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!

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!

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!

BE AFRAID: First #CitiesSkylines Recorded Stream with Commentary

First commentated video on my Cities Skylines creations

Four years after the game came out I finally recorded and commentated one of my Cities Skylines creations.

I have two cities in play at the moment; Manukau, and Grand Manukau/Layton Cities. Today’s recording was of Manukau as it is the larger and older city at 155,000 however, Grand Manukau/Layton Cities (5,500) will be recorded as well as every city I have different game plays (apart from my core rule of Urban Islands and Twin Cores).

This two part recording is a test and a few more tests will be done before I settle into recording style. Note: I will not be live streaming on YouTube or Twitch as of yet.

First Commentary Stream of Cities Skylines – Manukau

Part 2 (I am restricted to 10 minute streams which is not a bad thing as it keeps me on the short and narrow otherwise you get 20mins of me pondering what should go where (just like any city).

Muhahahah nuclear farms.

I will try and record every Sunday New Zealand Time (currently GMT+13) and upload for Monday. Content will include both First Person mode as I follow Cims and traffic around as well as urban planning and city building.

Comments can be left below – just remember still testing as I get use to the concepts.

My First-ever #CitiesSkylines First Stream – with new city (Grand Layton/Manukau Cities

Finally get round to streams rather than screenshots

It has taken me four years but I have finally gotten around to downloading and using software that allows me to record what I do in Cities Skylines rather than take Screenshots and then go through the process and upload them.

So without further ado – here is my first test run using my latest city Grand Layton/Manukau Cities:

Grand Layton/Manukau Cities

I can hook up a microphone and do Biffa or Sam Burr style recordings of what I do in my cities as I build them so will do so at a later date. In the meantime:

Quick peek at building the new retail centre

Finally a quick tour of the busway

More streams will occur where I can. As for Live Streams? Not just yet.

Operation Grafton Gully: #CitiesSkylines to Mimick Highway Replacement in Manukau

Highway to Boulevard – reconnecting two sections of the City

In real life Auckland there is a lot of fanfare over the City Centre Master Plan MK2 which includes replacing the motorway (State Highway 16) in Grafton Gully with a tree lined boulevard.

While that particular timeframe is of at least two decades before the above happens in my Cities Skylines city of Manukau I do not have that issue – for I am well – Supreme Chancellor Palpatine:

Grandeur of power aside what I can do is use the game to simulate such a motorway-to-boulevard which is present in Manukau.

The Motorway that severs the City Centre from the University

As of yesterday (when I wrote this post) a six-lane motorway ran between Manukau’s University district on one side and Papakura/City Centre on the other. To be fair the motorway was there before the urban development as a was part of the inter-city motorway system that was there before the City.

But as Manukau continued to grow the urban area from the Papakura side of the motorway jumped the motorway as the University and airport were built. With new motorway subsequently built that went around the urban area and connecting back to the inter-city highway system on the other side of the river the old motorway became redundant (apart from flooding the area with cars).

This is how the urban area was pre-motorway replacement:

Time to replace the motorway

To replicated the Grafton Gully replacement I had to replace a six lane motorway that had over-bridges and intersections with a boulevard and supporting urban development. Remember the University of Manukau is on one side and Papakura is on the other. Further down there was Manukau Estates and Manukau Technology Park that were both linked by monorail.

Let’s take a look at the motorway due for replacement:

Not very nice is it?

Some more pictures pre replacement:

The Boluevard

In place of the motorway I replaced it with a tree lined (California Redwoods) 6-lane boulevard. The reason why it is still 6-lanes (at 60km/h) is two fold:

  1. The University motorway interchange is not open (thus university and airport traffic still need to use the boulevard to access both via Manukau Airport Avenue)
  2. Two of those six lanes will become bus lanes when I open up the new Papakura Heights development northern side of the motorway. The speed limit will be then reduced to 50km/h. Those bus lanes will happen regardless of the University interchange

To compensate for the fact the boluevard is still funnelling traffic at speed there will be no urban development either side of it. Instead I have put separate cycling boulevards either side running in parallel and they will house the new urban developments.

Let’s take a look at the replacement program:

The Boulevard – Estates and Technology Park sector

On the other side of the Manukau/Manukau Airport Avenues Roundabout the motorway continued dividing Manukau Estates and Manukau Technology park before heading over the river to connect with another recently rebuilt interchange (that would lead to replacement of a 6-lane road into a transit way)

There was a 6 lane road here once. Now it is a transit way and cycle way

For this part of the motorway replacement there were two activities carried out:

  1. Extension of the Boulevard
  2. Shrinking the motorway that is left

As this part of the motorway connects the two sides of the river as well as the urban area back to the south bank set of motorways it was decided that shrinking the motorway would be best.

This was the result including a rebuilt interchange:

As a bonus you can see the Manukau Nuclear Power Plant that runs a EPR-1400 reactor. Enough to power 85% of the City under current arrangements. Two 400KV lines and an 800KV line distribute the power to the City (linking up with circuits that come from the Daffodil Oil fired Power Plant, the Taranaki Geothermal Plants, the experimental Ocean Thermal Inversion Plant and the now mothballed Wiri Coal-fired Plant (used before the nuker was opened)).

Stage 1 of Operation Grafton Gully is complete

At the end of this part of the operation what was once an inter-city motorway has now been replaced by a boulevard, a shrunk motorway and a new interchange. And boy does the area look better already as I continue onto Stages 2 and 3 of Operation Grafton Gully.

Stage 2 is already underway with supporting infrastructure going in such as cycle boluevards, walkways and new lane ways for the urban developments:

The new boluevard is open to traffic marking the completion of Stage 1. Stage 2 is the completion of local infrastructure to support the new urban developments as the urban form is stitched back together. Stage 3 will be the micro-detailing work including median barriers, new signs, use of the Move It mod to even the roads out and finally the landscaping.

Operation Grafton Gully: simulating the restoration of the urban area by replacing a motorway with a boulevard. How did it go? That is up next!

Oh the Boulevard does not have a name yet either. Suggestions in the comments below.