Happy New Year/Decade, Changes to Stream Times and First Stream of the Decade!

Stream times have changed. They are on Twitch and Facebook are continuing Mondays and Fridays with Monday adjusted to 12:45pm New Zealand Time and 7:30pm on Fridays with Sunday 7:30pm also added. You can catch my streams here: https://www.twitch.tv/palpatine001

Ben's Cities

Changes to Stream times

Happy New Year and Decade everyone. How was everyone’s break and Decade 3 of the 21st Century kicks off.

Last night I held my first stream for 2020 in which I again managed to set a portion of my City on fire (meaning I need more fire choppers). Also trying to get on top of the high residential demand sounds like an average day in Auckland with no matter how much residential zoning I put down it is never enough.

Below is yesterday’s stream per Facebook:

Stream times

Stream times have changed. They are on Twitch and Facebook are continuing Mondays and Fridays with Monday adjusted to 12:45pm New Zealand Time and 7:30pm on Fridays with Sunday 7:30pm also added. You can catch my streams here: https://www.twitch.tv/palpatine001

Hope to see you there!

Ben Ross aka Palpatine001

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I Am A Geographer, Planner, Designer and Citizen. The Rise of the Urban Simulator and All-Rounder

Cities Skylines, putting those Geography, Planning, Urban Design, Engineering and story telling skills to the test in one neat package.

Talking Southern Auckland

One mistake = OH CRAP!

Late last month a Twitter conversation got going about how Urban Development is often held up by nit picking. Whether it be the example below by Francis or Transport Projects getting lost in the endless circle jerk of business cases. New Zealand suffers from the constant case of Paralysis by Analysis which earned my Urban Simulator remark below.

As I quipped about how Urban Simulators seem to make things more streamlined, Nicholas reminded me about those sodding business cases. It then occurred to…

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MY CITY IS A COMPLETE MESS! A City Planner using an Urban Simulator to Help Us Fix our City Messes #CitiesSkylines

Using Cities Skylines as a communication tool. Also how is my City – Manukau going?

Talking Southern Auckland

A Great Communication Device

Your City is a complete basket case with traffic jams everywhere, your transit system not firing on all cylinders and your zoning choices probably not the most optimal either. I could be talking about any city in the world including my own Auckland and I might just be too.

But today we are going to look at how a real life City Planner is using an Urban Simulator to take people through step by step on using both simple and more complex fixes in turning your City from a basket case to a functioning one.

Starting with one of the more simpler fixes in this case a pair of roundabouts that are clogging traffic:

This next one while I’d say basket case and it nearly broke Sam (Sam is the City Planner running these How to Fix my City series) would be reflective of most medium…

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#CitiesSkylines in Maps and 3D Printing? Urban Geography Communication Devices

The New CSL Map Viewer has been excellent in not only showing the layout of my cities and the transport modes but also where I have holes in the transit system.

So guess what I will be doing? NEW BUS NETWORKS!!!!

Talking Southern Auckland

How cool would your City be in 3D?

Yesterday while having family dinner in West Auckland I was pondering to myself I wonder what it would be like to have my Cities Skylines cities printed in 3D?

While for a large City that might end up very expensive to do (especially if in HO Scale (1:87) or even N Scale (1:148)) although the educational benefits would be tremendous. I also thought what about in straight 2D maps? The Cimtographer has been broken for a while but I did find a new one this morning from Japan – the CSL Map View. 

The CSL Map View in short takes a snap shot of your entire City region including topography and transit systems and turns it into a very easy to read map you might find in just about any decent city with decent Wayfinding (ironically Japan). With the options of transit stops…

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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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Urban Design: Form and Function or Aesthetics? #CitiesSkylines Assists

Talking Southern Auckland

I lean to the former

Transport Blog yesterday had a post on urban design owing to Auckland Council’s Design Champion recently saying that new apartments in Otahuhu looked ugly. The response was a debate that kicked off on the difference between form and practicality verses pure aesthetics of a development. The post and the following comments debate can be seen here: How should we pursue good urban design?

I remember chastising Ludo about the Otahuhu apartments on the grounds of:

  1. Aesthetic wise they actually match the industrial character that is Otahuhu
  2. Form and practicality (or function) in my opinion take precedence over aesthetics especially with residential, commercial or industrial developments.

That said with form that does not mean butt ugly enough that the development is entirely out of character with the surrounding area.

While I do believe in the sliding rule mentioned by Stephen as quoted in the Transport Blog…

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Layton City Map Renderings Ctd

How does Layton City look in Maps mode


Seeing your Cities Skyline cities as “photographs” is one thing, seeing your city in Google Maps mode is something else.

Periodically I will run the Cimotographier mod that generates the maps for Layton City – both as an overview and close-up renders.


The overview render is the “low resolution” shot that you can load on a phone (1200 x 900) while the close up is 12,000 x 9,000 and would recommend for desktops only.


The Maps of Layton City:



Close up render. Warning: large size


One thing missing from the maps is the cycle boulevards that run extensively in the City. The mod for the maps needs to be updated to reflect the boulevards and where they are placed. Otherwise you would be able to see the extensive cycle network system in Layton City.


Photos of Layton City


More drive through photos later.


Downtown and the City Centre #CitiesSkylines

Double tunnel subway system finally works


With the weather being absolutely foul yesterday I manage to tuck in some Cities Skylines to continue work on the City Centre and Downtown area (that contains the cruise ship terminal).

From yesterday:

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As for the subway system I managed to get the 4 and 6 platform stations working meaning I can triple the capacity of the core subway network.