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Social Planning Explained (Or Rather BEHAVIOURAL SCIENCE): How #CitiesSkylines Can Give a Basic Breakdown of Social Planning

Social Planning has become a main stay in Cities Skylines since the Real Time Mod went live and has been constantly updated. You are no longer just focusing on the physical Geography but now the Human Geography as well.

Biffa has started a series with the Mod so I will link that up very soon if you want to see how the mod works.

Talking Southern Auckland

Add Real Time and things get a bit too realistic for game play

The (occasional) series with Cities Skylines as a communicator tool continues with me looking at Parking Minimums and Urban Highways – #CitiesSkylines Gives a Tragic History Lesson from the USA (ARGH) and today looking at Social Planning.

Today’s video comes from Cities Skylines player and Vloger Sam Burr from Brisbane on the topic of: Social Planning:


I was at a talk on how Japan under takes its urban development and how that development is heavily focused around its transit system. There is an article that goes into this at depth which can be read here: TOKYO’S AFFORDABLE HOUSING STRATEGY: BUILD, BUILD, BUILD

Build, build, build – the name of the game in Cities Skylines until your PC caps out from Memory use. But in doing all that building you are also undertaking social planning at quite a large…

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Impending Auckland Transport Mess Up With City Centre Street – This is How You Design City Centre Streets #CitiesSkylines

Match the mode for the space

Auckland Transport Executives and the Chair again prove that they are talk and no action when it comes to the livability of a City especially its City Centre. The latest from AT in regards to Customs Street having busses removed to improve the flow of cars through a core City Centre area made me shake my head at the minimum. Greater Auckland were not impressed either:

To turn Customs Street into a 6 lane car sewer will sever Britomart and the Ferry Terminal from Queen Street and the core of the City Centre that follows Queen Street to uptown. Thoroughfare traffic should be using the motorway network and Grafton Gully if people need to get from east Auckland to the Harbour Bridge and vice versa. Customs Street would become an excellent transit mall for busses and maybe Light Rail linking Britomart to Symonds Street, Fanshawe Street and the Light Rail Lines heading to Wynyard Quarter and the North Shore. Speaking of which where is 6 lanes of Customs Street cars meant to go when part of it and Fanshawe Street will reduce those lanes to make way for Light Rail.

Again Auckland Transport Executives not exactly thinking nor seeing the value of Integrated Planning.

 

Cities Skylines Urban Design Offers Lessons

While marco-level planning is what I usually do it does not mean I am going to skimp out in creating quality public spaces for my Cims and the tourists. And of course the City Centre is the prime public space.

Large roads will still be seen but they will not be running through the guts of the City Centre but rather forming the border with smaller 4 lane roads feeding into the guts of the City Centre from the 6-lane roads and then the 2-lane roads, shared streets, lane-ways, transit malls and pedestrians malls forming the interior network.

You will see 4-lane roads running through the City Centre but these roads will often contain one or more of the following:

  1. bus lanes
  2. Light Rail
  3. Cycle ways

This allows transit and service vehicles to have continued access to core of the City Centre as people, goods and even the trash have to be moved around (and out of) the City Centre.

But I am not going to put large 6-lane road or the huge 12 lane road right through the middle of my City Centre as it would split it in half causing severance (and a tonne load of noise)

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If you are wondering about this 6-laner that has two bus lanes with that runs right by the Central Station there is a reason why I have done this. First of all a large 12-platform heavy rail (with subway underneath) station to place it in the middle of the City Centre would sever the place even worse than the 6 or even 12 lane roads. So in this instance the station sits on the southern border of San Layton City Centre to which (and keeping consistent with above) a large road forms that norther border of said City Centre. Remember heavy rail is bringing in commuters from longer distances so to travel within the City Centre itself you have:

  1. Subway
  2. Bus (hence the bus lanes)
  3. Cycleways
  4. Monorail
  5. Light Rail

All which are less space intensive!

 

In any case this is the urban geographic layout of San Layton City – to which I will be focusing on the City Centre:

 

 

San Layton City is a dual-core City with multiple satellites all connected by either road or some form of transit (usually rail).

If you are wondering what the following picture and subsequent pictures like it are this is the closest I get to a Shared Space:

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While these are pedestrian or transit malls:

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Right without further ado here is 9am Sunday morning in San Layton City Centre:

 

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Monorail does look quite Gotham:

 

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Street Trees do wonders:

 

 

And now for Central Station and some big roads – oh and a sky cafe. You can also see the monorail running through the City Centre as well:

 

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And now the main road that connects the City Centre up to the Satellites further east. Centre Bank is the main leisure area on the other side of the rail station:

 

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Finally the second bit minor City Centre – Washington Heights and how that is built around a bus station. Again the larger roads form the boundaries with smaller roads often transit malls or shared spaces forming the interior network :

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This is how you outlay your City Centre. Not with big 6 lane car sewers but with public spaces and extensions of living rooms using shared spaces, pedestrian and transit malls and of course transit lanes!!!

Even 9am on a Sunday the City Centre is teeming with Cims!

 

Who Say’s I Don’t Do Green #CitiesSkylines

100% clean green power

 

There are several ways I like to keep my cities green in Cities Skylines:

  1. Power production will often come from low-carbon emitting sources including hydro or nuclear. I do use the Waste to Energy Incinerators that produce small amounts of air and ground pollution but they make up no more than 1% of total power production
  2. Recycling centres and recycling is a must
  3. EV cars are encouraged city-wide
  4. Mass deployment of mass transit
  5. Street Trees
  6. Urban Forests
  7. Green self-sustained residential buildings in some Districts

Okay that was a few more than several 😉

 

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The big two pollution emitters are power production and transport (followed by heavy industry). Heavy industry pollution is handled by urban forests and the Filter Waste policy meaning factories have to filter their sewerage before it heads out to the sewerage plants. This leaves power production and transport.

 

Power production

I follow what I preach when it comes to power production for a City. So if I say I believe in 100% (or near to it) Low Carbon Power Production then I follow through into Cities Skylines:

 

For San Layton City:

  1. 1,449MW of power is produced as electricity coming from:
    1. 1,254MW (or 86.6%) coming from two nuclear reactors
    2. 80MW from Geothermal
    3. 50MW from incinerators
    4. 65MW from on and offshore Wind turbines
  2. 400MW comes from Geothermal based bores sent through to the City as District Centralised Heating (steam or hot water)
  3. Using electricity map (and assuming the incinerators let off as much as a biomass plant) the carbon output is: 37g/CO2/Per KW or 98% low carbon – same as France as of writing this post

 

As you say when I say Green I do Green!

As for transit I invest in most modes depending on the Geography of the City. Patronage is about 50% of the population (using transit) with more using cycling. Given San Layton has two Cores connected by heavy rail and monorail with urban islands coming off of them (surrounded by pasture or forests) that are interconnected also by all forms of rail and bus it is quite easy to move around the city without the need of a car – even going to the industrial complexes.

And yes my transit system runs 24/7 on an integrated fare system. Quite interesting to see even the big 135 bendy busses straining to keep up with passenger demand at 3am in the morning of a Saturday or Sunday as the night owls like to party.

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New Domain Name for Ben’s Cities

New name, more content coming

 

I have updated the domain name for Ben’s Cities from wordpress.com to Ben’s Cities.blog as well allowing for video content to be put to this blog. Of course the upgrade also means more space for lots more Cities Skylines photos as I have a wee back log of photos to upload and share on San Layton City.

 

Again thank for your support on all things Cities Skylines and as San Layton City (and others) continue to evolve.

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Walking Through the Urban Forest – #CitiesSkylines Goes Back to Nature

Park Life and the Detailer

The one thing about Cities Skylines Park Life is that it even makes the most macro-level urban designer like me come right down to the micro levels – when it comes to designing parks. There is a satirical take on it which I will have at the bottom of the post.

San Layton City Goes Green – with parks!

While Cities Skylines Green Cities allowed for Green Buildings and policies Park Life allows you to go really green with parks. Whether they City Parks, Amusement Parks, Zoos or Nature Reserves even the most compulsive micro detailer would be getting their fill from Park Life.

As San Layton City continues to expand the open space provisions of the City are never far from the front of mind. That is a mix of small pocket parks and large nature reserves and everything else in between!

San Layton City is blessed with large swathes of forests through the map – this makes the development of large Nature Reserves a very attractive idea and one the Cims and tourists love.

So then let’s take a look at San Layton Reserve.

The opening shots before the Reserve was developed:

 

Some initial area shots of the developed Reserve:

 

Leading to San Layton Reserve:

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And walking through the San Layton Nature Reserve:

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And of course some night shots:

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And yes you can even access the Reserve by transit whether it be heavy rail, subway, monorail or bus – now how Green is that:

 

Whether it be hunting, fishing, hiking, tents, cabins or self contained camp ground San Layton Reserve has it here for you. Some paths are lit while some are not (the park is oepn 24 hours) allowing for whatever experience you are looking for catered for!

 

All said San Layton Reserve is in the middle of a city so reminders of urban life are never that far away:

San Layton Reserve –  your Nature Reserve home away from home that is in the middle of your home – City!

 

As for being that Detailer?

5, 4, 3, 2, 1 – LIFT OFF (in #CitiesSkylines )

Another day and another step for Cim-kind

A small post today but as I said in the last post today we will be looking at a rocket launch in San Layton City.

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Rockets are launched for the San Layton Rocket Centre on San Layton Point. It was meant to be a Soyuz rocket but the game glitches out and reverts to a Saturn V rocket if you save and quit the game while the rocket is on the pad. Bit annoying but one the Mod community is working on.

To build the rocket you need heavy industry and ore extraction industry in your city or at least a connection to the outside to import the materials. Once the rocket is built and on the pad you of course need fuel from the oil industry or again the ability to import it.

The rocket centre is connected by rail and road to both the heavy industrial complexes and the port allowing for quick assembly and fuelling of the rocket. And yes the place is abuzz with tourists on launch day. Looking at the above shots it was a very perfect day no matter where you were in the City.

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Next launch is in two weeks and hotel space is limited so be in quick!

Hopefully we won’t need Thunderbird 3 😉

 

Urban Design in #CitiesSkylines? Always! Urban Design and Transport (Integrated Planning) Evolving? I Hope So

Let’s see what I have been designing for San Layton City

 

Since Cities Skylines came out in 2015 I have been honing in my Urban Geography and Urban Design skills. That is trying out different spatial developments, different urban design techniques and most of all working the transport system in so your City does not lock up.

As a side note this is why I am using roundabouts more in my newer Cities as they do a better job in keeping traffic moving.

 

Below are two sets of slide shows both covering the City Centre and Garnet Hills. The first will be of Bus Line 16 doing its trip from City Centre to the Garnet Hills subdivision via a stop outside the newly opened San Layton Nature Reserve. The second is of aerial shots of a new extension of the City Centre and Garnet Hills itself.

One of my favourite editions to the game are the Pedestrian Mall and Shared Path assets. The Pedestrian Mall says as it does – a mall for pedestrians although it does not stop emergency service and service vehicles from using it. On a rare occasion a bus might traverse the mall but the speed limit is reduced to 20km/h. The Shared Path allows all traffic on it at a reduced speed of 20km/h and is good for when commercial is in the area and you need the goods trucks to come through. At the moment Urbanist (the creator of the Shared Path asset) only has the one-way shared path with parking available  but more variations are coming.

 

Without further-ado let’s get the show on the road:

Bus Line 16 and some wet weather

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Some aerials of Garnet Hills and the City Centre (AND  first look from the Nature Reserve):

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Finally where San Layton City is at as of 31 May 2018:

 

Next up – a rocket launch!

 

A Bleak Day in San Layton City #CitiesSkylines. Also Checking Out some Urban Design Up-close

Tad wet

 

Just a quick update with San Layton City while I put together the San Layton Reserve post. Today we follow Bus Line 16 from the City Centre to new nature reserve at Garnet Hills.

As the title said it was a bleak day (well night) but no matter as busses and monorail move you around safely. Also a good chance to check out some urban design up close so here we go:

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Garnet Hills

 

 

#CitiesSkylines Park Life is Out and I am Having an Absolute Blast. Also Urban Geography and Green Utility Skills Tested

DLC handles well with a few minor bugs

Well one of those bugs is pretty major if I can not place down the International Airport in your map.

Anyway yesterday the Cities Skylines Park Life DLC came out so I decided to give it a whirl – once the crucial Mods were updated. I didn’t have to wait long as by mid-day the Mods were updated and away I went for the rest of the day.

First a quick prelude in Park Life from Paradox:

Cities: Skylines – Parklife is NOW AVAILABLE!

 

……

Source: Steam

So what did I get up to?

Well the normal Urban Geography game play of building and tweaking continues as always. A new major suburb known as Kent Square was opened up in one of San Layton’s bays connecting the City Centre and Centre Park to the historic area of the City.

That said the Satellite method (establish a Core connected by multiple urban satellites) is being tried in San Latyon City and should be easier to do with Nature Reserves (part of the new DLC) being able to be established in between urban areas.

As of today San Layton City has two “City Parks” and one Amusement Park. The first Nature Reserve and a Zoo are in the planning pipeline for when I next load the game.

 

Park Life

Some early photos of Park Life in action:

The initial look around

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Building our first “City Park”

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All Aboard the sight seeing bus linking the Amusement Park with Centre Park (Convention Centre, Casino, Sky Tower and Monorail hub)

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Some quick broad shots

 

And now for the tram between Centre Park and the historic area:

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Finally some shots from a hot air balloon and other random shots:

 

 

I will get the Nature Reserve and Zoo built next week and test the Green Utility out further as the City continues to expand.

 

#CitiesSkylines New Expansion Out Next Month: PARKS – Lots and Lots of PARKS

No not car parks

 

Paradox and Colossal Order have announced a new DLC coming out for their vaunted hit – Cities Skylines

 

From Paradox via STEAM:

We’re thrilled to announce Parklife, our next expansion for Cities: Skylines!

……

Source: https://steamcommunity.com/games/255710/announcements/detail/3339858483831123709

 

This will be great for my latest city San Layton City as I try new Urban Geography techniques including large park spaces and the use of those paths – that currently I can not build beside – yet!

I was also thinking last week that my City is missing a theme park like my flagship city had in Sim City 4 (it spanned half a map tile in the region).

 

As a result I will put my City on hold so I can make maximum use of the new DLC – when it comes out May 25 – the day after my Birthday

 

Thanks Paradox and Colossal Order!