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City showcase by Andreas

Started by Andreas, June 16, 2007, 05:43:14 PM

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I thought I might start a showcase of my cities here as well, and I say "showcase" because I'm not really that creative to create a "real" MD here. Quite often, I don't play SimCity for weeks, and then there are days where I'm glued to the PC for many hours and build half of a whole city at once. ;) I'm a rather slow player, and I can spend hours over a tiny detail. Since the release of the game in january 2003, I'm slowly developing one of the four or five regions that I have, and none of them is finished so far. I jump between them, and often come back months or even years later when I have some new ideas, so I will use this thread as a showcase for all my regions. Some of you might have seen my CJs/MDs at SimForum, and I also posted some of the pics at PEG's forum, and there are even one or two threads buried at ST's CJ section.

Anyway, let's jump right in to my most current region, "Perth", which is based on an actual map of Perth that I found at the STEX. I only used a part of it and took quite some liberties when terraforming it to my liking, but the general shape should be recognizable. The cities itself aren't shaped after the real city, though. My Perth map consists of four large cities - not more, as it would take years to fill them with my slow playing style. ;) As a start, here's a screenshot of the transportation map (I'm using ImageShack thumbnails, so the pages don't take that long to load):

As you can see, there was quite some development; the region already has 373,000 residents, about 300,000 are living in Perth alone. Cannington and Stirling have about 20,000 inhabitants each, and Freemantle 30,000 at the moment. The commercial jobs are located in Perth (100,000) and Stirling (10,000), the industrial jobs also in Perth (80,000) and in Freemantle (37,000). The Swan River is crossed by several bridges, and there are also a few ferry lines. Freemantle has a seaport, and the airport of the region is located in Perth (I know that the airports only influence the city they are localized in, but hey, I wanted to create a realistic city ;) ).

So let's start with the first city, Perth. As in my last regions, I already started with a regional transit network with the most important highways and such, and in order to push the demand levels in Perth a bit, I started the other cities as well, up to the figures I mentioned above. Of course, I'm far from done, and therefore, they don't look that great so far. As you can see, the skyline shows quite some "holes", and there's lots of undeveloped land that's only crossed by some avenues - my future planning axis.


Nevertheless, some areas have developed quite nicely already, here are two pictures of the historic downtown, which is entirely consisting of Chicago and New York tileset buildings. The tallest buildings are Wren Insurance and Futa Consulting - and I don't really intend to go even taller here, since the skyscrapers are supposed to be reserved for the modern downtown (I'll come back to that later). At the upper border of the picture, you can see the GLR network, which I used extensively for the very first time.


I always wanted to have such a large "box" like SimGoober's Monkey Wards Department Store - somehow, you always find something like that in any downtown. Actually, it's pretty ugly, but on the other hand, not every building of a city can be nice. ;) It creates a nice contrast together with the modern Summit Building B as well. The residential development in the neighborhood also lives from the contrasts, as you can see on the right picture.


Of course, Perth has also a waterfront, and it has developed rather well so far. One bend of the Swan River is reserved to residential development, the other will feature my commercial downtown. This is the only place so far where I used the Houston and Euro tilesets intensively. The airport can be found just across the river, connected with a nice modern bridge. At the moment, the downtown looks a bit out of place, but I'm planning to put the highway below the surface with blahdy's "Big Dig" lots. The adjacent residential quarter will be bulldozed again to obtain more space for the downtown. For this plans, I'll have to expand the city even further, though, since the commercial demand (CO§§§ in particular) isn't that great so far.


As usual, I also placed some parks in Perth, either rather small ones between the skyscrapers, or a bit larger, surrounding some civic facilities. Unfortunately, stephenhh's Hamburg buildings are quite "active", once you activate the Euro tileset, and drive out all other rowhomes, but on the other hand, you'll get some nice uniform rows of buildings, esp. along the GLR lines. Nevertheless, I'll have to "clean out" some of the other row home districts a bit later.


Here are two screenshots with the rowhomes from the other tilesets, as mentioned above. I already weeded them out a bit, but with some patience, they'll grow back eventually. They look especially nice at the slopes of the hills, I'd say.

This is my current suburb development program. At the moment, the whole thing is still rather separated from the rest of the city, but the general appearance has become really nice already. In this quarter, about 80,000 sims found their home within a very small space, and towards the left border of the pic, the development turns from high to lower densities really nicely. The future center of the quarter has been filled with several civic facilities, and I made good use of some modern BATs, rather than the Maxis buildings I use all the time.

As I said, this is still a construction site in many places, esp. the downtown doesn't look that great so far, but some nice spots have developed already. Let's see how the city develops later... Feel free to comment on certain details, and don't be shy to make suggestions or point out weak spots - I'm not looking for praise, but for valuable input in order to make my cities even better. :)


Very nice, proud to be the first visitor!
The most astounding and unique aspect of the human race is our fervent application of our ingenuity to kill each other, thus completely defying the near-universally proven fact that the ultimate goal of a member of a species is to ensure the survival of the species.


It looks very "maxish", but neverless I like it , looks kinda retro :)


Yeah, nice to see you in the MD section  :thumbsup:

I specially like the building selection you used in your last picture. Very similar to the one I am using actually  ;D
I am currently not active - Please, contact Tarkus for any site related matter. Thanks for enjoying SC4D :D

Autism Awareness;  A Father Shares
Mallorca My Mayor Diary



There are some really nice shots here, but I was blown away by the high-rise residential development in the last shot.  I have been trying to make one of these in my own city without a great deal of success, and you have given me inspiration.  Thanks!

First things first, but not necessarily in that order.


Andreas, this region looks splendid and you have some very cool and interesting developement going on there, espacially like that bigger park and your rowhomes on the slopes :thumbsup:

Will be one to follow, definatly


Great to see you here, too!

Great region and fantastic pictures of that region! :thumbsup:

Owen Luby

Great start Andreas! Really a nice looking city you have.
I especially like the cast that you're not scared of a bit of slope... the GLR over the hill looks great!

I want SC4 back!!


Nice start Andreas! Is there any chance you could use full size images next time around, I find it takes ages for imageshack to load them when you have to click them like that, its pretty weird actually considering how fast they load when full size  ()what().



I knew your beautiful work with the BAT and the LE ... but I didn't know your city

Il's very nice, very spaced even in downtown area and I like that  :thumbsup:

Bravo  &apls


Thanks for the feedback, everyone! :)

@metasmurf: Well, I really like the Maxis buildings, that's why you still find a great number of in-game content, rather than custom BATs and lots only. Nevertheless, my plugins folder is almost 1.5 GB now, but I'll try to find custom stuff that integrates well with the Maxis models.

@stewart_garden: I'm somewhat proud of the suburban highrise quarter as well. I guess it's the first time where I was really able to build a large suburb with those - but it also caused some serious traffic problems, which I will cover below.

@Owen Luby: Yeah, I'll try to use the natural landscape and integrate it in my cities. I don't like flat cities with no topography whatsoever, that's why my maps are always based on some real geographical data.

@freedo50: Unfortunately, I can't change the pictures right now - I've already uploaded over 80 screenshots to ImageShack and saved the thumbnail links (as well as the text, so I can post more stuff over the next few days). In addition, you'll have to scroll horizontally if your screen resolution isn't higher than 1024x768, and that's something I'm trying to avoid. What I do in such cases is opening all thumbnail links in background tabs, and then I can look at them one by one, without having to wait too long.

@Snaper: Actually, I don't BAT - it's the other SFBT members who are doing the BAT work, and I'm responsible for the modding and publishing part.

As mentioned before, I did some planning for redesigning the downtown, which obviously shows my usual tactic to slap a few rectangular blocks onto the map, for making my first money without too much effort. Sometimes I'll leave these blocks, if it turns out well as some kind of "historic district", but in this case, I decided from the very beginning that I won't keep those ugly grid structure.

The highway is supposed to sink below the ground to make room for a modern downtown, and the monotonous midrises are going to be replaced with taller residential buildings, which will push my commmercial demand on the one hand, and assure short commute times due to their proximity to the commercial downtown on the other hand, even if I don't implement a vast public transportation system. Well, enough words for now, here's an outline of what I have in mind (please apologize the German captions, I made this for the German SimForum in the first place):

In the first step, I'll concentrate on the yellow and blue areas, the green area will follow sometimes in the future. The old and the new downtown won't be separated by the highway, and the "hole" in the skyline will vanish eventually. Apart from that, I'll surprise myself; as usual, you can't plan every detail if you rely on growables, rather than ploppables. ;) Here's a short translation of the captions:

Autobahn-Tunnelportal - highway tunnel entrance
Tunnel-Ein-/Ausfahrt - tunnel onramp/offramp
historische Altstadt - historic downtown
Erweiterung - extension
erweitertes Planungsgebiet - extended planning area

So let's start right away and show the first results:


left: before - right: afterwards

Quite a difference, huh? As you can see, the highway disappeared below the surface, and the space is occupied by skyscrapers now. As I said, I used blahdy's "Big Dig" lots to accomplish this. For those who are not familiar with these: They're basically "subway stations" that convert incoming car traffic to subway passengers and the other way round. With this trick it's possible to route commuters below the ground, saving valuable space.

This is the underground view. Actually, I wouldn't need doubled tubes for proper functionality, but I'd say it looks better this way. The lots are still in beta stage, but as it seems, they work fine, and they are definitely a great help in dealing with traffic in downtown situations.


Some more detail shots of the setup. The large tunnel entrance is clearly visible, but do you spot all the onramps and offramps between the buildings? The picture on the right shows two Richmand B towers, where I was really lucky to get them in this configuration (remember, I don't use ploppable RCI lots). They form a really nice portal to the new downtown. :)


The Hatfield Courthouse (left picture) is really one of sparkythepenguin's masterpieces, and it looks wonderful in such half-open situations. The other two pics are showing some of the tunnel on- and offramps around the stock exchange plaza.


And since the downtown is so colorful and dense, here are another two shots of the tunnel ramps between the skyscrapers. Buses, trucks and emergency vehicles can't pass the tunnels unfortunately, but they are used by the car through-traffic, and that's basically their main purpose anyway.


Another two screenshots of the waterfront, one with the commercial part, and one with the residential part. The street on the last picture is quite heavily used, as you can imagine, but fortunately, I'm using my slightly modified "better pathfinding" traffic plugin, where I tripled the capacity of the streets. Of course, there are a couple of bus stations just around the corner, in order to ease the traffic. Since the downtown is in the vicinity as well, it doesn't affect commute times too severely.

Finally, an overview from another perspective; as you can see, the "hole" in the skyline has almost vanished, and the transition between the historic downtown and the modern one is rather smooth. The residential area next to the waterfront connects to the commercial part very well, too.

Maybe I'll change the highway bridge a bit, so I can move the tunnel entrance closer to the river, this will close the ugly gap right around the PDA Headquarters. Another possibility would be to relocate the convention center to the other river bank, next to the airport. The Marrast embankment lots also feature some overhanging props, so I can close the river bank walkway (the ferry port could be relocated as well, if necessary).


Great work Andreas  :thumbsup:

I must say, that I've seen better cities but yours look so fresh. Brings memories when I played the game instead of creating pics to my CJs  ;D


A lot of fantastic new pictures you have there, Andreas! :thumbsup:


@Bengt: Well, yes, I don't try to build "better looking" cities, but I'll try to keep it realistic. There are surely some ugly areas, but I've taken care of those, as you can see below. ;)

@bat: Thanks again! Don't be afraid to point out what you like in particular, though - and if you can't express yourself in English that well, feel free to post in German.  :thumbsup:

Ok, let's continue with the tour across the city, starting with another pic of the historic downtown, which has been extended by a few new attractions. :) The Chicago Tribune Tower I already showed you didn't fit in that well, so I bulldozed it again - together with the huge and rather ugly Eastland Grand Tower. The replacement, SimGoober's Omni Hotel, isn't a really beauty as well, but it's a nice connection between the historic buildings and the new development.

A new Chicago Tribune Building has grown in the vicinity, right next to a massive Fisk Insurance. The Reamon Plaza just around the corner is another addition that closes the gap in the skyline, and the old Chicago Tribune lot has been overgrown with McClellan Inc., which fits in nicely.

I also created a small "waterfront park" by joining the two embankment stretches, creating a continuous walk along the Swan River - only at the ferry port, the sims have to cross a road.


The "Big Dig" tunnel was extended a bit as well, so I could add some buildings right next to the park. At the moment, there isn't enough demand for really tall buildings at this place, though. I like the walkway below the "Harbor Bridge" in particular, and I'm also glad that the ferry port uses the same base texture as the embankment lots. As you might have noticed, I had to "cheat" a bit, since the height of the terrain isn't equal, but it almost looks like there could be some stairs or something like this, at least from this perspective.

Then I started with redesigning the western part of the city center, which I marked in green in the plan above. I wasn't really sure if I could turn the monotonous R-$ development into something more appealing, but after looking at the transformation process, I'm quite delighted how it turned out.


After tearing down the whole quarter, I placed a large park in the center (and if you know me, you know what I mean with "large" ;) ), then I added high density residential zones around (left picture). I upgraded the road towards the downtown to an avenue, which supports the highway that runs into the same direction (right pic). I also added some sound walls to the highway.


I also made some changes to the outskirts of the Westend, creating a transition to the pre-existing commercial service area. This time, I developed a large suburban area with Dusktrooper's loft buildings. As you can imagine, it was a huge amount of work, but now you can find the impressive amount of 47 Belton and Jacinto lofts here. Admittedly, it looks quite overpowering in the bird's eye view, but if you zoom a bit closer, a nice urban flair is developing. And compared to Hong Kong or any other large city with huge amounts of skyscrapers next to each other, this quarter is rather harmless, I guess. ;)


Finally, a screenshot of the airport, which got a decent connection to the city at last, and a picture of my current public transportation system. In the city center, the traffic becomes unbearable, although I placed huge amounts of bus stops, so the development of a subway system is inevitable. I left out the tram from the city center completely, since it takes too much space there.

I'm planning three different subway lines, although the U3 towards the airport is rather cosmetic, since the game doesn't simulate traffic to and from an airport. But I hope that some commuters will use it anyway and switch over to the rail at the modern station, heading towards Cannington in the south. Here's a small translation of the map:

Eisenbahn - railway
Straßenbahn - tram
U1 (geplant) - subway line U1 (planned)


This is quite the Metropolis you have created here, the names do remind me a bit about Frankfurt, maybe not a coincidence? :)

The last transportation map is very nice, and great to be able to follow your ideas how to develop this city futher. I am also quite impressed by the way you have grown al the DT lofts in the same neighbourhood, I am guessing the developers wet dream to be allowed to put down so many of the same buildings.


That's another great update, Andreas!
The "downtown" looks fantastic! Also nice picture of the bridge! and the roadmap! :thumbsup:


My, but you have created some impressive CBDs there, Andreas. I especially liked the photo with the tall red building on the center right ("perth05ck I believe"). You have a flair for creating imposing shoreline cities too, a talent I sorely lack.
Hope to see more soon ...


Owen Luby

Nice work!
I like that map!
I am following this one for sure! &apls
I want SC4 back!!


As usual, thanks for the compliments, much appreciated. :)

@kwakelaar: You mean "Westend" and stuff like this? Hehe, true, that was somewhat influenced by Frankfurt indeed, and generally speaking, my building style is somewhat affected of what I'm used to see in Frankfurt (which is the nearest capital from here, and obviously the one I know best). My downtowns/suburbs/... aren't exactly a detailed reproduction of the real world, but I'll try to implement real-world ideas into my cities, an it's surprising how well it works sometimes. And boy, that DT loft quarter was somewhat hard to get. I had to bulldoze countless buildings that grew on the 3x3 lots I zoned, but in the end, it was an interesting experiment that turned out quite well.

@bat, Owen Luby: The "roadmap" is more of a "railmap", but I thought it is a good way to plan (and explain) certain things. Basically, I "stole" the idea from paletexan (Anyone remember this guy? He was one of the very first players who created a city journal, setting up a dedicated webpage for this. It's still online at! :) ), so I can't take credit for that. ;)

@Joan: That red building is "Central Park West" by cob32118, and I like it a lot as well. I always envied the waterfronts I saw in other CJs/MDs, so I tried to get something equivalent as well - and it didn't turn out too bad, as it seems.

As mentioned above, I'm always experimenting with new ideas how to enhance the city, and how to create stuff in a certain way. One example is the suburban development "Perth North-West", which rapidly turned into a major traffic nightmare. Below is a diagram of the situation, and what I did to improve the traffic flow:

Currently, there are about 100,000 residents living in Perth North-West, and all of them either communte into the neighboring cities, Stirling and Freemantle, to the downtown, or to the large industrial area east of the city. As usual, the sims are beyond stupid by always using the shortest route, instead of using the well developed major arteries. Therefore, I had to use some tricks to keep them out of my residential areas.

To achieve this, I built a monorail line that connects the quarter to the industrial area in the east (right border of the screenshot), and to Stirling in the west. It's always the shortest route, so a large amount of commuters actually use the monorail. The stations by Brenda_XNE have a capacity of 10,000, but are still maxed out hopelessly (at least 300 or 400%). Fortunately, the monorail doesn't suffer from congestion, that means, it won't add up to the communte time.

The curved avenue marked in red has been there before, and is also well used. There's a new shortcut next to SimGoober's large mall, that fits very well on this lot, surrounded by avenues. I also had to create a bypass for the croweded one-way roads along the tram line, and since a high-wealth residential area was "in the way", I simply decided to build a tunnel beneath it. To my surprise, nearly all commuters actually use the tunnel, rather than looking for shortcuts through the residential area. :)

Translation of the legend on the pic:

Hauptverkehrsströme = Main traffic flows
Allee Richtung Stirling = Avenue towards Stirling
Allee Richtung Innenstadt = Avenue towards downtowm
Allee Richtung Industriegebiet Ost = Avenue towards industrial area in the east
Straßenbahn = tram line


Between Perth North-West and the low density residentials in the hills north of downtown I built the Mediapark and the Köln Arena, created by bandito (those are both well-known landmarks from Cologne, Germany), which serve als cultural and recreational facilities. The Mediapark provides about 6,000 CS-$$ Jobs, one of the rare occasions where I used a ploppable with jobs. I'm planning to convert it into a large growable soon, thanks to BarbyW's discovery how to create growable mega lots.

Superstar's Riverside College looks wonderful as well at this place, and I had the rare luck of getting a KOIN-Center and Nordstrom's right next to each other. Both are using the same brown wall texture, therefore, it looks like they really belong together. :) I also used the BSC park set for the very first time; I think, it looks pretty well next to the modern Mediapark lot.


The hills north of downtown are covered by a large low-density residential area, where I used all kinds of streets and roads with diagonals, roundabouts, cul-de-sacs and what not. And although some lot foundations show up now and then, I think the whole area looks pretty well, considering that it's built entirely on a large slope.


Here are a few pics from the area of the tunnel I mentioned before. The left screenshots shows some of Dusktrooper's lofts that do pretty well, considering the highly populated avenue in front of them. The center pic shows the complete avenue setup - lots and lots of asphalt here, but the loads of cars and buses have to find room somewhere after all. ;) Very important are the large number of trees and greenery, which reduce the air pollution and raise land values.


These pics also show that the tunnel was a major success - the residential area above has developed into one of the fanciest areas of the whole city. I think I should finally install my street tree mod, which certainly would look very well here... :)


Finally, another two pics of the area north of the downtown. I bulldozed the somewhat failed rowhouse development again and re-grew it with the older and then with the newer (Euro-) tilesets. And although the zoning is the same (checkerboard pattern with medium and dense residential zones), they look completely different. SimGoober's townhomes are rather suburban, but the Hamburg Hoheluft houses by stephenhh create a wonderful urban situation, which also frame the plaza very nicely.


Another wonderful map, Andreas! Also fantastic new pictures of your great city! Nice "road-layout"! :thumbsup: