The Quadrants

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16, -32.3363, 81.5051
The Quadrants
Area
 • Total0.51 km² km2
Population
 • Estimate (2017)31 341
 • Density61 452.94/km2


The Quadrants is a well-known neighborhood in the capital city of Wenesinia, Sanata. It covers roughly 0.51 km², directly to the west of the Central Street which serves as the "heart" of the city. With a population of about 31,341 people, The Quadrants is by far the most densely populated neighborhood or district in Wenesinia, and one of the most densely populated places on earth, with a density of roughly 60,000 people per km².


History

The Quadrants was originally built as part of the New Sanata project, envisioned and built between 1949 and 1958. The desire to build up Sanata as a modern, big city, led local and national leaders in Wenesinia to design a grid-based street layout in the area to the west of the old city. At the time, the area was sparsely populated by a number of farmsteads and small residential hamlets. The need to make space for a new Parliament building, led to the design of the Central Street, which is still a symbol of Wenesinia today, and the Mokoba Street, which took off directly west from the Parliament building, to the traditional Koawall Road, which runs along the western coastline of Sanata, up to Alami. These streets created a natural frame for what would become the new residential district in the city. The area north of Mokoba Street, would become the Kogba Business District, an area solely dedicated to commercial activity.

Initially, though the area was planned to become a middle income, high-density neighborhood with between 10-15,000 people, private contractors were very hesitant to build in the area, due to its lack of public recreation space. The public was also hesitant to move in, and by 1970, the population had only reached 4,000 people. In the 1970's, the government built more than 3,000 public housing apartments, intended for lower-income families, and students. The apartments soon filled up, and growth finally kicked off in the area, leading to an explosive population growth, and building frenzy for private contractors. By 1990, the population of The Quadrants had skyrocketed to 19,700 people, and by 2000, it had surpassed 26,000.

The primary demographic of the area soon became lower-middle income families, students, and a decent number of more well-off business individuals. This has led to worries that the area would become a ghetto, where crime could flourish due to the ease with which criminals could escape law-enforcement in the busy environment and narrow alleyways. Despite concerns, crime remains at about the same level as the rest of Sanata.

Reasons behind high population density

The reasons behind why The Quadrants is such a densely populated place are many, though among the most common explanations is the fact that the neighborhood is built on a strict grid-structure, with two lane roads and relatively narrow pedestrian paths that were designed as part of a plan to build a modern area in Sanata. This allows for a high density of buildings, as no parks, public squares, or other major open areas exist within the confines of the neighborhood.

The area was also designed to be exclusively a residential area, and although some shops and stores exist on the first floor of some buildings, the vast majority of the building mass is still utilized exclusively for residential apartments. The average building height in The Quadrants is 7 floors, or just over 20 meters. The vast majority of buildings fall between a height of 5 to 7 floors, but the average height is pulled up by a few notable buildings, which tower up to 100 meters over the pavements, as that is the current upper limit put on new constructions in the area.

Popular perception

In popular opinion, The Quadrants is often looked upon as a very gray, soulless place, with very few notable places to visit. The status of people who live there often depends highly on the building which they reside in. Publicly built blocks are often deemed to be populated by lower-income people, whilst some well-known buildings are almost synonymous with "higher living", both economically and literally. The area close to Chaouei Park is also considerably more expensive than the rest of the neighborhood.

The concept of "Quadrantphobia" or "Enclosed in Quadrants Syndrome" has become associated closely with the neighborhood. It involves the fear of walking through the streets of the Quadrants, and sometimes the fear of looking out of your window, only to see another building only a few meters from your apartment complex. It is closely associated with the fear of tight or enclosed spaces, claustrophobia. It is not thought that anyone actually has "Quadrantphobia", and the concept is considered a joke.

Though the neighborhood has not existed for many years, it has become a staple place in popular culture in Wenesinia. Several popular singers, writers, actors, and athletes have grown up or lived a number of years in The Quadrants. Songs such as "Q City" and "Place I'll take you to" both center around the area and its well-known characteristics. In 2009, an original play was done at the National Theater of Wenesinia that centered around a fictional neighborhood which closely, and intentionally looked like The Quadrants. The play was a major success, and has been brought to several other theaters in the nation, as well as being revived in 2015 at the original theater.

Public transportation

The subway stop situated by Chaouei Park is named Quadrants Stop, and is the primary subway station for the area. The stop is the first on Line 1 after the Sanata Main Station, only a few hundred meters after the beginning of the line. Despite this, the stop is among the most used in the Sanata Subway System, and the short trip from the Quadrants stop to the Kogba Stop is used by more than 40,000 people (many people are counted twice due to taking the line both ways) every day. The stop is also the closest subway station to the Koawall Shopping Avenue, and most of the Koawall Beach, south of Payaposol. This makes it a popular stop for tourists and beach-goers, and street-performers can frequently be seen and heard in and around the station.

Other subway stops that serve the area include the Central Street Stop to the east, and the Sanata Main Station itself.

The residents of The Quadrants are among the best in Wenesinia at using public transportation, in large part due to their central location, close to both the main station for the city subway, and the main bus station, just next to the main station. Parking of personal vehicles within the Quadrants is severely limited, as only underground parking garages are permitted for long-term parking. The construction of these garages is also limited, due to the costs and technical challenges of building them. Wenesinia's largest car-parking facility, the Sanata Center Parking House, is located directly north of The Quadrants, allowing some residents and visitors the option to park here.

Only an estimated 29% of households in The Quadrants have access to a private car, though the existence of many car-sharing apps in Wenesinia, allows many people the ability to simply rent a car when needed. In a poll from 2012, 62% of working people in The Quadrants reported taking the subway or bus to work daily, whereas 32% reported using a car to get to their place of employment. 6% claimed to walk every day. Over 75% of the respondents had taken the subway or a bus in the last week, about 82% in the last month, and at least 90% in the last year. Though similar numbers are hard to find in many other neighborhoods and cities in the nation, these percentages are thought to be among the highest in Wenesinia.