Author's Note: this is my first time after a long hiatus creating a City Journal, and I believe that my new flagship CJ will become stronger, better, and more dynamic than ever before. I'm also looking at creating two more versions of this CJ, one for Skyscraper City (a condensed version), the other for my website (with extra back stories). Everything you'll see here reflects my building style and development, and it encompasses my core beliefs governing city planning, something I've been pursuing for the past four years. I've been playing SimCity 4 for nearly a decade now, and it has been a pleasure for me to continue playing it to a point that I've used it to help me guide myself to my chosen major, City and Regional Planning (also called Urban Studies and Planning). Hope you'll enjoy my new journal.
A metropolis, for me, means multiple cities having thousands or millions of people crammed within a small land mass. A metropolis, also, could mean a collection of communities working together to build a common goal for a particular region that will help it become economically and socially successful. And Contra Costa, I believe, is an amalgamation of both definitions.
So far, the region has three distinct cities. But, don't be fooled by the total regional population at this moment with all those communities combined:
San Marcos (medium city tile, population: 312,000), home to the region's first university, Saint Mark's University.
Mendoza (also medium city tile, currently the largest city by population at 737,000), currently the de-facto commercial hub for Contra Costa.
Santa Maria (small city tile, currently the smallest of the three cities built thus far, with a population of 150,000), which has some unique features in it (only one school and college).
Currently, the region is undergoing massive development, with three other cities on the rise:
- Santa Clarita, which will host to the region's first rail and subway (metro) depot;
- Santa Lucia, which will host to the region's main international gateway; and
- San Gabriel, which might be on the running to become the region's powerhouse, with grand civic structures
As you might notice, most of my cities have been named after saints, since Contra Costa was first established as a Spanish colony in the 1500s, and the conquistadores were driven out from the region in 1848, a year before the region was founded. Today, its namesake, Contra Costa County (in the San Francisco Bay Area), is far less dense than the Contra Costa I envisioned, but, that name gave me an inspiration to build a region completely my own. Yes, the road development may consist mostly of grids, but, as I've learned urban planning, the grid network provides a best opportunity for pedestrians to walk around, making their walk easy since the land surface is flat, many roads go through each of the cities, and the grid network allows easy access for emergency services to get to an incident.
The region is currently served by:
- 30 bus routes (shared among the three cities so far, with plans to develop even more over time), servicing over 300 bus stops
- 14 subway (metro) lines, all of them linear in nature (totaling around 50 stops)
- 2 major rail lines (both under further development)
- 1 elevated freeway
In the future, the region will develop:
- Even more bus lines (including express, BRT, limited-stop, and intercity services)
- At least five regular rail lines (with subway connections)
- At least two high-speed rail lines (a proposal to upgrade the current Main Line operating between Mendoza and San Marcos to become HSR is underway)
- Even more subway (metro) lines that will criss-cross the San Marcos-Mendoza Urban Community
- A network of three international and regional airports to allow residents to choose where they want to fly
- An elevated ring freeway to encircle the metropolis (this has been hotly-debated, though)
- Citywide beautification projects that will address parking, accessibility, and transit options
The infrastructure program can be very robust in nature, yet, the fun part is, all my RCI zones are growable. The only buildings that will be plopped include unique structures, civic buildings, transportation depots, and parks and open spaces.
Here are a few more shots to start this journey:
Looking forward to your thoughts as I will continue developing even more communities. And by the way, I'm looking at replying to your comments on a regular basis, if not after a week (depending on my workload).