Who Say’s I Don’t Do Green #CitiesSkylines

100% clean green power


There are several ways I like to keep my cities green in Cities Skylines:

  1. Power production will often come from low-carbon emitting sources including hydro or nuclear. I do use the Waste to Energy Incinerators that produce small amounts of air and ground pollution but they make up no more than 1% of total power production
  2. Recycling centres and recycling is a must
  3. EV cars are encouraged city-wide
  4. Mass deployment of mass transit
  5. Street Trees
  6. Urban Forests
  7. Green self-sustained residential buildings in some Districts

Okay that was a few more than several 😉




The big two pollution emitters are power production and transport (followed by heavy industry). Heavy industry pollution is handled by urban forests and the Filter Waste policy meaning factories have to filter their sewerage before it heads out to the sewerage plants. This leaves power production and transport.


Power production

I follow what I preach when it comes to power production for a City. So if I say I believe in 100% (or near to it) Low Carbon Power Production then I follow through into Cities Skylines:


For San Layton City:

  1. 1,449MW of power is produced as electricity coming from:
    1. 1,254MW (or 86.6%) coming from two nuclear reactors
    2. 80MW from Geothermal
    3. 50MW from incinerators
    4. 65MW from on and offshore Wind turbines
  2. 400MW comes from Geothermal based bores sent through to the City as District Centralised Heating (steam or hot water)
  3. Using electricity map (and assuming the incinerators let off as much as a biomass plant) the carbon output is: 37g/CO2/Per KW or 98% low carbon – same as France as of writing this post


As you say when I say Green I do Green!

As for transit I invest in most modes depending on the Geography of the City. Patronage is about 50% of the population (using transit) with more using cycling. Given San Layton has two Cores connected by heavy rail and monorail with urban islands coming off of them (surrounded by pasture or forests) that are interconnected also by all forms of rail and bus it is quite easy to move around the city without the need of a car – even going to the industrial complexes.

And yes my transit system runs 24/7 on an integrated fare system. Quite interesting to see even the big 135 bendy busses straining to keep up with passenger demand at 3am in the morning of a Saturday or Sunday as the night owls like to party.

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A Bleak Day in San Layton City #CitiesSkylines. Also Checking Out some Urban Design Up-close

Tad wet


Just a quick update with San Layton City while I put together the San Layton Reserve post. Today we follow Bus Line 16 from the City Centre to new nature reserve at Garnet Hills.

As the title said it was a bleak day (well night) but no matter as busses and monorail move you around safely. Also a good chance to check out some urban design up close so here we go:

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Garnet Hills



Monorail! #CitiesSkylines

Let’s try Monorail

We are all familiar The Simpsons and Monorail:


There is even an essay on Monorails and Urban Geography: MONORAIL: A KEY URBAN LESSON FROM THE SIMPSONS. So last night I decided for the first time in Cities Skylines to build a monorail line from the City Centre to Thorton Park halfway across the map.

At the moment the line only has two stations on it (same as the heavy rail network) as San Layton City is a very young city having only being founded a month ago (real-time).


None-the-less I built the line and it designed for more stations as the City expands. Once you get the 70km/h speed restriction off the train moves as fast as heavy rail allowing very rapid connections.

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 You can also see some of the first developments here:

Now to get the daily rush hour of traffic under control (caused mainly by inter city traffic rather than intra city commuting)


San Solaria Leads the Way in Low Carbon Future

95% of power from clean sources – sodding incinerators hold up the rest


Emissions free power or close to it. I talk about and advocate for it but do I lead by example within #CitiesSkylines?


This graph is from San Solaria City on where its electricity comes from:

San Solaria Power Production

If you wanted it in pure numbers:

  • Hydro from two dams: 400MW
  • Wave from two generators: 22MW
  • Nuclear from two reactors: 1,382 MW
  • Incinerators (around 10) 110MW
  • Wind from both onshore and offshore: 252MW
  • Total 2,166MW produced
  • Total consumed at peak is 1,924MW average is 1,550MW
  • Geothermal central district heating has a total output of 400MW with the average of 300MW being consumed (thus saving 300MW from the main generators)
  • 2,166MW total power production (not including Geothermal central heating) comes from a total Budget set at 73% both day and night


Transport wise of the 41 districts in the City about 10 of them require residents within those districts to have Electric Cars only with five of those ten districts also having a Combustion Engine ban (except for service traffic).

Policies such as self sufficient residential buildings and local/organic produced produce is also in effect in about 10 of the Districts as well with all new non industrial districts to have those polices and the E Car policy in effect.




Street Trees are also a major push:


Charging stations:




Going Green matters and San Solaria does its best walking the talk!

Does your City?


Trans City vs Local District Transit. #CitiesSkylines Lessons for Auckland

Final Part of the Series (Part 6) in Lessons for Auckland


In my ALL ABOARD. Light Rail Moving You Around. Lessons for Auckland post I had mentioned the two types of tram systems I run:

Four new tram lines were built with two connecting to the wider city and two travelling within the area forming a City Link type circuit. The photos below are of City Boulevard Lines 1 and two that run as a loop down the new Boulevard and through Forrest Road (one of the two east-west parallel roads). The other two lines that were later built are:

  • City Centre to Airport LRT Line. Think of it as Solaria’s City Centre to Airport via Dominion Road, Auckland equivalent with the Airport-Solarian Line (a metro/subway line) as the express Southern Airport Line).
  • Thorton Hills Interchange – City Boulevard Line. This links up the new urban area to a major interchange that serves busses and an inter-city train station



Lessons for Auckland?

Do not be afraid of Light Rail and also Light Rail is good for small intra suburb running as well as big trans-city running like Airport Lines.

Two of the four new tram lines are intra-suburb running – meaning the line runs within a single district rather than multiple districts. I can control individual line budgets meaning I can select capacity ranges from 75 to 210 passengers. As a comparison a bio-fuel bus holds 40 passengers while the bendy busses hold 130 and let off a pile of diesel fumes along the way. So rather clogging my nice new urban area up with smelly busses I can use smaller trams to move passengers around while stepping up capacity as demand increases.

Manukau City Centre and Manukau/Wiri would be a perfect example of such a Light Rail scheme that connects into a larger LRT scheme like the Southern Airport Line (Manukau to the Airport via Puhinui Station) or in Cities Skylines the two City Boulevard Lines connecting into the bigger trans-city lines.

The two bigger lines being the Thorton Interchange to City Centre Line and the Airport to City Centre LRT Line both which run through part of the City Boulevard Lines.


Airport and NW Lines
Airport and NW Lines Source: AKL Urban Design via Twitter Note: Not final for statioms


In this case these two bigger lines run through multiple districts and centres so using the big E-class tram that holds 210 passengers will be more viable (remember my biggest bus is only 130 passengers).


Source: ALL ABOARD. Light Rail Moving You Around. #CitiesSkylines Lessons for Auckland


The rule of thumb I usually follow with transit is this:

  • Busses for short distances and feeders into major interchanges
  • Light Rail for medium distances
  • Heavy Rail (and Metro Rail with Cities Skylines) for long distances or high capacity shuttling such as a major transport interchange and a stadium

In Cities Skylines I usually follow the above rules with a couple of exceptions. From time to time I will build a busway to allow busses to do medium distance running while light rail can be used for short distance running.


The Laytonville Busway

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But it is the LRT system I have set up that is of more interest as it gives lessons to Auckland as we try to set up an LRT system of our own.

This map shows the transit system in San Solarian City. The dash lines are the ferries, thick lines the Metro Lines and the thin lines are the trams:

TLM_MAP_San Solarian City_2055.01.31


As noted before I run both trans-city tram lines and tram lines that run within a single district (local loop running). Both classes of lines connect to each other either at a common station/stop or a slight over lap of the lines in some areas (two tram lines sharing the same bit of road/track) to allow transfers.

The question is why am I using trams for shot distance running? Answer One is capacity while answer two is ambience.

Busses are smelly, noisy and hold fewer passengers compared to the trams. Don’t get me wrong busses have their place including the biofuel bus but in a large City they just don’t cut the mustard when wanting to move people between areas (and between Metro Stations).

In high ambience areas like City Boulevard, the City Centre and Laytonville having lots of busses running around isn’t my idea of fostering ambience. This is why the trams are used in local loop running like City Boulevard Lines 1 and 2.

I can control budgets of individual lines so I can determine the capacity required:


So for the City Boulevard Lines trams that hold 75 passengers (still more than the biofuel bus (40)) are adequate while the Trans City Lines get the big 210 passenger trams.


City Centre – Thorton Hills LRT Line via City Boulevard

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Airport to City Centre via William and City Boulevards

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City Boulevard Line including Forrest Street

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Lessons for Auckland?

The Northern Airport Line will be Light Rail while I am pushing the Manukau to Airport section of the Southern Airport Line to be Light Rail (Manukau to Botany will be bus).

The first is about capacity to meet demand (The Southern Airport Line intersects Manukau Bus Station and Puhihui Train Station that have heavily patronised transit lines running through them) and the second is about ambience especially in a major Metropolitan Centre like Manukau.

Manukau or rather Transform Manukau is 600 hectares in size compared to the main City Centre being around 385ha (this does NOT include Port of Auckland but does include Wynyard Quarter). Manukau is also in the middle of a large regeneration program that includes intensification and upgrades of public spaces. Manukau is also forecast to house 20,000 new residents (I say it can hold double) over the next decade or so.

Simply put given its large size busses are not going to quite cut it moving people around Manukau nor to and from it to another major employment area like the Airport. Ambience is also in play and like the City Centre having a high amount busses inside Manukau doesn’t exactly work either.

Running higher capacity trams along the Northern Airport Line through the Airport and down to Manukau via the Southern Airport Line would be Auckland’s example of my Airport to City Centre LRT via William Boulevard Line coupled with the Airport to Laytonville Metro Line.

A LRT Line doing a circuit of Manukau and Manukau City Centre linking up the main commercial area, main residential area to the south, the events centre to the south-east and AUT to the north-east would be an example of my City Boulevard Lines.

Botany Sky Train Line Revised Manukau Loop
Botany Sky Train Line Revised Manukau Loop
Botany Line AT version
The Southern Airport Line is Option 1 (Red). Source: Auckland Transport


Remember via budget control you can use smaller trams (that can be coupled up to make larger units as I can in Cities Skylines (75, 150, 210 (same as the single unit E-class)) to start with and up the capacity as the demand allows.

I believe in the dig once, get it right policy that New Zealand struggles with (due to our often lack of foresight). While building LRT instead of a busway for the Southern Airport Line between Manukau and the Airport is more expensive those costs are paid off pretty quickly from the demand and ambience side.



Remember the Southern Airport Line intersects the Southern and Eastern (heavy rail) Lines widening the catchment of that particular Airport Line. You also have the Manukau Bus Station that is THE PRIMARY bus and inter-city bus station for South Auckland (like Britomart is for wider Auckland). So the demand for trams will be there straight off the bat (even if we use smaller single car trams to start with that can be later connected up like our current electric trains). As for bus congestion not applying in Manukau? Well I do not want to get to that point unlike the City Centre and as I try to avoid in Cities Skylines (and when I don’t it is a mess to untangle).

Remember ambience is the name of the game and having busses trundle through Manukau is not my idea of ambience. Again LRT like my City Boulevard Lines are great for localised loop running to move people around an area – especially are large area that has many focal points like Manukau does inside its 600ha area.

Manukau Project area
Source: Panuku Development Auckland
Manukau Transform Project area
Source: Panuku Development Auckland


Don’t forget that budget control measure for capacity.


Finally and again yes placing LRT down in Manukau is more expensive than bus rapid transit but once LRT is down you will not have to dig up the area again because the busses went over capacity (often too quickly).

Let’s get it right the first time every time!


San Solaria City has offered quite a few lessons for Auckland. I hope you have enjoyed this cross over with Talking Southern Auckland.  I might do another cross over next year as San Solaria continues to evolve or when I start a new city on a new map.


Happy gaming and urbanism!


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:

Layton City looking from south to north


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


#CitiesSkylines Traffic Routes Map Management. Help?

Managing that flow


So you have built this wonderful large city but you wonder why your traffic is a bit shit in places.

72% traffic flow is not bad but not flash either given it sits in the ‘condition yellow’ segment. This means rather than a City-wide failure in your traffic (Auckland) there are more likely to be localised pinch-points causing a mess in nearby areas.

I know of three two of which are in industrial areas and one at Uptown which I am going to share today.


This is the intersection causing a bucket load of grief at Uptown:


Nice condition red at two major intersections meaning we have a jam.


This is what it looks like:


While there are bus lanes to move the busses the area gets jammed up due to a concentration of traffic going to and from the Great Solarian Coastal Motorway at the top of the picture.


So while I know the motorway is causing issues (surprise-surprise) I need to look to see where the traffic is going and where it coming from. Time to bring up the new Traffic Routes system that came with the Mass Transit DLC.




Public Transport includes taxis given taxis can use bus lanes as well unless you use Traffic Manager President Edition to ban taxis from the lanes.

You can see that cars and taxis are trying to access the motorway from Thompson Street which coincidentally is one of the main roads to the airport. Meanwhile busses do not access the motorway but rather are accessing Forrest Street which is a primary east-west transit corridor across the City (and recently included a new metro subway line).

Freight traffic also primarily is accessing the motorway from Thompson Street delivering goods to the Uptown leisure district (night clubs etc) and a major retail outlet near the airport.

Government service traffic (so garbage trucks etc) are using Thompson Street as an access point to the City Centre given refuse facilities are located an industrial complex also near the airport.


So what to do?

Well here is Thompson Street:


Thompson Street serves as a main arterial linking the Airport to the City Centre. While there is a north-south motorway nearby the route is indirect and is heavily utilised by traffic moving between the parallel east-west motorways that run through San Solaria (one runs along the coast and the other runs inland).


Consequently options come a bit limited but three do present themselves at ever escalating costs.

The first is to build a tunnel further back up Thompson Street and connecting directing to the eastbound onramp on the Great Solarian Coastal Highway allowing to-motorway traffic bypassing the Thompson/Forrest Street intersection. This however, does not solve the traffic entering Thompson Street from the motorway nor the overcrowding of busses along the route either.

This presents the next option of running a north-south metro line from the Airport to the Victoria Park Interchange in the City Centre. This relieves overcrowding on busses and gives a new north-south route along Thompson Street.

The third and most expensive option is a east-west metro line from Hill Park through Glade Hills out to Thorton Hills which also houses another major interchange. A cheaper issue is to run surface trams along the road bearing in mind there is a large roundabout along the way.

Another option is to open another lane from the motorway to the Thompson/Forrest Street intersection given west-bound traffic is either inter-city or from the large industrial complex to the east.


So what will I do?

Most likely open up that second lane to  move the freight trucks through coupled with better signal phasing. This will be the short-term while I get a new north-south metro tunnel built connecting the airport to the City Centre to relieve the busses although that might get mega tricky at the City Centre end.

Already there is three Metro tunnels and a heavy rail tunnel in that area so some deep tunnelling might be needed. Or I could run elevated mono-rail 😛 .

With the new east-west link I might run it as trams given a metro line (elevated) is already in the area. As for a bypass tunnel to the motorway? Last resort.


Lot to think about but the new Traffic Routes Manager certainly helps.


Another Day on Bus Line 17 #CitiesSkylines

Commentary from a driver on Bus Line 17 and how the City evolves


We get back in touch with the driver of the Bus Line 17 to see his photo essay of one of busiest lines in San Solaria. Since our last meeting there has been quite a bit of development in San Solaria including Wood Hills.

The Wood Hills development and subsequent ferry pier (see: Ferries! Finally Got Them Working #CitiesSkylines) saw Bus Line 17 extended with the route now ~30 stops (the second biggest line behind Line 7). But it is the new features like blimps going across the sky and the new bus lane boulevards that have made the trip more interesting.




New improvements such as the bus boulevards, new route finding, and new priority measures have helped make transit more desirable to travel on. With new bus-ways also being rolled out getting around San Solaria became that much easier.


The Bus Line 17 Photo Essay

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Ferries! Finally Got Them Working #CitiesSkylines

Removing mod did the trick


I got around to removing an old mod that was causing the City to have major graphical issues every time a ferry system was put down in San Solarian City.

Given the City sits on a coast line and has a river running through the middle of it the ferry system I thought would be a novel to set up a basic system that travels both the coast and river system.

At the moment I have only established the coastal system with ferries running between the Port District and Wood Hills with stops along the Downtown and City Centre waterfront areas. So far most of the users of this ferry route are tourists (go figure) rather than commuters. I will later today establish the River to Downtown Ferry route and see if I can get a few commuters there.


In the meantime here is the first ever ferry system – in San Solaria City


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BLIMPS! And a Bus-way (Finally)

Slowly rolling out new features in Mass Transit DLC


Last night I managed to get in a few serious hours of game play on Cities Skylines with the new Mass Transit DLC installed (and core mods updated).

My initial reaction is mixed as the ferries do not yet work (game crashes out) and the transit hubs are clumsy as you can no control the amount of platforms you might need. However, I did manage to get blimps going and have started using the new Routes system to find and manage traffic jams.



While the ferries do not work the blimps certainly do and make quite site to see as they orbit your city. I do warn you though they are pretty useless as commuter services given they are slow and only take 35 passengers (bus takes >40). But when a blimp circuit is connected up between say major commerce or tourist points it gets more interesting. So I created a circuit that travels between these points:

  • International Airport
  • Stadium
  • Downtown (Casino, Sky Tower, Convention Centre and major hotels)
  • Laytonville shopping district

The patronage per blimp is about 25/35 passengers


Here are the blimps on their orbit (the policy setting is for educational so don’t forget about books and broccoli people):

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Busways and Traffic Congestion

I have only built one small busway connecting a City Centre to its fringe area on the other side of the motorway. Apart from that I have not used the bus-way options available in the Network Extensions mod apart entrances and exits to major pre ‘Mass Transit’ transit hubs (Layton City is an example of this).

With San Solarian City there are several choke points owing to placements of the industrial complexes and the ports meaning industrial traffic can mix with road transit traffic in key places. Bus lanes do not quite work here as they would between a residential and commercial area so you need to try something else. Enter a dedicated busway running parallel to the main road.

At first it was just one way but when busses going the other way were equally as stuck I flipped the busway into a 2-way one:

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This is the congestion I am trying to untangle (traffic flow city-wide is 65-67%):



And here are a few other random things including a custom made bus station using Prop Anarchy:



My goal is to slowly get traffic flow up to 75% in San Solarian City. While the City currently has a small death wave (increase funding for death care required) the new Route Priority system as well as tracing individual journey patterns is certainly assisting getting traffic flow back up.

The new transit hubs available in Mass Transit DLC are currently useless due to lack of tram integration and unable to control platform counts. However, the new traffic AI has meant for the first time the transit journey count equals the non transit journey count meaning more people are taking transit. Now to make transit more reliable starting with bus lane untangling.

All while still zoning new residential areas.


Fun times ahead