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  1. San Miguel

    Thanks! Yes, it's inspired, if you will, by Los Angeles, with a bit of Miami thrown in for good measure.
  2. San Miguel

    BOOM & THEN BUST San Miguel's journey into the 21st Century proved fairly eventful - riding the economic boom of the late 1990s, the city experienced explosive growth and became one of the more dominant centers in the western region. As the commercial and cultural capital of the state, San Miguel finally found itself on the world stage - regarded as one of the more prominent world cities. Its population, which ballooned over the last fifty years cemented its position and led many to compare it to the Big Three - New York, Los Angeles and Chicago. But the growth would prove unsustainable. The city reached its population heights in the mid-00s, developing further beyond its original borders, expanding its international airport, developing more highways and an underground transit system - but the growth masked a larger, growing problem that was about to crash the city and bring about major economic hardship. San Miguel at the height of its population growth - a year before the major recession would cripple the city Downtown San Miguel overlooking the eastern neighborhoods The 2007-08 recession hit San Miguel hard - skyrocketing unemployment to the highest in the nation. At the height of the recession, San Miguel had a catastrophic 35% unemployment rate. As the city abandoned, losing thousands of citizens over a ten-year stretch, the once golden town on the rise was now slumping dramatically - and no one seemed to have answers. Even with much of the world pulling out of the recession, San Miguel continued to slump. With unemployment hovering around 30%, the city ousted its mayor, who served for over 40 years, in a stunning rebuke of the failed policies that they believed led to the downward spiral. The change didn't help and in four years, Mayor Juan Santos, too, was ousted - he was replaced by the man he defeated four years earlier. Finally, though, the city started rebounding. After a decade-long slump, that saw the city lose over 10% of its population, demand returned to San Miguel. Towers started rising and the city, under the guidance of the re-reelected mayor, declared its triumphant return. Still, the city remains vigilant of what happened, knowing full well a crippling downturn could always be around the corner. But for now, San Miguel resumes its meteoric rise over the last century. San Miguels skyline many years ago - before the explosive growth redefined the city A growing skyline can be seen over the horizon San Miguel, in the 1950s, a growing - but sleepy - community San Miguel today - a far cry from the once quaint small town NEXT UP: Can San Miguel Keep It Going?
  3. San Miguel

    SAN MIGUEL 20th CENTURY BOOM TOWN San Miguel's rise as the region's largest city had its roots in the early 1900s - but it was the rest of the 20th Century that helped truly define the city as it is today. But it was not without struggles. After a surge of growth in the early 1900s, everything stagnated at the onslaught of the Great Depression. As the city's growth stalled, and its population dipped by 10,000 in a mere year, either by massive unemployment or death due to famine, San Miguel struggled regrouping - and rebuilding. Eventually, though, the city found its footing and reestablished itself as one of the region's more prolific boom towns. The city's continued growth forced it east, beyond the recently built Skyline Freeway, where a new post-war residential neighborhood began to develop. During this growth spurt, the city also saw the creation of its new international airport, which replaced the smaller air field just south of the city. San Miguel was now fully connected to the outside world. Downtown San Miguel, too, saw a revitalized center - a mix of old and new. The old, historic mission in downtown San Miguel These rectories once housed priests from the local church. Today, though, they are museums for the history of San Miguel and the Catholic Diocese of San Miguel The historic courthouse was one of the first non-religious buildings constructed in San Miguel. It sits toward the center of the city and continues to serve as a municipal courthouse The San Miguel Cathedral, as well as the City Hall, anchor this shot of downtown San Miguel The San MIguel skyline from the Umber Neighborhood - to the right is the Umber Bridge The Rio Bridge is one of the more prominent entrance points to the city centre The Sand Dunes San Miguel's growth continued well into the late 20th century. The city also welcomed its new tallest - the Bank of La Valle Center building, which dominated the city's skyline - towering over the residential neighborhoods to the east. The growth on the city's east-side far outpaced the rest of the city. Downtown towers over the tree-lined streets of suburban San Miguel San Miguel's tallest building, the Bank of La Valle Center, can be seen from all areas of the city Riverview High School, and its soccer/football field, share a scene with the San Miguel skyline San Miguel is not immune to the growing influence of chain restaurants Vista Avenue is home to newer specialty stores and chain restaurants Magnolia Street is a major retail center for those living outside downtown. The Bank of La Valle Center can be seen rising in the background The growing residential commercial zones are becoming a popular destination for San Miguelians The summer sun breaks through the clouds NEXT UP: SAN MIGUEL'S JOURNEY INTO THE 20TH CENTURY
  4. SAN MIGUEL The current skyline of San Miguel San Miguel, a sprawling coastal community on the west coast, was founded in the early 1800s as a small Catholic monastery. The Monastery of San Miguel, located at the edge of the main coast, became the center of a growing community of Catholic workers and supporting residents. Though a small town in its infancy, by the mid-1800s, San Miguel began to turn into a thriving community of migrant workers, brought over by the Catholic Church, and tourist-oriented residents and businesses. Its warm climate, and easy access to the coast, only helped bolster the town's growing population. In 1867, the Catedral San Miguel was built, which, next to the monastery, became the major tourist draw of the community. For years, the cathedral's large dome stood as the tallest building in San Miguel, and could be seen from all over town. San Miguel, circa 1895 Much of the main city centre hugged the Umber River, which emptied into the ocean just miles away from the city. Over time, as the city grew, the cathedral quickly lost its position as the tallest structure in San Miguel. Eventually, the thriving community built itself an impressive and growing skyline. The San Miguel skyline seen in 1908 As the population continued to grow, so did the city's boundaries. Soon, San Miguel positioned itself as one of the region's largest, and most important, cities. San Miguel, seen in 1910 The city's core, dominated by high-rise construction, remained the most important, and thriving portion, of the city. A lax building code, eased in the early 1900s as skyscrapers became the focal point of many cities, helped lead to the explosive upward growth. Soon, the tiny, quiet Catholic community was now a busy, growing metro. An aerial of San Miguel shows off the city's growing skyline in 1919 By the 1900s, San Miguel's growth reached a fevered pitch, and the new century ushered in a monumental rise for the sleepy town. To the west of the main city centre, Valley Park, the city's first real suburb, was established. Situated on the bank of the Umber River, Valley Park has the quiet amenities of the suburban life while being a short freeway drive from central San Miguel. The original plot of land seen before major development As San Miguel grew, a good segment of the population relocated west of the central city - building neighborhoods filled with parks, schools and single-family dwellings,. NEXT UP: SAN MIGUEL'S 20TH CENTURY BOOM
  5. Probably have a few bucks in their pocket from odd jobs or whatever; just not enough to get a new apartment. I think the police will chase them out of the parks, but I may be mistaken. Or the city government is payin' em to leave town. A few cities have been known to do that in the past...
  6. Anyone else lost interest?

    I have definitely lost interest. Once you run out of space on your map, you're pretty much stuck only doing superficial redesigns that don't amount to much ... and watching your city evolve. Which can be fun, but loses its enjoyment factor after 10 or so minutes. If I had larger maps, or the maps in my region all connected to one another (without these ridiculous massive gaps between cities), I think it'd be much more fun to play, as you can continue to expand your city and its suburbs. But since you max out your city in such a short amount of time, what else is there left to do?
  7. Corsica Heights

    This is the journal of just one city I've built in a shared region. I anticipate over time I'll work on my own region and then do a city journal documenting its growth. But until then, enjoy... Corsica Heights HISTORY PART I - THE FOUNDING AND EARLY GROWTH Corsica Heights was founded 20 miles north-west of the city of South Park as an inner-suburb to the region's largest community. With the connection of the region's first freeway system, the town saw an explosion of growth seemingly overnight as city dwellers relocated to the bedroom community for its safe streets, quiet neighborhoods, cheap housing and relaxed atmosphere - something they struggled to find in the city of South Park. In the early days, Corsica Heights was very much a suburban community with a suburban mindset. There were tree-lined roads, small mom and pop shops dotting Main Street and the overwhelming sense of community. In fact, those who entered the town from the west were often greeted by the city's water tower, at one point the largest structure in the community. Emblazoned on the side, in large letters - the town's name. For the first thousand citizens, Corsica Heights was every bit the perfect community to raise a family and establish a life. The city's history is well-documented by the Corsica Heights Historical Society - a group of proud citizens who've collected older photos of the city and have put them on display at the city hall. Here's their collection. An aerial of Corsica Heights in its early days. A look at the skyline of the city from Main Street. As the city grew, so did the need for a home for the local government. Originally, the city hall was to be built off of Corsica Boulevard, however, the city's mayor, Sean O'Cassidy, decided a better location would be on Main Street in an area he had hoped would be established as the town's downtown - with the city hall, and subsequently the county courthouse anchoring the development. City Hall & the County Courthouse dominate the young Corsica Heights skyline. Construction picks up as the city continues its fast growth. Development springs up on Corsica Boulevard. Mayor O'Cassidy's hope of the city hall anchoring a downtown are realized as shops form on Main Street. As the city continued growing, community leaders approached the city about the potential of building a large university as a counter to the often crowded state university in South Park. Its central location, the community argued, would help make the university, and therefore the city, an ideal location for people to relocate - especially students. So, after a year-long study was conducted, with the assistance of the region, Corsica State University was established in the city's southern neighborhood. It was, not counting the city's founding, the biggest moment in Corsica Heights' young history. Corsica State University celebrates its opening with a crowd of anticipated sims. Originally named Vista Street, after the completion of CSU, the city approved a measure renaming the street University Avenue - as it leads up to the University's Central Square. The completion of Corsica State University helped usher in a new era of population growth for Corsica Heights. The city's population ballooned over the next decade and the once sleepy suburb now started looking like a bustling metropolis. The first sign of growth came with the construction of a cluster of mid-rise residential buildings on the city's east side. As more of the region's population relocated to the city, demand for housing exploded and to meet that demand, the city approved lifting the height limit on non-governmental buildings. The city's growing skyline is seen from the University. The Crescent ®, became the tallest residential structure in the city. Not long after the construction of the Crescent, more residential mid-rises developed - creating the city's first true skyline. Corsica Heights, the once tiny suburban community, was now turning into a true rival to the city of South Park. Its low crime and educated sims, as well as its relative closeness to the region's bigger cities, proved to be the perfect foundation for the unprecedented growth the city was about to experience. Mayor O'Cassidy, the only mayor the city had ever known, embraced the growth and advocated for smarter, more dense and walkable development for the sake of the city's environment. The town, which was run solely off of wind power, had already been extremely environmentally friendly and the mayor wanted to make sure that continued through the spurt of growth the city experienced. Eventually, months after revoking the height limit altogether, the city council approved the development of the city's first high-rise residential tower. It was the beginning of an amazing period of growth for Corsica Heights. The first residential tower is constructed on the city's east side. Its completion proved historic - as already another high-rise tower emerges. UP NEXT: Corsica Heights' History Part II - The Residential Boom.
  8. Show Us Your Skylines

    Here's more pictures of my second city I've displayed in the past. It's mostly residential - at least the skyscrapers are. I don't think I've yet seen a commercial skyscraper built in the city. I don't mind, tho, as the residential ones are much nicer on the eyes. A late evening baseball game takes place: A neighborhood fire station - with the residential skyline dominating the background: The heart of the downtown. As you can see, not many commercial towers. Mostly just 60s and 70s era boxes: You can get a better sense of the commercial area compared to the residential skyline: The residential skyline from a smaller residential area of the city:
  9. Show Us Your Skylines

    I know, right? I'd like to know so I could toggle 'em on and off for the photos. I don't like how they're on my photos. I seriously don't even know how they turned on. They were there from the start. Maybe it's a glitch?
  10. Show Us Your Skylines

    I have a really short attention span as I've started a new city. This one hasn't grown as fast as my first two and I decided to angle the roads a bit differently to make things more interesting. So, that could be why the city's growth has been stunted...but I like the way it's developing. It reminds me of a smaller river town. Here's my town early in its development from a neighboring peak. Here's an early photo of the skyline as it develops from one of the city's bridges. A look out over downtown. A mid-rise is under construction. The downtown area. Downtown from the towering peak. A skyline shot with the sun setting or rising ... I can't remember. My first high-rise - a residential tower. The city from above the bridge. A second tower is under construction. A second tower is constructed. The two residential towers together.
  11. Show Us Your Skylines

    Hm...I'm not sure I understand the question? I mean you can see on your last screenshot that a grid is visible on the city. In my game I don't see such grid. Ah, yeah, I understand now. I actually have no idea as you can see the grid shows up in some of my photos ... but not all?
  12. Show Us Your Skylines

    Hm...I'm not sure I understand the question? Anyway, here's more photos of my second city. It's really growing now and I've actually liked the way it's developed because it actually feels like a downtown has formed - as my last city had a cluster of high-rises all over the map. I'm sure that'll change as the city grows, but for now, it looks pretty cool. Here's a downtown street. Just a few years (days in game time?) these skyscrapers didn't exist. Most my city's towers are on this street. So far, the density hasn't pushed outward, as there are some small shotgun style houses just outside downtown. A night shot shows downtown growing at a rapid pace. Still, a great deal of the residential remains single-family detached dwellings. I decided to change the filter because the brightness was causing it to look too cartoony. Here's a good skyline shot not far from city hall. This area of the city remains low density. Here's a then and now from when I started the city yesterday. Then: Now: Another skyline shot, this again from a lower density area of the city - you can see the courthouse and city hall, at one point the two tallest structures in the city, peeking out. Suburban-style housing on the edge of downtown. I don't know ... I thought this was a cool view with the stretching skyline. A lot of these apartments outside downtown. My original water tower and what will eventually be a street with light-rail. Another night view. The older building next to the bus stop was one of my first structures ever and it remains today. I noticed it back when the city started forming because it looks like an old west saloon. Here's another then and now from the University. Then: Now: Finally, I thought this was a pretty cool skyline shot from a distant city in my region. Since my city sits atop a mountain, it's easily seen from there when the pollution isn't bad.
  13. Show Us Your Skylines

    I decided to start a new city in a different region. So far, not many people are building and I have a feeling this region is going to be abandoned soon enough. But I've been able to create the largest city in the region in only a brief few hours. Here's the progression of my city... The first skyline shot I took before the construction of the city hall complex: City hall and the courthouse would dominate the skyline for a long time: The city reaches a milestone with the completion of its university: My city from one of the towers on the university campus: This area outside downtown really took off with fairly dense residential development: The residential area with the university in the forefront: My city's first real high-rise - a residential tower: The completion of the tower shows it by far the tallest building in the city: