Thou shalt not build here

By Dr. Nikolaus Wilson, May 19, 2010 14:59

Banner City Journal Entry No. 3

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Today after centuries of sleep and decades of slow awakening the region GRUNEN belongs to the fastest growing areas in the SimNation. The quick growth has its price: uncontrolled development and urban sprawl.

Area under Review for City Journal Entry 3

Although the region GRUNEN is huge, the space available for construction is small. This is valid in particular for the village GRUNEN. The old, high conifer woods limit the surface choice for the construction of buildings strongly.

It is increasingly recognizable that further uncontrolled development will lead to negative effects on transport, environment and social structure. Hence, the GRUNEN city council has decided to draft a preparatory land-use plan. After almost two years of planning and civil participation the city council resolved the land-use plan shown here:

Land-Use Plan of the City of GRUNEN, SC4, SimCity 4Click on image to open a new window with the Land Use Plan in original size.

The land-use plan regulates the future regular development of the village. Please note:

  1. The plan provides almost exclusively for residential areas and mixed areas, because the district is simply still too small for pure industrial or commercial zones; the only exception is the Rethtal Whisky Distillery which occupies a relatively big zone.
  2. A water supply is planned already, though not built yet. It lies in the low (water) polluted area near castle Grunen, on site with the already existing spring used by the Rethtal Whisky Distillery.
  3. The plan provides an area for the enlargement of the school. Currently the village has only one small (CSG) schoolhouse, however, it is planned to extend this by a sports field.
  4. The GRUNEN city council predict a massive increase of through traffic. This traffic should be guided along the yellow marked street right through the center of the village to promote its development. In addition the street should be updated, possibly tarmac will be applied.
  5. The plan shows some areas reserved for future development. To the use of such areas the party of nature conservationists and the party of economic development could not agree upon. Hence, the respective areas were shown neither as a nature reserve nor as a mixed use area, but were reserved with no special purpose.

Now it was time for the (new established) building control authority to commence its evil task. It compared the current level of development with the planned zoning:

Overlay of Land Use Plan and real development

With this comparison the building control authority found out that in one of the areas reserved for agricultural use a splinter settlement had developed:

Overlay of Land Use Plan and real development, Problem Zone

The grounds of the land-use plan provided the following in connection with “splinter settlements”:

„A splinter settlement is made of constructions lying in a narrower spatial area which have no organic connection to build-up areas and do not show for themselves as such an area. Splinter settlements are to be avoided to prevent development of “unorganic settlement pattern“ and urban sprawl.“

As a result the building control authority immediately carried out a local inspection. On site was confirmed that in an area reserved for agricultural use a settlement had spread out. The inhabitants had even built their own access path:

Picture of Splinter Development

And the dance begun:

The gates of heaven opened and a dark voice spoke: „Thou shalt not build here!“

The inhabitants of the settlement looked upwards and saw – nothing. Then they turned to look to their mailboxes and saw – an official registered letter with the request to abandon their houses.

The inhabitants of the settlement did not leave.

Once more the gates of heaven opened and an even deeper voice spoke: „Eat this:“

The inhabitants of the settlement looked down the street to the entrance of the settlement and saw a long row of excavators and heavy caterpillars.

The inhabitants of the settlement did not leave.

And once more the gates opened, this time, however, not the gates of heaven, but of hell and a hum and crashing was to be heard.

The inhabitants of the settlement looked at their homes and saw:

The determined action of the building control authorities was widely approved within the village of GRUNEN. The regular development of their village was more important to most of the citizens of GRUNEN than the destiny of the people affected by the clearing action. Thus within short time the area of the former splinter settlement was used as planned:

Changing splinter development into agricultural zone

… and meanwhile in the building control authority … the head of the department ordered writing paper … expensive writing paper with a watermark on it: “imperare, vetare, punire” (order, forbid, punish). He settled back in his chair grinned and thought, he was the happiest man in the world.

That’s it for now. Please comment and stay tuned for further updates.

5 Responses to “Thou shalt not build here”

  1. Gorbag says:

    Brutal actions by the developers!

  2. Shilka says:

    Excellent work on the map!
    Quite a radical move on destroying those homes, but eh, it works right?

  3. Dr. Nikolaus Wilson says:

    Lecture of the head of the building control authority:

    “The law has to be applied in fact and spirit. Every paper for every case has to be filled out, stamped, signed and placed in the correct files.”

    One wants to add: “…even up to the point of silliness.”


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