Seha the power he seeks. Defeat at once this referendum, and send through the land a resounding cry, a cry that our freedom shall never be taken”

In our land, there is currently a referendum to give our president what essentially amounts to a right to do whatsoever he wishes. Mr Seha, that mouldy rogue, betrayer, has initiated this, if I may be blunt, disgraceful Act. Nobody in my family knows this, but I am supporting the Opposition Leader on this one. 

Not that I agree with him a terrible lot more. He's proposed some terrible initiatives, but Seha is definitely the worse of the two evils. I'd rather the Opposition Leader than him as our President.

It is a dark time in Sentatorian politics. The two major parties are split down the middle internally, and all sorts have been trying to grab power. Stanley Seha is the latest leader. He is a strong man, and doesn't take the answer "No" very well.

But first, let me show you around my neighbourhood a little, shall we?

Mosaic Part 1


You can see my place just off to the middle top left there. Downtown's just a little to the bottom of this shot. I'm very lucky to live so close, less than 4km from the CBD. A lot of the old social housing homes near me were recently demolished to make way for newer structures, although some remain. A lot of the inner city areas actually look quite empty at present, there's a lot of redevelopment going on. Much of the industry is being moved to locations nearer to motorway junctions and rail hubs, although the industtrial areas not far from me are apparently not going anywhere.

That level crossing I've shown has been annoying locals for a long time now, and they've FINALLY proposed an underpass for the road. Being so close to the Northcott commercial district, it's long overdue. Just so you understand, the city of Senatoria is what's called polycentric. We have many smaller centres, and a few larger ones too. The main CBD definitely dominates, but there's definitely some major centres surrounding it.

NEXT TIME: A quick tour of Loudon City (one of the satellite CBDs).



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