Using Big Data in #CitiesSkylines to Fine Tune the City

Data helps

In today’s episode we look at how the data sets available in Cities Skylines and how they can be used to either fine tune a City or how it can be planned ahead.

Also included today is the Q+A session. If comments are left in the blog or YouTube videos about an episode I will do my best to answer them. This week’s Q+A looked at street design and an apparent focus on cars and buses.

Without further ado lets tuck into this week’s episodes:

Q+A – 20.10.2019

Using Big Data – Part 1

Using Big Data – Part 2: Using Data to fix a traffic problem (or did I make it worse)

Next week using the data sets I will continue expanding the Watson Heights Metropolitan Centre. Also MOAR HOUSING!

In the mean time – train safe!

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!

Introducing the Ben’s #CitiesSkylines Stream. Follow Me as I use the Urban Simulator as a Communication Tool

Weekly Streams

The initial tests have been done and the scripts are being written to keep the streams into 10 minute portions (for now). It is time to get the weekly Ben’s Cities(Skylines) Stream on the road (so to say) and out the door ready to be served every Monday.

The Ben’s Cities(Skylines) Stream

These streams will be starting off as short often two part streams commentating on all things urban simulation and urban geography using Cities Skylines as communication tool. From urban planning to urban development and onward to First Person mode (what the citizen sees) and Lane Mathematics this will both be causal but also formal as the game is used for downtime and urban geographic purposes.

Today I give a very brief overview of the game, the layout and the mods I use. From next Monday I will do both urban development and drop down to first person view so you see the world from a Cim’s perspective. At the moment both Manukau, and Grand Manukau/Layton Cities will be used in the streams. One is an older mature city the other one I recently started.

As always don’t forget to subscribe, like, share and leave a comment below. \

In the meantime: Drive Safe!

The Manukau #CitiesSkylines Rapid Transit Network

Getting around the City congestion free

Time to put the money where my mouth is and develop my own Rapid Transit Network for Manukau in Cities Skylines.

As of this post I have 13 Rapid Transit Lines, two ferries and a high capacity shuttle bus that are the backbone of the transit system in Auckland (there are also the feeder and regular buses as well). The Rapid Transit Network:

  • One Monorail line
  • Two heavy rail lines
  • One high capacity shuttle bus
  • Three Metro lines
  • Seven Tram lines
Manukau Transit Network

As for the RTN itself (note: ferries not included)

Manukau Rapid Transit Network

As for the full network:

Full Manukau Transit Network

In most cases you can uses the buses and Rapid Transit Network to get around the City car free. There is also a growing cycling network as well if Active Transport is on the go for you!

With RTN frequencies between every 3-10 minutes all day and the buses ranging from every 5-20 mins all day what better time to leave the car to get around Manukau.

Manukau and the University of Manukau. A City Grows Up. Also Rocket Lab?

Fees Free start attracting students, also a school bus

The University of Manukau based in the district called Manukau University Town has been operational for half an academic year and I must say is performing well. The University can house 5,000 students but given it has only been open for six months (and I had to disable the Hadron Collider (cheat for education)) having 315 students is a good start.

The University is fees free and has a sports team as well (swimming). Given the University was built around Manukau University Town and University Estates (basically student accommodation using the King Leno University content pack) I would say things are going well.

So let’s take a look at both districts on a school bus:

Looking at how Manukau looks in general at sundown and night from the University:

Finally it seems Manukau is indeed on the up – firing rockets:

Up next: the Rapid Transit Network!

Catching up with Manukau #CitiesSkylines #UrbanGeography

Some 700 photos – and been slacking off a bit

Some 700 photos between March and now means I have been slacking off a bit with updates to my cities here.

I won’t share all 700 in this post as that is picture OVERLOAD for anyone. So over the next few posts I will be staging all the photos including data sets for Manukau while sharing the Urban Geography story through Cities Skylines.

In the run up to upgrading the City Centre

Manukau City Centre and Downtown have received upgrades over the last four weeks as well some urban expansion including a new technology park. In the run up to those photos lets take a look at where we are at the moment with game-style in Manukau.

Starting with the trams that run through the City Centre and Downtown of Manukau

Trams in Cities Skylines are particularly useful as they can move towards 300 passengers per rolling stock unit compared to my largest bus (a bendy bus) moving 135 passengers. Unlike heavy rail and Metro Rail trams are integrated into the urban area (no severance) and can blend other features like cycle ways. Trams are also quieter than monorails as well.

The main problem is they are at grade with the traffic and get caught at intersections causing congestion as seen below:

I am going to have to bite the bullet and replace the trams with monorail which takes the same road as trams but is elevates – so not fouled by intersections. Noise is easily mitigated mind you through trees and some rezoning (commercial loves monorail stations, residents don’t). Ah well onwards and upwards!

Buses

My workhorses of the transit fleet:

Buses I divided into three classes to make most of their flexibility:

  1. Light: these are feeder busses running every 15-20mins either all day or in daylight hours. These as they say they do feed into larger transit lines and will seat between 30-70 people per bus. Bus priority not often used except near transit hubs
  2. Standard: this is where the bus is the primary mover of people in a given area. The budget varies and allows frequencies between every 5 minutes in peak and 20mins off peak (night). Capacity ranges from 30 to 90 passengers per bus and bus lanes are seen on arterial roads
  3. Metro: this is where the big bendy buses (130 passenger) ply their trade often on busways connecting different Districts within the City. Frequencies are every 3-5 minutes and bus lanes or bus ways are used along most of their route. Metro buses can also feed into Metro Rail where the Metro rail runs north-south and the Metro Bus will run east-west intersecting the metro-rail at a transit hub. If the Metro buses are constantly overloaded I will swap them out for Trams or Metro Rail (more often Metro Rail owing to their grade separation above or below ground)

Bus Hubs of various sizes are used depending on purpose with some also interconnected with trams and mono-rail stations as well. And as expected Transit Oriented Developments are utilised around the bus hubs or transit interchanges as well to get best utilisation.

Bus Lanes and Busways:

Cycleways and Pedestrian paths

Cycleways and pedestrian paths I tend to use to connect cul-de-sacs up to nearby main roads. However, when your City has a river or three running through them cycleways and pedestrian paths become good cheap sources of moving people from A to B without needing the car clogging the area. Paths can also included Shared Spaces (with cars) or Pedestrian Malls.

Some examples:

Of course separated cycle lanes and ordinary cycle lanes help too:

Big Data Mk1

Finally the data sets I use in both planning and evaluating decisions when working on the City. The data set is very rich and covers a wide range of topics including even individual transit lines as you are about to see:

Cities Skylines is a bit more than slapping down some roads and zones. To make the City function optimally you have to respond to happenings and plan for them as well. The data sets can help especially with transport, electricity, water and amenities – unless you want the City to lock up and the residents sick.

A final shot of Manukau in the prelude before we go over to how the City is currently and how it got there:

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 😛