Amenities and Residential Development. What Goes Missing When Planning?

A question often asked

 

A question often asked in the real world as well as Cities Skylines: How to upscale your residential area – that is how to trigger intensification or how to get a new residential area started.

This is a crossover post with my Talking Southern Auckland blog on amenities and residential areas. Amenities or rather facilities, services, conveniences, comforts  and creature comforts are things we all need but things we often forget about when it comes to residential planning. Specifically when a residential area has been upzoned for intensification or a new residential laid down (Greenfield) what encourages their developments.

 

The question above gets asked in the Cities Skylines forums as players struggle to achieve their aim of a new residential area or an existing residential area upgrading to a more intense and more wealthy one. That struggle can apply to a real life City as well.

Yes we can all lay down some roads, put in the pipes, maybe add a bus line or two and put down a school. But that is not quite it is it? Sure you get the basic housing going in your new area but not the more high-end stuff you are looking for.

Remember what the synonyms for amenities are: facilities, comforts etc and so on.

 

Let’s take a look at a new residential area I started in San Solarian City:

20170716185914_1

 

This is a new Greenfield area next to an existing urban area. The basics such as roads, pipes and a bus line have been laid down. But if you look deeper the amenities reveal themselves and would be what attracts new residents to the area quickly.

Parks, public loos, a cycle way connecting to the existing urban area, ferry station, some basic shops, lane ways, a busway and shared space roads. All are classed as amenities, facilities, comforts and creature comforts and are what makes the area suitable for rapid development.

 

Looking at an existing area:

20170716185926_1

This is that existing urban area I was talking about just earlier. A high density area that is still developing. Amenities are still needed to trigger further intensification as there is still quite a bit of blank land especially commercial land available. Simple things such as a new park or loo will often do the trick while upgrading the road or transit line requires a bit more investment.

In this case improving access through that large roundabout in the picture triggering off further urban development after the busway construction triggered off the last round.

 

In the end it comes down to more than just a road, a pipe and a bus stop to develop or intensify a residential or even commercial area. It comes down to what facilities or amenities are available for those residents, employers or shoppers.

 

Back to the real world simulators such as Cities Skylines look at:

The use of simulation games such as Sim City 4 in the USA and Cities Skylines in the EU has thrown up the question on their value to give input into urban planning. With Cities Skylines – How Cities: Skylines is being used to build a real-life city district was trialled with interesting results (see: http://www.pcgamer.com/how-cities-skylines-is-being-used-to-build-a-real-life-city-district/ ). The premise of Cities Skylines is around a few universal rules such a Government provided public amenities and infrastructure with urban development set around a basic framework of loosely defined zones. The urban environment adapts and evolves within the interactions and rules of the public amenities and the zones.

 

It seems a simulator has quite a bit to offer planners and elected representatives in how residential and commercial demand is driven within a City.

 

The new residential area developing. Notice I did Phil Goff’s million trees program too. Those trees act as amenity as they are a comfort to the new residents. So never forget your trees!

20170716192159_1

 

Finally a drive through of my latest residential area:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

Advertisements

One thought on “Amenities and Residential Development. What Goes Missing When Planning?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s