Blog

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:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

And walking through the San Layton Nature Reserve:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

And of course some night shots:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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.

20180529205125_1

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

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

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

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

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:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

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

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

Building our first “City Park”

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

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

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

Some quick broad shots

 

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

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

 

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!

 

 

Monorail! #CitiesSkylines

Let’s try Monorail

We are all familiar The Simpsons and Monorail:

 

There is even an essay on Monorails and Urban Geography: MONORAIL: A KEY URBAN LESSON FROM THE SIMPSONS. So last night I decided for the first time in Cities Skylines to build a monorail line from the City Centre to Thorton Park halfway across the map.

At the moment the line only has two stations on it (same as the heavy rail network) as San Layton City is a very young city having only being founded a month ago (real-time).

 

None-the-less I built the line and it designed for more stations as the City expands. Once you get the 70km/h speed restriction off the train moves as fast as heavy rail allowing very rapid connections.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

 You can also see some of the first developments here:

Now to get the daily rush hour of traffic under control (caused mainly by inter city traffic rather than intra city commuting)

 

Introducing San Layton City A #CitiesSkylines New Creation

Testing out new features

 

San Solaria recently reached its limits as the game as a vehicle agent limit of 15,000 to prevent the computer being overtaxed. This means your cities without a mod to break the limit mature out at around 300,000 to 500,000 as San Solaria did. I will keep going back to San Solaria to tweak it but in the meantime it is time to start a new city.

 

20180217125655_1
San Layton City looking towards the ranges

 

Introducing San Layton City – A Green City

San Layton City will be the first city I have built from scratch since the Green Cities DLC came out in October last year. Rather than retrofitting back as I did with San Solaria, San Layton will be built with Green ideals and planning in mind.

Monorail will be used for the first time ever while heavy rail for commuting will be used again (not every City I build uses heavy rail for commuting) as I look at building satellite cities as well as a main core.

As always Green Power will be at the forefront with nuclear, geothermal and wind (no rivers for Hydro in this map) used as base power and the use of residential solar, and E-cars also to be City-wide policy.

 

So away we go with San Layton City – a Green City!

 

Redesigning the Transit Network #CitiesSkylines Style. Lessons for Auckland

Could Cities Skylines transit network redesign offer hints for Auckland’s poor accessibility to transit?

 

Yesterday a paper was released by MRCageny on accessibility to transit and basically how Auckland’s accessibility let alone equity to transit sucked.

The paper can be found in the Tweet below and I’ll write on this more extensively next month after the Summer Series concludes:

 

 

And yes Auckland pretty much sucks at accessibility:

 

 

I have also written on accessibility in the past over at Talking Southern Auckland when the Manukau South Link was a topical issue:

Manukau South Link catchment close up by Saeid Adli

 

Cities Skylines offers lessons

 

Having to redo your entire transit network becomes a must as your City matures and approaches larger sizes. Bus lines end up a mess as the City expands while trams don’t operate efficiently due to expanded roads and lack of priority measures. As much as you can forward plan it some days a reformat is required.

 

 

San Solaria’s bus and trams will need a reformat as they are not tying in well with the subway network and central bus stations throughout the City. Patronage use to exceed total vehicles on the road but recently it is struggling to match one-third of its previous peaks.

Route accessibility has become the problem with routes going everywhere BUT where people wanted and this has a double knock on effect. The first being less people on the transit network means more cars on the road. More cars on the road means roads and intersections are more jammed up blocking busses and trams. Given the tram and bus network was designed around San Solaria being a mono-core City but in reality it has matured into a two Core city accessibility fast becomes a problem. Also as industry expands into new complexes the population becomes more diverse in its travel patterns.

Sounds a lot like Auckland right?

 

 

 

So time to delete about 10 tram lines and 75 bus lines (some more recent ones will stay) and reformat the surface transit network!

Fun times ahead!

 

 

 

San Solaria Going Green Continues #CitiesSkylines

New Green policy continues

I speak Green in Twitter I follow Green on #CitiesSkylines.  As shown in San Solaria Leads the Way in Low Carbon Future San Solaria gets 95% of its power from green sources while 1/3 of the Districts are ‘Green’ Districts  and several more following E-cars for residents.

 

The last week I have been developing up Solarian Ranges after completing the last of surrounds with Laytonville which is situated at the bottom of the Solarian Range hills. Solarian Ranges is the (at the time) latest Green community situation up in the Solarian Ranges next to the Solarian Dam (the main hydro power station and fresh water storage site). It is accessible by a single two lane highway or cable car traversing the Ranges. Given the Solarian Lake tourism value Solarian Ranges is serviced by busses connecting it to the Laytonville Harbour Ferry Interchange.

 

Green is the name of the game from the roads, buildings, organic produce, residential self-sufficiency, bio fuelled busses, recycling centre, EV charging stations and the combustion engine ban.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

Solarian Ranges continued:

20180104185145_1

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

Solarian River and Laytonville Heights also continue to mature well as Green communities:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

Finally a preview at the latest Green community – Solarian Point:

20180112174450_1

 

Next up: Solarian Point – San Solaria’s latest green community. After that we take a ride on a cable car and the subway to the Airport.

 

All here in Ben’s Cities!

20180112193541_1