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About this City Journal

No planning, no design, no ideas... just circumstances. Follow the natural course of a city as it grows and adapts.

Entries in this City Journal


Jordan is getting close to the 90.000 inhabitants mark. Many companies and factories have settled in the immediate area. And with that a new problem arises. The city's total power consumption is starting to overtake the power plant's maximum output. Remember that Jordan only has one of the three power plants available for itself.

A new powerplant would have to be built to support the rapid development of Jordan. The city council of Jordan first proposed a cheap solution in the form of an oil plant. However, the Westwood council did not agree to this as they wanted to keep the region around the delta as clean as possible. No heavily poluting factories like an oil plant would be allowed anywhere in the area.

Westwood in turn proposed nuclear power, but Jordan did not agree to this. The costs of building and maintaining a nuclear power plant was far too great for a city the size of Jordan and thus not worth it yet.

Eventually a good solution was found in the form of a solar power plant. This plant was cheap to build, could instantly double the maximum power output and best of all, it could be built almost anywhere. Because of this, the hill in the center of Jordan was chosen as the ideal spot, as it already had power lines going up to it. Besides, there wasn't much interest in housing development up there anyway.


The large hill that Jordan wraps around.


Houses up here are pretty much abandonned.


The new solar plant is in operation, doubling the power capacity of the city.


Eastern Ringway

Shortly after the completion of the new station and rail bypass the southern area of Jordan started to see some heavy development. There were so many people moving to Jordan though, that the city could hardly keep up with construction. Land would have to be used a bit more effeciently so most new homes were actually appartment buildings and the first area to see heavy development of them was, yes, southern Jordan.

However this (future) part of town would be one of the most isolated parts of the city in terms of infrastructure. Of course it would have the mandatory bus stops and it was somewhat close to the station, but with so many people living so close together a better route to the other side of town (and thus the road to the industrial area at Mount Jordan) was a must.


The southern part of Jordan with it's apartments. The white line representing the route of the eastern ringway.

The eastern ringway would follow along the edge of the farmland to the east, allowing a long stretch of road to be built without having to demolish any buildings at all. This was both the cheapest and fastest option for Jordan. The ringway would consist of a double lane road in both directions.


The eastern ringway making its connection to the north part of town.



By 1925 the South East Delta Link railways was becoming over filled with passenger trains. The industrial trains, for which the link was originally built, were running into more and more problems with passenger trains holding up traffic at stations. Something had to be done.


The original train station, having been in service and clogging up the rail line for the last 20 years.

A plan was drawn up for a local bypass. A simple stretch of railline that would bypass the station so freight trains could continue their route without being held up by passenger trains waiting at the station. However, building a local bypass would leave to little room to upgrade the station which was being over crowded as it is.

As a colaboration project between Westwood, Jordan, Coldwater and the rail line company; SE Link Inc., a bigger bypass was designed.


The new bypass design.

The new bypass would allow intercity passenger trains (coming and going to Westwood and Coldwater) to make an extended stop at Jordan before moving on without hindering the freight trains on the industrial route up north. The location of the new Central Station would also allow for 2 additional platforms to be added, creating a total of 4. In addition the new station would be combined with an office building leased by SE Link Inc. which they will use as a relay station for the link. Another station, Jordan Valley Station, would also be added on the new stretch of bypass to accomodate the future planned expansion in that area of town.


The bypass cutting through the farmland. Of course the farmers were compensated for their... cooperation.


Construction of the new Jordan Central Station. The design for this area includes an office building, 4 train platforms, a green hill filled with trees and several new appartment buildings.


The new station area completed.


The local bypass, now seeing a lot less passenger traffic.


As the city grew and expanded tordwards the Tiber river more and more wealthier sims became interested in a piece of real estate overlooking the river. What started as a few random requests soon became one single request from a local contractor to build 55 luxury houses along the river banks. When the Jordan council approved this request, 50 of the houses were sold within the first week. The last five were sold in the following month.


The river bank.


Preparation for the new houses.


The first few villa's sold!



By the year 1923 Jordan had almost doubled it's inhabitants. Houses were always being built somewhere. New houses were sold by the dozen every week and new construction sites popped up all over the place. With a growth this fast, it didn't surprise anyone that the amount of garbage produced by the town had grown along with it.

This problem was contracted out to Double Dash Trash, a waste management company that had made a name for itself over the years by handeling the garbage disposal for several major cities across the nation. A small town like Jordan would be a piece of cake and it wasn't long before Double Dash Trash proposed their plans.

The area around the current landfill would be used to construct a recycling center where sims could sort their trash if they desired. This would bring the town's overall production of disposable garbage down by almost 30%. The remaining garbage would be burned in two medium capacity incinerators. However, because the plants would be relatively close to the town, Jordan council demanded that air filters would be installed to keep polution and nasty smells to a minimum.




The new recycling centers, incinerators and reinforced landfill used as a buffer for the ovens.


Simgoober's BSC Waste to Energy Plant behind the recycling centers.


How Dry I Am

With Jordan quickly approuching 25.000 citizens the freshwater spring underneath the town is starting to run a bit short. There simply is not enough water to go around and most people on the outskirts of town don't have running water at all. Since the first watertower was built in Jordan engineers had already been working on a bigger alternative, they knew damn well that the sping wouldn't last forever.

At the Westwood city hall the plans had been made and the blueprints stashed away in some filing cabinet. As much as Jordan needed another source of fresh water, it simply couldn't be realized. The construction of the two additional power plants a few years back drained a lot of the cash reserves the city had for Jordan. A multi million dollar water treatment plant was simply to expensive. And that's where Coldwater saw an operitunity once again. Coldwater would lend Westwood the money at a 7% interest rate. Westwood didn't agree to this and managed to talk it down to 5% and with that the deal was done.


The construction of the plant was soon started and was completed just 3 months late, on June 23rd, 1920.


With state of the art technology, this plant is capable of converting salt water to sweet water. It also functions as a water treatment plant, filtering raw sewage back to fresh drinkable water.

Did you know:

- That 'howdryiam' is the cheatcode in Simcity 4 to remove the water demand in a city?

- That Simcity 3000 had facilities that could convert salt water to sweet water and that any water connected to the edge of the map was considered salt?


Bridge over Cold Water

Two Cities, One History

Back when the first power plant was being constructed on Mount Jordan the city of Coldwater decided they didn't want to pitch in a single dime for the cost. The city of Westwood, in response, decided to fund the construction of the plant and claim the surrounding area. From that decision Jordan was spawned and in the time that has passed since then, the town has grown a lot. It now has it's own council, bus network, fire station and police station. More and more retailers are setting up their shops in or around Jordan and requests for buying land around Jordan are coming in by the dozen every day.

That's where trouble came in, because there was this little matter of ownership. Originally, the South-East Delta Link was a joint venture between Westwood and Coldwater to connect the cities together. Both cities had equal shares in the company that operated the rail line and they both paid 50% of the construction costs. However, formally splitting the region in two was deemed to much hassle for just a technicality so for years the rail line ran through an area that was not owned by either city.

Then Jordan came alone and all that changed. Coldwater put out an official letter to the council of Westwood to negotiate the deviding of the South-East Delta region. Clear borders would have to be put in place if Jordan was to grow any more. After many weeks of talking an agreement was formed.

It was decided that the entire area, coast to coast, west of the Tiber river would officially fall under Westwood jurisdiction. The rest of the area would remain in the same co-owned owned state where neither city can perform actions without the approval of the other. Ownership of that area did came at a price though. Coldwater demanded Westwood would fund the construction of a bridge spanning the Tiber river, so both cities would finally be connected by road. Westwood agreed to this, recognizing the importance of owning a part of the region.


270613795.jpgFuture location of the bridge.

Construction on the Tiber Bridge started soon after the agreement was signed and provided good business for the nearby steel factories and construction companies.


271192949.jpgThe bridge was completed in September the following year.


Quest for Power

Oh dear, some of the council members of Westwood are throwing a fit. They say that the rapid growth of Jordan is using power from the power plant that was originally meant for Westwood. And they are right in a way, but no one could have predicted this little worker settlement would grow out to become it's own town. A sollution must be found. And when a city council comes up with a solution it usually costs a lot of money.

Engineers employed by the city of Westwood were given the task to find a solution to the problem. The full capacity of the geothermal powerplant would have to be routed to Westwood, but Jordan needed a powersource of it's own. Many ideas were suggested, from the construction of windmills to building a dedicated powerplant for Jordan. The final idea became an adaption of the latter.

After some more research on Mount Jordan, it was found that the mountain held enough thermal pressure for three more power plants to run at full capacity. Airing on the side of caution (and saving money, of course) it was eventually decided to only build two more. Jordan would make use of one plant, Westwood would then distribute the power generated by the other two plants. It was a daring plan that cost a lot of money, but was believed to pay itself back in the long run, especially when Coldwater would eventually decide they wanted to buy power afterall.

Construction on the two new plants began in March 1916.


View of Mount Jordan before construction started.


The two new power plants will be located on the other sides of the mountain, forming a sort of triangle.


Construction on plant #2.


Construction on plant #3.


A dangerous mountain road wraps itself around the mountain.


How Time Flies...

Not many CJ's on Simtropolis start from the ground up, with absolutely nothing. Most CJ's you see around here will have some sort of background, pre-existing cities or towns which can be used to tell a story. Needless to say, this CJ has none of those things and started it's first entry with a naked patch of land and a railline. Of course this also means a lot of building and expanding and I know for a fact that you people are not waiting for me to list and show the construction of every single block of houses, so let me just fastforward a little. The year is now 1915 and Jordan has grown... a LOT.


Jordan has grown to the respectable size of 20.000 sims in a mere 15 years.

Where does the time go, right? I remember when this huge town was just one freight station in the middle of nowhere... But a lot has happened in the 7 years we've just skipped so let me highlight a few of them.

First of all, the town finally got a decent hospital that has more than just bandaids. Plans for it were drawn up in 1907 and construction started in 1909 after a long debate about it's proposed location. The original plan was to buy out a bunch of the old worker homes and build the hospital in a central position. The council however thought that solution to be to expensive, especially with plenty of free land still available. Van Dyke Hospital was eventually constructed on the east side of town.


Van Dyke Hospital. Building by SimGoober.

Another big development was the construction of a road through the small valley south of Jordan, connection two outer parts of the town and providing sims with better ways of getting where they need to go.


This small valley now has a road running through it, you should be able to see it on the regional photograph.

And remember the smart business owners that set up on the road to Mount Jordan? Well, those small businesses have grown up to become a small shopping district with many different stores in the area. From furniture to groceries. The Jordan council has approved expansion of the shopping district until it reaches twice it's current size.


From smart business owner to business tycoon!

Late 1912 the plans for City Hall were finalized. Because there were few recreational facilities in town the city hall was to become a modern building in the center of a large recreational park. A patch of land east of the town, next to the hospital, was chosen as the ideal spot.


The new City Hall with surrounding parks.


The building was made by Dmscopio and can be found here.



Jordan is growing so rapid that the total number of sims in the region (which is basically the main town and the farm area next to it) has already gone over 13.000 sims since the last update, when it was still 5.000. The town has expanded heavily to the west and is now hugging the farms, sometimes already overtaking them. Needless to say, the small mountain road leading to Mount Jordan was really taking a beating. It simply couldn't handle all the cars anymore. Time for a few upgrades.


The small road to Mount Jordan and it's industry.


The road has been expanded and the speed limit has gone up. Room for more cars!


I'm sure the shops there won't mind the extra traffic.


Another development in the town of Jordan is the removal of the freight station. After having done it's job in supplying materials for the construction of the power plant, it kind of lost it's function when Mount Jordan got it's own train connection. The last few factories at the town are slowly preparing to move to the industrial park, leaving no more use for the freight station.


Former freight station, now a pizza place and a grocery store.

Meanwhile the farms could use a freight station nearby to ship off their goods. So in the end, the station was simply moved and no-one had to lose their jobs.


The farms are happy with the new freight station!



Water in the Desert

Jordan is approaching the 5000 sims mark! Yay!

But wait, it's not all fun and joy, you know. 5000 sims need water and trucking in thousands of bottles of water every week is becoming a logistical nightmare, to say the least. And don't get me started on toilets... No, we need a solution. We need water! As luck would have it there is a nice fresh water spring underneath Jordan. Isn't that convenient?

156061247.jpgJordan's first water tower!

Of course we could have 5000 sims walking up and down to the water tower, turn open the faucet and fill their cups, but that probably wouldn't work for very long. Lets lay down some pipes instead.


Stretch of road broken open to lay down the pipes.


Let there be water!


And Jordan grows on...

Now for some nice trivia about water and Simcity.

Did you know:

- that 'Water in the desert' is the cheatcode in Simcity 3000 to access all water facilities?

- that the official Simcity 3000 manual actually recommended laying down pipes underneath streets to be sure all buildings had water?

- that, until Simcity 4 came along, this was a widely accepted strategy for Simcity games?

- that, incidentally, one of the biggest strategy guides for Simcity 4 recommends not laying down water until you have at least 5000 sims in your city?


Infrastructure 101

Growing oh so fast! Jordan is quickly approuching the 4000 inhabitants mark and garbage and sickness are becoming a real problem. In fact, just yesterday someone was reported to have been looking for oranges in the piles of garbage in the streets. He said he needed the vitamins. Time to take action!


The landfill for the towns garbage will be located north of the town.


Finally no more garbage in the streets!

With that taken care of it's about time this town gets some healthcare. People are now living here 24/7 and seeing a doctor all the way in Westwood isn't exactly a two minute drive. While plans for a hospital are being drawn up at city hall (which is also still being drawn up) the town has to make due with a small clinic. As long as it doesn't get worse than a broken bone you should be okay.


Don't you dare need surgery!

Being the mayor of this town must be a real crappy job, by the way. When people aren't complaining about healthcare, you've got residents and industry complaining they need a better infrastructure. Workers can't get to work and trucks can't truck anything out of town. Well fine, first things first.


Problem number 1. Give them traffic lights and all hell breaks loose.


Solution number 1. MORE ASPHALT!!

Problem number 2 required a more drastic approuch. The industry to the north is complaining that trucking goods out of town is almost impossible due to the clogging up of the mountain road. They demand a connection to the South East Delta Link. The council was opposed at first, but gave in as soon as they realized that laying down new train tracks would create a lot less hassle than upgrading the existing road. Train tracks it is!


The South East Delta Link splitting up with one track going to Jordan and the other to Mount Jordan.


The other end of the railline, ending at the base of Mount Jordan.


Satellite view of the new stretch of railline.

With the constant expansion of Jordan came the cutting of wood. A lot of cutting... of a lot of wood. Luckily there was a company who jumped at the opperitunity to... help out... with this problem. Cutt'em Logging Company settled just north of Jordan. Not far from the garbage dump.


Ready or not, trees. You're going down! (Structures in the picture are Pegasus' Saw Mill and its maintenance yard, who's link I could not find).


Growth Pains

Ah! The joy of a growing city. So many things that happen. For instance, people started looking at the lonely stores on the road to Mount Jordan and noticed that they were making a killer profit. And if one person is making a profit damn well everyone should be making a profit, so it wasn't long before a lot more stores popped up along the road.


The stores alongside the busy road.


Speaking of people taking opportunities, the new road leading to Westwood was well received. Not only did it finally make the settlement reachable for traffic, it also gave access to the fertile ground west of the settlement. Requests for large patches of farmland were put in with the council and since there was plenty of space, soon the first farms popped up nextdoor.


First farms show up west of the settlement.

Meanwhile, over at Mount Jordan, the first signs of industry sprouted at the base of the mountain. Research buildings, production. More and more companies wanted to build their factories out here, next to a reliable power source and where the ground was still cheap. Lines were litteraly forming at the Westwood city hall and plots of land were given out faster than the zoning officials could design.

Late 1907 it was decided by the city of Westwood that the influx of industry, while good for the development of the settlement, should not at the same time hold it back. Council was worried that to many factories right next to the residents, on the other side of the railline, would cause growth to stagger. And that would mean losing money. Any future industry would have to settle around the base of Mount Jordan, away from the main residents.


The start of the industrial annex, close to the Mount Jordan power plant.

Elsewhere, the new road was having a positive effect on the area. New farmland, new houses, more jobs. Only downside was... more cars. The T-section that led to the rail crossing and to Mount Jordan was becoming packed with cars and accidents were becoming a morning routine everyone left home 30 minutes early for.


The dreaded T-section.


Yay for traffic lights!

The settlement had grown so much since the first row of houses a few years back. It was becoming hard to keep calling it a settlement. So on January 5th, 1908, the settlement officially became a town with it's own name. Welcome to Jordan!


The unstoppable growth of Jordan.


Regional shot.


With the settlement growing at an alarming rate, more means of reaching the settlement had to be created. The old rails were quickly reaching full capacity at this rate and the trains would hardly get around to delivering goods between Westwood and Coldwater anymore. To fix this little problem, a road was to be built between the settlement and Westwood.


Preperations are being made.


The road completed.


The road running next to the train tracks.

Meanwhile, the settlement was planning it's very first major project since the construction of the power plant. More houses were needed, so in order to meet demand the council decided on a brand new and big block of houses south of the settlement.


Area for new block of houses.


Logging for construction.


First streets in position.


Fresh houses! Get em while they're hot!!!


The Butterfly Effect

With the powerplant up and running it created job openings for almost 200 sims who would have to manage, run and maintain the facility. People from both Coldwater and Westwood got on a two hour train ride every day to get to the plant and another two hours to get back home. Needless to say, it didn't take long before the first employees started to complain about the long distance.

To help these people out a bit, the city of Westwood decided to offer housing for factory workers. Any employee who worked at the plant for 3 or more days a week (pretty much everyone) would be eligable to live in a small home next to the railroad. Construction on the first homes began not long after that decision.


The first few dozen homes are done. You can see the steel factory in the background.

By the time the first 100 homes were built and requests for more kept coming in at the Westwood city council, it was decided to also built a steel factory to produce steel for construction a little closer to the construction sites. Afterall, continuesly shipping and unloading cargo through the railway would clog the damn thing up. After the factory was finished more homes started appearing in rapid succession.


The need for beer and TV-dinners triggered the first commercial development.

The town was doing well. Workers were happy, finally being able to sleep an hour or two longer each morning, even if it wasn't in their own home. The homey feeling returned a little when a bar and some stores opened in the small community and things became even more routine. For a while it all seemed to go better then you would expect a little remote settlement to do. Then disaster struck.


A fire started in one of the homes. Only problem, no firefighters...

With no fire station in town and no real fire fighting hardware, the fire was allowed to swallow up half a block of houses before it could finally be contained by the combined efforts of the citizens.


The burnt down houses. Luckily no-one was killed, but there were several injuries.

After this sudden wakeup call, citizens got together and set up a voluntary fire department, with people taking shifts around the clock.


The brand new firestation, with a firetruck and equipment donated by the WFD (Westwood Fire Department).

While the houses were being rebuilt and the community settled down after a slap-in-the-face event, elsewhere there were a few smart sims who thought they could make a buck or two from the daily traffic to and from the power plant.


Stores set up on the road to Mount Jordan, hoping to lure passers by.


And some activity brewing around the power plant, where homes were built for people on call and have to be at the plant quick in case of emergency.

One year after the first house was completed, the town had already grown to accomodate over 200 people. More factories had been built in the meantime, more people needed homes to stay in and with the luxery of stores and electricity in a beatifull piece of nature, other citizens from the nearby Westwood and Coldwater were moving in as well, escaping the busy city.

In June 1907, the Westwood city council decided that the small settlement was attracting so many people and was growing so quickly that remote management was no longer an option. In order to keep a better eye on the development of the town, and lessen the involvement of Westwood, a town mayor was appointed. And while the small settlement was officially still part of Westwood, it was quickly becoming an independant town.


The mayor's house.


Powerful Discovery

November 29, 1807 - The South East Delta Link, the railway that connects Coldwater and Westwood, is completed.

May 18, 1901 - A group of geologists start a survey project at the base of Mount Jordan.

September 9, 1902 - The geologists confirm the mountain is an active vulcano.

June 14, 1903 - The geologists conclude that the site is suitable for a geothermal powerplant. The amount of power the heat and steam in the underground tunnels would create a massive boost in the area's energy production when harnased right.


The South East Delta with the South East Delta Link (SADL) running through it's landscape.

The geologists first present their idea to the city counsil of Coldwater, but the so called 'experts' find building a multi-million dollar powerplant next to an active vulcano too risky. Crazy right?!

When presented to the city of Westwood, however, the plan was received well and after more extensive research on the plan and the vulcano the green light was given. Preperations for the project started on October 7th, 1904.

As luck would have it there was already a railway nearby, which made the transportation of goods to the construction site a lot easier. Erecting a freight station west of the river would be the most ideal solution as it would provide the most direct route to the vulcano without having to cross the river.


Overview of the South East Delta region with the proposed location for the freight station.


Freight station completed, but with no source of power it could not yet operate at full capacity. A road to the constructionsite was also being built.

With the freight station and the road to the construction site complete, work could begin on preparing the mountain side for the power plant. Trees would have to be cut down and good part of the mountain excavated and flattened. Work on this began early 1905.





The power plant was completed ahead of schedule in December 1905.


Hello and welcome to my very first city journal!

The idea of this journal is to follow the natural development of a city without the use of planning. In this journal you will not find maps of the future transit system or pictures of skyscrapers on the first page. Instead, if you choose to follow this journal, you will be following the story of how a small settlement will eventually grow and grow and grow until, at some point in the distant future, it will become a huge metropolis.

Now, I won't pretend this is my own creative mind at work. The idea to build a natural developing city came directly from CSGdesign's Natural Growth CJ which I have been following for a few weeks. I liked the basic idea of it so much that I decided to give it a go myself. If you haven't read his CJ yet I would advice you to do so if realism is what you are looking for in CJ's. He also explains in detail what exactly natural development is in SimCity 4. Of course I could copy and paste what he wrote, but come on... that would be stealing.

Current Regional View


Mods, props and other custom content

I currently have a LOT of custom content installed and naming every single one of them here would produce an enormous list. So instead of having a list I'll just mention any CC worth mentioning in each entry. Of course you're also free to ask questions about a particular mod/BAT/whatever.


Please don't expect me to update this CJ every single day. Like many of us I too have a job and other responsibilities in real life which takes up a lot of my time so please don't spaz out when there's suddenly a 2-week gap between entries. Playing the game, taking and editing pictures and writing these entries takes quite a bit of time so please be patient.

For now I would like to wish everyone a fun time reading my journal! Suggestions, of course, are always welcome.

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