Building a Metropolitan Centre Part 1

Grand Manukau/Layton Cities Expands

The Layton Busway is finally online and I am in the middle of redrawing the feeder buses so they best serve that busway. Elsewhere the rural sectors of Grand Manukau/Layton Cities continues with Meadow Heights coming on stream and I must say the scenery on the lakefront looks stunning.

This week’s Stream is a four part mini-series as I bring the busway online, continue work on the Watson Heights Metropolitan Centre, and start the foundation work on the Manukau City Centre. We also get a look at Meadow Heights as the fledgling rural sector continues to develop.

Next week I will start looking at the Data sets available in Cities Skylines and how I use them to fine tune the City. Also Part Two of Building a Metropolitan Centre, and how are those feeders going.

In the meantime: Bus Safe!

Part 1 of Building a Metropolitan Centre

Part 2 of Building a Metropolitan Centre

Part 3 of Building a Metropolitan Centre

Part 4 of Building a Metropolitan Centre . Plus One Busway!

Supplementary: Going Rural

Transit Orientated Developments and #CitiesSkylines – How Do I do TODs?

We run the infrastructure AHEAD of the developments – not behind

A Tweet about Melbourne failing Transit Orientated Developments annoyed me as I know Auckland is just as bad in doing such developments as well. This is why Japan it is normal and not a second thought is given in doing TOD’s as standard.

Given I have one mature City and another just starting out I cranked open Cities Skylines and did a four part stream into Transit Orientated Developments and how they are done in the game.

Transit Orientated Developments and Cities Skylines

Part One

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4 – Wheels on the Bus Goes Round and Round as we travel down the extended metro bus route

Always fun in first person mode and I will stream some of the game in first person mode!

Even with game limitations around multi-use zoning and developments Transit Orientated Developments can still be done and demonstrated in game as seen above.

Full stream on Monday as I build an Ore industry site and watch the residential building finally get underway (darn weekends).

In the meantime: BUS SAFE!

Streaming Experiments Continue. New Urban Expansion #CitiesSkylines

More sprawl and more streams

Just as Manukau was used as my experiment City for Campus and Industries DLC’s I am using Grand Layton/Manukau Cities as an experiment for my recordings that go onto Youtube.

Today I have three recordings all from First Person view. They are:

  • The 322 bus in Brown-ville
  • New resident commuting from Kent Heights to the Layton City Centre
  • Post Van doing its run

Enjoy:

Postman Pat delivering the Mail in Kent Heights again with a stop at the Layton City Distribution Centre
Follow a Kent Heights resident make their way to the City Centre where they work
Follow the new 322 Bus as it goes through the new urban expansions in Brown-ville

I will try and run a recording where I am also commentating “live” as I undertake urban development. See the methodologies I use when building my cities.

Stay tuned!

Manukau Continues to Grow, Using the Toolkit to Make the City Function #CitiesSkylines

Maps, Big Data and pictures – how to make the City flow

When your City surges from 109,000 to 133,000 in two days of game play (basically the equivalent of Auckland’s growth from 2010 until 2019 (today)) you need to have your wits about you to keep the City functioning and flowing.

How do you do this? Using the Cities Skylines equivalent of BIG DATA – and lots of pictures:

From aerial photos, to transit line maps, to congestion maps, demographics and even the terrain I can access it all at the click of a button.

These photos and Big Data sets is what influences how I plan the City ahead for future development while also handling problems like traffic congestion and transit use overload (too many passengers for a particular mode on a particular Line). Essentially I become a Geographer, Transport Engineer, Planner, Urban Designer and Demographer all in one go in order to keep the City functioning.

Failure to do so means mass abandonment and the City going nearly bankrupt as Biffa tried to avoid with this disaster:

Big Data and aerial photos, your City builder friend.

And yes the traffic is flowing well as it stays above 70% with the main two congestion points (City Centre and Cruise Terminal) going through their “Business Cases” for the upcoming upgrades.

Those sodding Business Cases šŸ˜›

BadPeanut Gives #CitiesSkylines the Sydney Harbour Bridge. I Oblige and Build the Manukau River Bridge

Harbour Bridge edition gives City gravitas

Manukau was missing something as a river city and I could not quite put my finger on it. Ahhhh I know how about an iconic bridge transplanted into the City!

Cue BadPeanut and his Sydney Harbour Bridge design!

It is not exactly the smallest asset at 130MB (as it is made of 34 sub-assets) and dwarfs most other in-game assets as well. However, with two walkways, 2 motorways, and a heavy rail line the Sydney Harbour Bridge does a fantastic job at connecting the two sides of Manukau over the Manukau River.

This is what was here before the new Bridge:

Pretty bland and yes the traffic was beginning to bank up at the Trans-Manukau Link/River Town roundabout.

Time to upgrade stuff:

Yes we have floating cars to indicate where the old bridge and roadways were.

And now to plop the Manukau River Bridge using the Sydney Harbour Bridge asset:

After linking it all up this is what we get:

As with the real-life Sydney Harbour Bridge the asset has two actual motorways on it rather than one. A 6 lane two way motorway (4+2 but I believe this can tidal in real life) or the Bradfield Highway and the 2 lane one way (including a single bus lane) Cahill Expressway make up the roadways while either side is flanked with shared paths and finally heavy rail to take passenger trains on one side.

Given the Trans Manukau Link is an existing highway the layout of the Sydney Harbour Bridge in my example fits perfectly well.

The 2-lane Cahill Expresway effectively services as a mega long off ramp from the Manurewa/Papatoetoe side of the river to the Manukau River Town Roundabout. The 2 lanes of the Bradfield Highway that follow Cahill in parallel continue uninterrupted to existing 4-lane highway of the Trans-Manukau Link. As for the 4-lanes of the Bradfield Highway heading towards Manurewa 2 are from the existing Trans-Manukau Link while the other two come from the 2-lane onramp that feeds traffic from the Manukau River Town Roundabout. The four subsequent lanes continue to a large roundabout that give the exits for Papatoetoe and Manurewa with the rest of Trans-Manukau Link being 3-lanes either side or a 6 lane Highway.

Now for some extra shots that were captured in the last game session:

Next up: the development of the City Centre

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!

 

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 availableĀ  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 (ANDĀ  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!