IN continuing to give the lay down of Solaria before going back in time, I produced some shots of physical and social points of interest in Solaria.
Starting with Physical Geography of Solaria.
In the Cold Hard Facts entry I had stated several names within Solaria herself, the above photo puts physical geographic names to names mentioned earlier. Two names omitted are [insert your name here Island] - the top island in the Solarian River, and Kate Beveridge Island to the extreme west near Ross Strait.
As one can see, Solaria offers a many range of physical geographic qualities for your enjoyment, from snow peaked mountains to low rolling ranges, from a river to a harbour and ocean, many bays and islands as well as generous flat land and forests. Reminds me of New Zealand and Canada - inside a compact region
For some points of interest on the Human Geography Side
Solaria is a very diverse region with a mix of open space, rural farmland with small villages, low density suburbs, town centres/hubs as well as to the uber density skyscraper jungle of The Core. The region has many styles of living and work as well as educational, civic and recreational facilities at your disposal.
Although there is countless things to be said of Solaria, I'll go through the named ones here
Palpatine International Airport: The Main International Gateway (air wise) to Solaria, PIA handles 70% of International and 50% of domestic travel to and from Solaria. PIA is next to Imperial Mesa home of the Imperial Palace and Central Control (The Bureaucracy) as well as on major transit links to the rest of Solaria, both rural and urban. There are several other smaller international and domestic airports that are either back up or supplementary to PIA such as South Solarian International Airport (serving the financial district) and Auckland Airport (serving Auckland)
Imperial Palace and Central Control: Located on Imperial Mesa, the Imperial Palace and Central Control are home to the Emperor himself , the Imperial Senate and The Bureaucracy that runs Solaria. The Imperial Palace is set on wide grounds and has the Diplomatic Corps next to it, while Central Control operates out of Solarian Imperial Spire, The Central Communications Array and in conjunction with the Imperial Senate - The Bunker inside the Mesa itself. The Bureaucracy as it is known by Solarians is a bewildering and complex machine that administers Solaria effectively and most of efficiently. The Solarian Imperial Spire is the tallest structure in Solaria and can be seen nearly any where in the region - the Spire itself is a tourist attraction.
Wiri: The oldest and largest industrial district in Solaria. Once a home of dirty industry, Wiri now houses the forefront in High Technology facilities that are beyond world class. Wiri also houses the industrial machine that fuels the Imperial Space Centre to the north west of IPC.
The Hub: Located to the south east of Imperial Mesa, the Hub is the true Core of Cores in terms of activity and power. The Hub houses the Palpatine Convention Centre, Palpatine Arena and the Imperial Stock Exchange; The Hub also houses several State Owned Enterprise HQ's, private enterprises HQ's, the City Zoo, several high end World Hotels and accompanying facilities used in lobby the Imperial Government. The Hub is connected by heavy rail, subway and a High Speed Rail System that allows ease of transportation across the mega city and region. Large scale events such as the Imperial Solarian Fair, The Galaxy Convention, The Global Business Fair and The Lifestyle Convention are all held at the hub (with the Imperial Solarian Fair (show casing all thing Solarian) being the largest).
Downtown: The large sprawling high density development over three tiles that houses a multiple array of offices, retail, hospitality, civic and recreational facilities. The University of South Solaria is located towards the southern end of Downtown (in the Solarian Point Tile) and the Imperial University located at the northern end of Downtown (in IPC) both of which offer high class educational and research facilities Solaria has to offer. Downtown (Neo Solaria) is connected by a comprehensive subway and rail system as well as several high capacity avenues and highways which buses operate on. Right at the southern end of Downtown is Solarian Strait where is a board walk that stretches from Solarian Point to Solarian City. Imperial Botanical Gardens are located to the South East of Downtown for those wanting some green space in such a mega city.
Solarian Financial District: Located on Solarian Island at the south end of Solaria, Solarian Financial District is home to the economic power house of Solaria (The Hub is home of the Political Power). Major financial corporation HQ's can be found here along with the Benson Road (The Solarian Stock Exchange) and the Solarian Island Convention Centre (home of the Simax Convention of Gaming). The Solarian Financial District is located on the Solarian Point Tile to the south of The Capital Tile and served by several highways, the Solarian Island Rail Line, subway and ferries. Solarian Financial District (on Solarian Island) is known for the complex underground (Big Dig) highway system which The Emperor decided would be better then surface highways. The Solarian Island Expressway (State Highway 21) runs the width of the island and is underground with several highways connecting to it either by big dig tunnels (such as Benson Road Highway) or surface routes such as Federation Drive (State Highway 2 via Old Solarian Bridge).
Solarian Docks: One of six primary docks scattered round Solaria (both fresh and salt water docks). Solarian Docks is located in the large deep water Solarian Bay (Solarian Point Tile) and handles mixed cargo both dry and bulk (but not container) as well as a garbage portal (hail Simpeg's tip your crap over the edge of abyss mod ). Solarian Docks is served by both rail and road and handles roughly 60% of all non containerised cargo in Solaria. It is a point of interest due to several "board walks" that stem from either side of the port and is a favourite for ship watchers to "watch ships" enter and leave the port. On the business side, Solarian Docks is often the first port of call for import/export needs for customers unless you have specialised cargo that might either go through container or bulk terminals. Solarian Docks contains one of two cruise ship terminals located in Solaria.
West Solarian Mall: Located on Solarian Point (in Solarian Point Tile), West Solarian Mall is one of two current large scale Suburban Class malls in Solaria. I mention this mall as Solaria has a history of more small scale retail developments (usually 4x4 and 6x6 individual department store type) that has favoured Solaria's individuality over chain stores. Connected by road and subway yet not far from heavy rail, West Solarian Mall attracts Solarians from all over wanting that large mall experience. Both multinational and domestic brands can be found at this mall.
South Solarian Hub: Located on the fringe between The Core and Auckland District (in the South Solaria Tile); South Solarian Hub is an example of one of the planning methodologies I adopted for Solaria. This and several other Town Centre Class Hubs (regardless of density) served as localised town centres for surrounding residential areas. These T.C.H's like South Solaria will often house "remote support" offices to large corporation HQ's found in further in The Core (such as the IPC Tile) and smaller scale retail to serve local residents when they don't want to travel to larger facilities (although saying that Suburban Class Malls can be an centre point for a T.C.H like on Solarian Point itself). Like most Town Centre Hubs, South Solarian Hub is well served by most transit options such as road, rail, subway/EL Rail and some times highways or High Speed Rail.
Solarian Deep Water Oil Terminal: Located in South Solaria on South Coast, the SDWOT allows huge super tankers to load and unload their petrochemical goods to and from the terminal. The terminal then has a pipeline connected to it running underneath Solaria to transport the goods to countless refineries and other industries through out the region. Solaria is a net importer of Crude Oil based goods.
Auckland: Located on the western side of Solaria, Auckland is a semi-independent city tile with its own support city tiles and infrastructure. The purpose of Auckland was to set up a more freer city away from the influence and planning ideologies of The Core and Eastern Fringes of the region - however is connected to The Core via many transit links including High Speed Rail and its own airport. Auckland is the only more "planned city" tile where building/planning is more carried out thoroughly then the ad-hoc planning method in The Core. One thing that helps with Auckland's independent nature is the Kaimai Ranges creating a barrier between Auckland and the rest of Solaria - the Ranges force most transit options to go around the southern tip of the ranges adding significant time. However there are three primary over the ranges transit routes, one being the High Speed Rail, three sets of "avenues" and the Auckland Bypass - a RHW 2 and 4 class highway connecting State Highways 1 and 3 in The Core to State Highway 1 in Auckland (saving 25 mins off the round the tip trip). Auckland houses basically everything else you expect to find in Solaria and has the other Suburban Class Mall (currently trading).
Solarian Bulk Terminal: Located on the western side of The Solarian Entrance/Harbour, SBT handles 70% of all bulk goods in and out of Solaria (not requiring a super tanker) as of current. Like most other ports in Solaria it is served by road and rail and is a common spot for ship watchers to watch movements. Solarian Bulk Terminal is unique however in the fact it deals with 90% of exportable Solarian High Grade Coal to the world (the coal is mined on the East Solarian Plans near Dry River Channel Tile and the north west Kaimai Ranges (Solaria is a net coal exporter). SBT is also unique in the fact that it has facilities to transfer goods from salt water international ships to smaller fresh water or domestic coastal shipping/barges that move material up and down the Solarian River and vice versa. SBT also houses one of four current large central logistic hubs.
Solarian World and Cruise Ship Terminal: Located in the centre of Solarian City Tile with Solarian Harbour as its edge, Solarian World and Cruise Ship Terminal is home of Solaria's only and largest theme park as well as the second cruise ship terminal. Solarian World took me 2 months real time to painstakingly build one Solarian City was founded and in its early stages of development. The Park now houses every theme park ride available as well as a heliport and of course the cruise terminal. Every year 3 million people pass through the gates of Solarian World - which is connected by road, rail, subway, ferry and helicopter. Solarian World have their own dedicated bus system, shuttling patrons to and from the park to points all over the region including Auckland - it is easy as parking your car at your local park and ride, then catching a free Solarian World Bus to enjoy a great day out . Solarian World also houses several hotels and high end apartment blocks for tourists to stay in. Solarian World is a 15 minute walk to Stadia Solaria Superior - Solaria's large rugby stadium.
Palpatine Imperial Arts and Theatre Galleries: Located on [insert Name Here] Island at the mouth of Solarian Harbour/River, the main art and theatre galleries house all the fine arts and theatre productions the world and Solaria have to offer. The galleries are served by the Solarian Island Highway (State Highway 21) and Solarian Island Subway Line with parking some what of an issue on the island. The island also houses the Solarian Grand Casino and Hotel to provide even more entertainment to Solarian's and tourists alike. There is never a weekend without some on at the Galleries or the Casino so stop by and enjoy the night life it has to hold.
Solarian Container Docks: Located on the South Coast of the Solarian City Tile, the SCD handles 95% of all international exportable and importable container traffic. SCD is next to Solarian City Airport but houses a large rail logistic transfer yard to speedily transfer containers on and off ships and move them to one of four Imperial Central Logistic Hubs scattered around Solaria for further transloading to either other trains or to trucks. At the moment SCD is bottlenecked due to its location and transit restrictions, thus a second container terminal will open in Auckland later on this year (real time). Point of fact: Solarian Container Docks is built on 100% reclaimed land.
Stadia Solaria Superior: Located in Solarian City, SSS is home of the Solarian Imperials Rugby Team with the stadium holding 75,000 people. SSS can also house large scale music concerts that the two circular arenas in Solarian Island and Imperial Command Centre might not be able to hold. SSS is well served by transit links with highways, recently expanded rail and subways all connecting to the large stadium and designed to empty the stadium grounds out and away with 60 minutes. There is redevelopment around SSS under way with further road and rail upgrades to help move fans to and from the stadium faster, as well as new accommodation being built to bring fans closer to the grounds. The Emperor himself frequents SSS to see the home team play!
Mall of Solaria: Also located in Solarian City, MoS is the large grand central mall of Solaria. Home to over 300 international and Solarian retailers and food outlets, MoS is a fan to shopoholics and movie goers every where. When the mall was built, a portion of State Highway Five was buried under the mall, and two main avenues diverted around the mall - AND the mall is still expanding!!! MoS is well served by transit options with three motorways (State Highways 3, 5 and 10), the main South Solaria Rail Line, subway lines and a bus terminal. MoS is the only mall to have paid parking as mass transit to the site is highly encouraged. MoS is number 3 on the top 5 things to do in Solaria.
The Core and Auckland District: See Planning Methodology (next entry)
There are four road/highway bridges, three rail bridges and one tunnel connecting the two halves of Solaria (via the Solarian River or Harbour). The individual road bridges are named in the picture above and all the bridges/tunnel serve as critical life lines to Solaria. The Great Solarian Bridge (State Highway Three) is the grandest of all bridges and is a tourist attraction in its own right!
Well that is all from me
Stay Tuned as I bring the Planning Methodology of Solaria and actual City Tile pics (starting with Imperial Command Centre)