#CitiesSkylines , Urban Islands and Urban Geographies. Stitching it all together!

Using Urban Islands to balance a City

Last week I talked about the three Urban Geographic concepts I use in City building that can be translated out into real life Cities. They were:

  1. Planning and City Building
  2. Expansion
  3. Consolidation

You can read up more on that here: Expanding the City while Riding the Metro. #CitiesSkylines

Urban Islands

A concept I developed in Cities Skylines that I advocate for out in the real world is the Urban Islands. Urban Islands are where transport infrastructure, water or Green Belts break up the urban mass of a City giving an island effect. However, for Urban Islands to be Urban Islands one little feature needs to happen first – and that I explain in my first video here:

City Building and Urban Islands

In Part Two I zoom into the new Trade School then take a tour on a couple of the buses:

If you would like to know more about Urban Islands and other Urban Geography concepts I study and advocate for (including dual core cities) give me a yell in the comments below.

In the mean time Shop Safe!

Transport Line Manager in use

I realise in Part Two the Cities Skylines video was rather loud. I will make sure the volume is down on the next stream.

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!

FEE FREE UNIVERSITY STUDY: #CitiesSkylines Campus DLC: A First Look with the University of Manukau

How does it rate?

So how does the Campus DLC for Cities Skylines rate?

TL:DR version: I give it a B+

Right now that those with extremely short attention spans are satisfied I’ll move to the long version of what I think of the Campus DLC for Cities Skylines.

Cities Skylines Campus DLC and the Campus Content Pack by King Leno came out around 36 hours ago as of this post (so overnight in New Zealand time). This time around I did not have the usual two week wait for Mod’s to catch up as the main two Mod’s that would be impacted by Campus DLC (Real Time and Transport Lines Manager) were either updated very quickly or only had User Interface glitches and are to be updated very soon. So yesterday I fired up the game and load the City of Manukau which earlier in the month I had prepared for the new DLC. See #CitiesSkylines Introduces the big Campus for more there.

Straight away the first bugbear would come up: RAM. This DLC and the new Content Pack are chewing even my 20GB of RAM (so I’ll have to take it to 30GB now) which is very unusual when a new DLC has come out for the game. In the past with previous DLC’s and even Content Packs the usage of memory will increase that is a given but not the large jump seen with the Campus DLC. Paradox and CO have been told to optimise the game and make it able to utilise 64bit systems better, if they want to release more DLC’s then they will need to do this sooner rather than later.

Once Manukau loaded it was straight in to building the University campus (you have three to choose from: University, Trade School and Liberal Arts (simply Arts in the Commonwealth). I would also build an Aquatics Centre for my University sports team as well.

Manukau pre Campus DLC

The above picture shows the land between the Airport, Papakura and Manukau Technology Park in which the University of Manukau will sit. At this point in time there is only one road in and out until I connect up Manukau University Town to the new bypass at the left of the map. Transit-wise there is:

  • One bus station connected to a Monorail Station
  • One heavy rail station connected to another Monorail Station
  • One Metro Station (trains run underground)
  • A Manukau University Town circuit bus
  • Cycle lanes and cycleways

Before I could start building the University I had an 800KV and a 400KV transmission line running through the proposed campus.

Transmission Lines from Nuclear City

Time to bury the 800KV line and reroute slightly the 400KV line:

With the lines either buried or diverted the building of the Campus can now continue (both Lines came from Nuclear City and deliver power to: the Airport, University, Papakura and City Centre, and the Papatoetoe-Tamaki urban area).

Laying down the University

Time to build the University of Manukau starting with the Administration Building then working from there with support buildings, Faculties (Science, Medicine and Law), dormitories and various other structures:

Arts and Engineering Faculties are in separate institutions such as Trade School and the Liberal Arts.

Next up the University Aquatic Centre:

University of Manukau Aquatic Centre

Now for some University policies:


Yep the University of Manukau is entirely FEES FREE with the City of Manukau adopting Universal Education (being paid for with Residential and Commercial Taxes increased 1% each respectively). However, no Free Lunches folks – that one is on you. The University also provides Student Healthcare, will have Visiting Scholars and of course fund Academic Works.

With a bit of tinkering the Aquatic Centre and team is all set up and yes I have not activated the Free Transit on event day. Go pay your flat fare of $2 to catch the train, Metro or Monorail the Centre

Oh did I mention FEES FREE!

Getting the University going:

Once I had completed the University and some surrounding residential and commercial using the Always University City Districts (to best enable the King Leno University Content Pack) time to let it rip:

As Manukau has the previous vanilla universities and the Hadron Collider (which negates the need for schools) operating it will take a while for the new UoManukau to come to full power (as we wait on the new generation of residents to come through).

Once the University has settled in I will look at the Trade School and Liberal Arts Campuses given Manukau is deemed a large mature City game wise.


Apart from the RAM issue and with the addition of the University District mod mentioned earlier the Campus DLC and Content Pack definitely give a bit of spice to your City no matter size or stage of game play.

No doubt debate will rage on Universal Education or Education for Profit (I use Universal Education) and should be plenty of YouTube videos on that one.

I will take Manukau some time to readjust as the effects from the Hadron wear off as Citizens die, new ones are born or move into the City. However, even with Universal Education I can still keep the City running in the Black – with Residential and Commercial Taxes at 10%.

To get best bang for buck from the DLC a new City will be needed and with the beautiful maps that came with the DLC I am sure my Urban Geography skills will be tested again.

Should you go out right away and purchase the DLC and Content pack? If you have nudged over 1,000 game hours as I have then yes? Otherwise wait for the Steam sales.

#CitiesSkylines Introduces the big Campus

Bringing higher education to the City

Paradox and Colossal Order have made the announcement that ‘Campus’ is the next major DLC for the ever popular urban simulator Cities Skylines.

The announcement trailer:

From Colossal Order:

Campus Dev Diary #1: Campus Areas by Colossal Order

Hello there, city-builders! Cities: Skylines – Campus, the latest expansion to the game, was announced on the 9th of May and now it’s time to take a closer look into what features it includes. The previous Dev Diary worked as a quick introduction to the expansion. Check it out, if you haven’t already, and you’ll get a nice overview of what it’s all about!

So, Campus Areas. What’s it all about? Well, it’s about education! A great city needs an equally great and awesome-looking campus to match. The Campus Areas use the same area creating mechanics as Parklife and Industries. You can paint Campus Areas using the Campus Area tool and assign a campus type of your choosing by placing campus buildings inside the area, from campus Administration Buildings to dormitories, study halls, club houses and unique faculties. There are three types of campuses: Trade School, Liberal Arts College and University, each with their own, distinct visual style and unique faculties which provide the city with various bonuses.

For more see: the forums

Manukau prepares for Campus life

With the Campus DLC out rather soon (under two weeks) it means I can easy adapt my current City – Manukau to the new DLC. Rather coincidentally (or not) I already had a large piece of blank land between Papakura/City Centre and the Airport that I was going to use as industry. I think I will use that land for the new Manukau University and the Manukau University Town district.

The land is prime for a University town with the City Centre on one side, airport on the other and the Manukau Technology park next door. I have already prepared the transit connections using heavy rail, metro rail, monorail, and busses while I am setting up the cycling infrastructure.

You can see I am preparing a new 6-lane motorway as well. This will form the new bypass that will connect to a large T-Junction to the right of Nuclear City (first picture) allowing me to either Shrink the existing 6-lane motorway that divides Manukau Estates and Manukau Technology Park or replace it with a tree lined boulevard. Just out of interest I ran the stats last night and for a population of ~130,000 I also had 3,287 parked cars in the City.

One think you might have noticed are the two rather large transmission lines running right through the guts of the proposed university area. One is the big 800KV line that runs from Nuclear City to the Papatoetoe Sub Station (connecting up with a 225/400KV line to the Taranaki Power Plant, and several 35KV lines) while the other is the 400KV line that runs also from Nuclear City to the Papakura and Airport Substations (powering the City Centre/Downtown/Technology Park and Airport areas)

The 800KV line already acts as a severance to Papakura and the City Centre as it runs through them so both the 800 and 400 lines will end up doing the same to the Campus unless I move the Lines. Something to think about as I get ready to but the Manukau University Town in a few weeks time.

As for power production:

  • Total Power Production (Consumption): 1,365MW (1,120MW)
  • From Nuclear City (an EPR design): 956MW
  • From Taranaki Oil Power Plant 200MW
  • From Tamaki Geothermal Booster Stations (80MW)
  • From the various wind farms: 100MW
  • From the incinerators 29MW
  • Offline: Wiri Coal Power Plant with production capacity of 350MW
  • 84% comes from Low Carbon sources
Manukau pre Campus