Day 2 Recreating South Auckland (Mixed Reality) in #CitiesSkylines​ (all about the Infrastructure)

Settling the infrastructure down, going through what Road Hierarchies mean (full play through)

In Day 2 of recreating South Auckland as part of a Mixed Reality build in Cities skylines I go through the motions of laying down the core transport infrastructure. This is a full run through, I will have separate posts covering the highlights of Road Hierarchies, and Transport Optimisations.

So why Road Hierarchies?

Would you put residential on a six lane arterial road, or send trucks and buses down a tiny road?

Yeah.

Next up: Day 3 – preparing the zones and establishing the city

All falling into place

New Map, New City, Day 1: Building South Auckland in #CitiesSkylines #MixedReality

Using Mixed Reality to build South Auckland as it might have been

After giving my second ever only Winter map a go (Antarctica City) I went back over to my stock standard Temperate Maps reopening Vanilla Coast to have another crack it (the first had to stop as the Industries DLC had come out when the city was in its end phases).

With that I introduce South Auckland, a Mixed Reality build named after my IRL home sub-region here in Auckland, New Zealand. If you are wondering what Mixed Reality is the term means the blending of Virtual and Real World concepts for the purpose of education, entertainment or showcase. Given I stream Cities Skylines on Twitch the Mixed Reality version is more around education as I go through the real life motions of building a City in its various stages of its life on a virtual platform.

Day 1 of South Auckland, a Mixed Reality creation named after my home sub region:

Day 1: Outlining the Methodology of founding a City

Day 1 looks at the methodology I use in laying the foundations of the City. Basically I am doing the equivalent of the real life Auckland (Spatial) Plan in working out how things will be shaped followed by laying down key transport routes the spatial form be influenced by.

Note: This is the full play through of this particular segment of Cities Skylines. From time to time I will publish Highlights as separate blog posts.

Next up: Day 2 and looking at Hierarchies

Day 1 in creating a city named after my home Sub Region – South Auckland

Tactical Urbanism, Traffic/Transit Checks/Fixes in #CitiesSkylines (Moderate-Advanced Modded Playthrough)

Fine tuning the city to avoid massive rebuilds and expensive motorways

Once you have settled into the basic mechanics of Cities Skylines with a functioning transport system, the zones nicely laid out and the civic infrastructure all working does the fun really begin.

Fun what fun?

As the city gets larger it gets more complex as an organism especially if playing modded as I do. This means regular check ups across the City to make sure the transport and transit systems are working as optimally as they should. The good news is that most fixes you come upon are not major and can be done very quickly and cheaply. That said from time to time a major overhaul might be needed but that is for another day. The point being that six lane roads and motorways are not and should not be the go to fix – PUBLIC AUTHORITIES TAKE NOTE.

In this post I go through some medium and advanced play throughs in using some extended tools to help fine tune your City as well as giving it more realism. Note: I use Real Time Mod which simulates the full day/night cycle and includes the rush hours, shopping, events, and shift work effects upon a City. More HERE.

Standardised Cargo Terminals that also work for Transit Hubs

How to do a standardised, universal but effective cargo terminal that also works for bus or transit terminals. No mods need to be used so can work for Vanilla or Modded. But the purpose is to get interchanging traffic doing their business while not interfering with thoroughfare traffic.

Using Traffic Flow Tool, TMPE, and basic fixes to get traffic going

Traffic sucks most days, and your transit gets stuck from time to time. Using TMPE, and Traffic Flow data we do basic fixes (so no grand 8 lane roads and 6 lane highways) to get things moving again.

Tactical Urbanism 102 in Antarctic City – the Downtown 

How to do some more advanced but still small tactical urbanism in this time the Downtown of your City. This would be used until a more permanent solution is built. The tactical urbanism is on a 4-way, one way and stops opposing traffic crashing.

Tactical Urbanism 103 using one way streets in a leisure district

Doing more basic Tactical Urbanism, this time in the Leisure District. Find It, Procedural Objects, Move It, Line Marking Tool, Traffic Manager Presidents Edition mods were used.

Using TMPE, Line Marking Tool, and Decals on Roads (Advanced Play Through) 

Using TMPE, Line Marking Tool and Decals to give more realism at intersections. Note: Real Time Mod is used so this is more Advanced game play with Cities Skylines.

Using Transport Lines Manager to check up on Transit

At about every 15,000 of new population one should check their transit. I do so using Transport Lines Manager mod.

Of course as the City continues to grow and evolve more checks and tweaks are done, especially as more transit lines are added and old ones might need replacing.

I can be found on Twitch doing Cities Skylines play throughs: https://www.twitch.tv/palpatine001

One Metro + One Micro District = Another Day in #CitiesSkylines (Grand City of Solaria)

Got to move and house those Cims

Another day and more work to do in the Grand City of Solaria. Recently I did a podcast on Micro Districts and the Soviet Union (see: Micro Districts, the Soviet Union and Modern City Planning). In the most recent streams of Cities Skylines I put the Micro District theory to the test as well as finally building the new Metro system to serve the City.

The following three videos look at where the Grand City of Solaria is or was at as of the 17th June before I started the Harbour District, followed by the Metro being built, and two Micro Districts being laid out.

The Grand City of Solaria as of June 17

The Complexities of Building a Multi Tier Metro System

Building Micro Districts

I did manage to get one of the three Metro Lines working as well. The other two will be done once the Harbour District, and Palpatine Shores are both built up. You might also see the Northern/Southern Lights are enabled when it is night time giving some absolute stunning shots.

Once I have the Harbour District set up I will get some night shots of the Monorail working as it goes through the entire City. The night shots are just stunning.

Next post will cover the Harbour District and Palpatine Shores!

Putting Urban Geography to the test in: Building a City Centre TAKES TIME – LOTS OF TIME. #CitiesSkylines

Putting Urban Geography to the test

I have finally started building the Manukau City Centre which will become the main of the two City Centres in Grand Manukau/Layton Cities.

For more we delve into this week’s video:

We a start building a City Centre

Next week we will look at the first of the urban development occurring as I take the simulator of Pause. Also more First Person Mode!

In the mean time: City Build Safe!

#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.

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!

Streaming Experiments Continue. New Urban Expansion #CitiesSkylines

More sprawl and more streams

Just as Manukau was used as my experiment City for Campus and Industries DLC’s I am using Grand Layton/Manukau Cities as an experiment for my recordings that go onto Youtube.

Today I have three recordings all from First Person view. They are:

  • The 322 bus in Brown-ville
  • New resident commuting from Kent Heights to the Layton City Centre
  • Post Van doing its run

Enjoy:

Postman Pat delivering the Mail in Kent Heights again with a stop at the Layton City Distribution Centre
Follow a Kent Heights resident make their way to the City Centre where they work
Follow the new 322 Bus as it goes through the new urban expansions in Brown-ville

I will try and run a recording where I am also commentating “live” as I undertake urban development. See the methodologies I use when building my cities.

Stay tuned!

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 😛