From the BIG DIG to New Urban Spaces. Stitching Up Two Urban Areas #CitiesSkylines

Part Two – reconnect the urban areas

 

A recap from Part One – Bury the Motorway:

Motorways, great for moving cars and trucks but boy do they take up land and create large severance in the urban form. In San Solaria City the Great Solarian Coastal Motorway was a 6-lane highway that ran east-west along the Solarian Coast connecting the city up to the wider region.

The highway was already there when I built San Solaria however, the motorway still severed the main urban area from the City Centre and Downtown.

The elevated Metro line (Light Rail) also forms a severance and will be dealt with as well as the urban regeneration continues.

But as you can see the Great Solarian Coastal Motorway is rather not that great when contributing to Solaria’s urban form?

Solution?

BURY THE MOTORWAY

 

Now for Part Two

Reconnecting the Urban Areas

First things first was to bury the elevated Metro line that also formed a severance to the urban form:

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As a result of placing the Metro line underground I was able also build three new subway stations that would allow the catchment of the respective Lines to expand. As for the foot and cycle bridges they are remaining up for the moment until the new cycle boulevards are built.

 

Next up is removing the old underpasses and connecting up the two formerly severed urban areas with new roads:

 

And now for the brand new boulevard running down what was the former surface motorway. I chose the new 4-lane boulevard that comes with tram tracks, parking and grade separated cycle lanes as not only I am planning to build a new tram line but also lots of trees, street furniture and of course new cycling facilities.

 

I had to alter the west end motorway ramps that were taking excessive amounts of space. At the same time on the eastern end I started laying down the new roads for the new urban developments:

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Now for the fun – building!

In go the side roads, civic infrastructure and parks:

 

In this case I used the alternative education facilities that came with the Greens Cities DLC expansion rather than the conventional schools from the normal game. By alternative I mean: Community School, Institute of Creative Arts, and Institute of Technology rather than Primary and High Schools, and a standard university.

And yes I also built a new set of Government Offices (and Central Park) >_<

 

The Result of the initial urban regeneration after burying the motorway?

Have a look below. Part Three – ‘Was there ever a motorway here’ will showcase the fully regenerated urban area reconnecting the old two urban areas once severed by the motorway.

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Lessons for Auckland?

Auckland has plenty of excessively wide roads that can be humanised and two motorways that can be “buried” by placing parks above them. Grafton Gully is one and State Highway 20 between the Great South Road and Lambie Drive bridges is another.

No it is never a cheap exercise reconnecting severed urban areas whether in real life or Cities Skylines life. But the investment is most definitely worth it when urban areas are reconnected and the people get to enjoy both new urban spaces from the reconnected urban form.

Part Three showcasing the fully regenerated urbanscape after burying the motorway will have lessons Auckland and other urban areas can learn. I know for sure the residents of San Solarian City are loving the new urban area so much so there is a spike in new Residential demand for the City (word of mouth works)!

 

More soon

 

BIG DIG – TRANSFORM SAN SOLARIA #CitiesSkylines

Part one – bury the motorway

 

Motorways, great for moving cars and trucks but boy do they take up land and create large severance in the urban form. In San Solaria City the Great Solarian Coastal Motorway was a 6-lane highway that ran east-west along the Solarian Coast connecting the city up to the wider region.

The highway was already there when I built San Solaria however, the motorway still severed the main urban area from the City Centre and Downtown.

 

The elevated Metro line (Light Rail) also forms a severance and will be dealt with as well as the urban regeneration continues.

But as you can see the Great Solarian Coastal Motorway is rather not that great when contributing to Solaria’s urban form?

Solution?

BURY THE MOTORWAY

 

 

The motorway between the Downtown/Uptown Turnoff and the Port District Interchange was placed under grounds with on/offramps connecting to the underground motorway.

The Franklin Avenue Bridge was replaced with a surface road while the elevated Metro line will also be placed underground.

Next up will be to have the old underpasses for the connecting roads removed and those roads brought to the surface. Two sets of long ramps at the Downtown/Uptown end will be later retrofitted to normal roads to blend in with the new urban form that will be created where the motorway once was. Foot and cycle bridges will also be reset as well as the urban regeneration continues.

 

This was part one of the BIG DIG – burying the motorway!

Now for part two – stitching up the two urban areas into one.

 

That will be the next challenge in Transform Solaria.

All here on #CitiesSkylines

 

All Aboard! Taking Layton City Metro Line 2. #CitiesSkylines

Taking a trip around the flag City

 

Layton City is still my only City that used heavy rail as part of the commuter transit system. All my other cities either use a combination of subway and elevated light rail, trams and/or busses with heavy rail relegated to inter-city movements.

 

Consequently there are four heavy rail lines that run either around or through Layton City all of which pass through the City Central Interchange in the City Centre. The four Lines are:

  1. Layton Metro #1 and #2: this is the circular line that around the City in either a clockwise or anti clockwise motion. The Line colours are yellow or white
  2. Onehunga Line: This line runs from Olive Park in the South and runs north through the middle of the City before coming to its major interchange in Onehunga. The Line continues and joins Metro Lines #1 and #2 at Beech District before terminating at Onehunga Central. The Line colour is blue
  3. Manukau to Airport Line (that is Layton City International Airport). This Line starts at Manukau Interchange and follows Metro Lines #1 and #2 north until after the East-West Canal where the Line turns right linking up with the Space Elevator, Stadium Park, City Central and finally terminating at the Airport.

 

I will post the other Lines later on. But today Metro Line #2 (City Central to Manukau and back around to City Central going in a clockwise direction if looking from the south:

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Layton City looking from south to north

 

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Looking down to the City Centre (from north to south)
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Manukau Interchange

 

DISASTER! Layton City Surfs Two Tsunamis #CitiesSkylines

Disaster response management worked

Citizens are slow

 

Okay first lesson with the Tsunami, ONLY HIT THE BUTTON ONCE! The cool down timer and the arrival of the wave does take a long time as in towards six hours of game time being simulated. I accidentally hit the button twice and got a double tsunami which in real life does happen depending on the quake and amount of wave trains it generates.

 

Early Warning System works

As part of the IMEA (Imperial Management of Emergencies Agency) planning I had laid out a network of Tsunami buoys to detect any waves while deploying radio masts City-wide to give out early warning alerts.

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A tsunami buoy

 

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A large radio mast

 

Sure enough while I was checking out the City Centre as it was a weekend afternoon meaning LOTS of shoppers and tourists the buoys picked up a wave (well two) and the radio masts started sending out the alerts.

 

 

So I trigger the evacuation systems and you hear the wailing of sirens across the City alerting people to head to the bunkers – apparently.

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People really didn’t start moving until the wave was beginning to break over the sea walls THEN people started moving. Remember I have capacity for 172,000 in a city of 242,000!

 

The double wave started its trip through the City Centre, Downtown, Airport and Newmarket before heading up one of the rivers meeting the wave from a second entrance.

The result? Surf’s up:

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Included is the disaster response which was extremely prompt with the choppers and later the trucks when the water cleared.

 

How far would the Tsunami go?

What I was interested to see and equally afraid of was how far would the wave travel up an estuary on one side and the west coast on the other. The estuary is a threat as it leads to the main industrial complex and both nuclear power stations that power the City. The western coast that feeds into another estuary leads to the main airport and to Manukau City Centre and its industrial complex.

The western coast got hammered and it wasnt until the wave met some canal walls that were part of the storm water drainage system did the wave’s reach begin to dissipate. As for the estuary the wave travelled up the waterway causing moderate flooding along the shore. The wave did manage to travel far enough upstream to have the wave reach one of the nuclear plants but only cause very minor flooding. The wave totally faded out before reaching the port while also dissipating well before it could hit Manukau.

 

 

The western side

 

The aftermath?

120,000 people were in the bunkers while 22,000 out of 242,000 were killed in the double Tsunami (9% loss). The City Centre and Downtown were hit but Newmarket which houses the leisure district was effectively wiped out.

The IMEA response teams were prompt and I was able to release the Citizens from the bunkers a short while later.

Infrastructure was hit with subway stations, power transmission, parks, emergency services and schools taken out but thanks to IMEA being fast restoration of those services was prompt.

 

The Rebuild

By morning the damage could be very easily seen. Newmarket looked like it had a bomb go through it while the City Centre and Downtown also took some damage mainly to infrastructure. The IMEA response units had been through all the infrastructure facilities meaning I could rebuild them very quickly. While with the urban development side about 85% had been seen too and could start rebuilding.

Priority was to get the crematoriums, fire stations and stations back open to avoid a secondary disaster and get the flow of goods and people moving fast.

Once they were built I went back to get everything else.

 

Resilience

There were several factors that helped Layton City through a double Tsunami with 9% loss of lives. Yes we had the buoys, masts, bunkers and IMEA but things like the storm water infrastructure was able to pump out the flood waters very fast meaning water was not lingering.

The main industrial complex was never touched as wasn’t one of the nuclear power stations (the other was but very minor flooding that did not cause the reactors to SCRAM). The main water and sewer pumps were also not affected either so the emergency tanks were not needed this time around.

So with main power and water still available the City was able to function (although limited until the infrastructure was fixed) and the industrial complex providing materials for the rebuild.

Busses and heavy rail proved to be the most resilient in the disaster. Once the waves have swept through the busses began operating again straight away with freight and passenger trains not far behind. The subways and tram lines did need extensive rebuilds before they were operational again.

But it shows the resilience in transit modes especially after a disaster. The busses and trains were able to move thousands of evacuated people back home (unless their home was destroyed and a night in the bunkers) while freight trains moved goods and materials to their cargo hubs as part of the rebuild effort.

 

 

 

Already people are moving back and homes and businesses will be rebuilt. Layton City did extremely well with the disaster and its subsequent response. But heck citizens were slow to the bunkers. Next time let’s try to get a few more people there.

 

Heavy Rail Moving the Cims #CitiesSkylines

Heavy rail system delivers the goods

 

When Cities Skylines first came out the heavy rail system was more optimised for moving freight or inter-city passengers rather than commuters. Commuters were best to use the busses or subway system if they wished to use transit to get around..

With After Dark and Snowfall DLC’s as well as a few transport mods to sharpen up game play heavy rail has become the favoured choice in moving the most amount of commuters over long distances across a Cities Skylines map.

Sound familiar?

I have blogged at Talking Southern Auckland how a transit system has a hierarchy for people moving efficiency:

  • Short distances and feeders: bus
  • Medium distances: Light Rail (and subway)
  • Long Distances most often regional or high-capacity short distance shuttling: Heavy Rail

 

The same principle applies to Cities Skylines as well although a subway line can span the same distance as a heavy rail line. It is that the subway stations are at much shorter gaps between each one compared to a heavy rail station. Also subways being underground save space in high density areas like a City Centre so optimally the surface heavy rail system brings the passengers to the outskirts of the City Centre from the region while the subway moves people around the City Centre free of road conflicts busses or light rail would otherwise face.

 

Developing the City Centre and heavy rail

Layton City already had a fledgling heavy rail system with two commuter lines and an inter-city line. With the development of the City Centre, Downtown and, the Airport District is the heavy rail system coming into its own.

 

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The heavy rail system works through moving people between hubs or rather Centres. Where there is a station often that station will be alongside other transit nodes such as bus stations, subway stations, tram stops and from time to time parking buildings. The urban development around what is effectively a transport interchange is often high density with lower density developments as you get further out (unless it is a cluster like the City Centre, Newmarket, Downtown corridor or a minor secondary city centre like well Manukau).

So the heavy rail system moves people between the Centres in a rapid fashion unlike the other modes except for maybe the subway system.

If you are wondering about cost the passenger rail system generally breaks even in cost. However, the wider system does post a loss on nominal monetary value. But with ~6,000 cars and several hundred trucks off the road (the City is 100,000 in population) the benefits arrive in more than simple monetary terms.

As for the City Centre that is now developing with the central station and Civic Square all set to go. Now it to lay down the zones, the bus and tram stops and we are away with the heart of Layton City.