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A new way of living

Entries in this City Journal


The Meeting Place

The southernmost extent of Ecotopian influence, The Meeting Place is where the industrial Highlanders meet for trade with the burgeoning Ecotopian economy. Many Ecotopians who work in the region commute to the Highlander's factories, located up the mountain via railway. Although the cities are Ecotopian designed and constructed, a sizable portion of the population are young Highlanders looking for adventure and a chance to explore the world via Ecotopian high speed rail, which begins from the main urban centre across the channel, Centre City.

(Keep in mind I'm still working on the backstory and my cities are evolving to fit. This is also my first time with a city journal. Requests, comments, and suggestions are welcome!)


Keeping to the Ecotopian glass themed architecture, the new central rail station of the Centre City mimics the arched glass of the terminal station of Ecotopian high speed rail system (E-Rail). They are also connected via light rail, but are only a few minutes walk between. This is the southern terminus of the entire network, and as a result a thriving centre of business and mixed-use skyscrapers. The view from the train down from the highlands entering the city is a thrill for many a young Highlander leaving the sagebrush and drab brick cities of the open country.



The Centre City has kept intact an old growth redwood forest, although sadly only a fraction of the former forest remains. From 'The Centre' it's possible to catch a water taxi to the University (free tuition) and country club, open to the public (reservations recommended). The old caldera of Mt. Erebus is a popular destination for weekend outings in the harbor and a distinct landmark for the few arriving flights that still ply the airways. The last eruption of Mt. Erebus buried a small fishing village in the 19th century. Many older buildings remain from the previous city upon which 'The Centre' grew from. During the war, the city was protected by the channel and steep cliffs, the old suspension bridge blown with an entire enemy armoured column.


Along the coast to the north is a commuter town connected by rail and populated mostly by Highlanders pining for coastal living. At the end of a cul-de-sac is the local park headquarters, full of information about hunting trails and tramping along the coast. Numerous national park information kiosks dot the landscape around the cities, a convenient dropping off point for the outdoorsy citizenry.


A thriving commercial avenue in Port Moresby is a major job centre for inter-region partnerships and is connected via ferry, bullet train, and commuter train. Surrounded by luxurious turquoise shoals, it's a happening beach during the week. It also has the first vertical farm in Ecotopia, still in operation, providing fresh fruits and vegetables to the local denizens. The old radio station was integral in maintaining civilization and organising reconstruction during the confusion times following the calamities of the mid-21rst century.


A busy network of rail lines facilitates the transfer of industrial technologies and finished products throughout the region. Here industrial facilities manufacture the integral components of Ecotopian bullet train and Highlander diesel-hybrid locomotive technologies. Vertical farms have sprouted among the railways, sending fresh produce without delay to hungry Ecotopians and Highlanders alike.


A mutual past of ecological destruction unites these two regions in tragedy. This has led to the reforestations of large areas and an agreement to maintain wildlife habitat for aquatic species, fragile coastal ecosystems, and slow growing high-country shrublands. All inhabitants are free to enjoy the wild outdoors with the privilege of hearing nothing by the winds and the waves. Flights are few and far between and all aquatic transport is powered by electric motors and backed up by sails. The Meeting Place is a unique and fast evolving group of cities, a true utopia for those lucky enough to call it home.



The story

This city journal actually covers a region. I'm tired of the urban sprawl and the cookie cutter cities. The landscape of SimCity4 is a beautiful canvas to create a world, and so I'm creating my ideal world. I've developed a backstory of a region that is marked by a lack of roads. Obviously roads are integral, but I'm attempting to limit them and have all city connections be made up of rail, high speed rail, or water transport. I'll go over the cities individually or break them down into multiple posts. I've got a lot more to build, but here's the backstory to the region:

At the end of the 20th century, half of humanity had moved to the cities. By the mid-21rst century a huge majority crowded into urbanity. Along the way they forgot about where they came from, and nature was left behind. Sprawl bulldozed the forests and dammed the rivers. It destroyed the grasslands and flood plains. It drained the wetlands and left behind a shadow of a former landscape. Animal life was lost or left to relic parks. People struggled between themselves for the limited resources they were left with, and biological and nuclear warfare killed billions. The survivors remained in a world no longer bound by traditional powers and borders, but separated by geographic features and remaining technologies. They still had satellites, they still had the internet, they still had the knowledge of two millennia of progress, and they decided that they would live different.

A massive rewilding began amongst the survivors seeking to restore the functioning ecosystem services destroyed by the previous generation. Urban footprints were left to be reclaimed by the wilderness. Roads were uprooted and grown over, reclaimed and left. The wilds were a provider of wild foods and recreation, not to be carelessly exploited as before. From this basic agreement, cultures diverge.

In the east, remnant industrial infrastructure connected a society kept intact by it's railway networks. These Highlanders are a hardworking blue collar population which supplied the weapons of war of the previous generation, now geared toward the production of a new civilization. As such, they retain a mindset of industry and lifelong company employment. Higher education is of lesser concern, keeping their technology behind other cultures in the region.

Along the coast to the west they meet the Ecotopians, originally named in derision of their efforts to create a utopia by mass-rewilding of their local habitats. They did however succeed in integrating a populous high-tech society connected by high-speed rail and ferry transport. Each city has it's own character, spaced out from any other to maintain wildlife corridors and keep animal populations high. Despite their airy-fairy reputation, they enjoy the rugged outdoors and nearly every citizen owns a hunting rifle. A fact that keeps the highlanders at a respectful distance. Their dense populations are sustainably fed by vertical farms and aquaculture, powered by abundant geothermal activity along the splitting margins of a tectonic plate. Cars are electric and mass transportation is the norm.

Outside the major cities of the Ecotopians, the Seafarers inhabit small coastal towns where fishing is the main livelihood. The exploited seas lost many species in the past, but a well managed quota system and responsible management has kept fish stocks increasing quickly. Their small towns are powered by offshore wind turbines, produced by the Highlanders and transported via sea. This is the edge of the frontier.

What I haven't built yet are two societies.

The furthest west are inhabited by survivors of humanity that have not really learned much from a century of strife. They're dependent on petroleum and follow the model of the previous iterations of humanity, sprawling across the landscape in SUVs.

In the middle is where they meet, and I'm debating one giant mixed type city.

How these cultures will interact in the forthcoming decades is yet another unknown.

Transportation map is included, and a quick paint drawing illustrated the plan for the region.


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