Of Late I Think of Crafers
Today we will be taking a trip into the wild interior of Vodeo, to a place where coffee houses are rarer and hipsters are not to be seen. Those of you with a nervous disposition are not advised to travel west on the A34, because today, we will be paying a visit to Crafers.
Crafers is an old city in terms of my geofiction. Named for Crafers, South Australia, it was originally a regional city halfway between Avington and Saviso. However, I had never really got around to properly mapping it - there was a river, a couple of highways, and a bypass motorway to the west. I could picture the city in my head, but had never got around to making a proper map (I'd started on a few, but never finished them).
After having worked on Saviso for a while, I felt like something different. Pawl and I had been discussing Cambrian history, and so to cement the province's Tircambrian roots, I added the city of Brynderwyn (although that's a story for another day). I'd made a start on Brynderwyn, but I wasn't quite feeling it. I like how the city looks, but it just didn't feel like this was Brynderwyn Time. So what else could I work on? I sorted out Radern's ridiculous street layout, but it wasn't Radern Time either. So where would I map?
I noticed little Crafers sitting out there in on its own with a couple of roads running through it. Poor little Crafers, I thought, maybe I should put a few roads down. Then a few more. Maybe a suburb. A railway station for good luck. Before I knew it, Crafers was growing nicely. Initially, I'd envisaged Crafers as being comparable to Bendigo or Ballarat in Victoria, Australia - that is, a population of somewhere between 80,000 and 100,000. But as I pictured a satellite view of the city, I realised that something more like Whangarei, New Zealand (52,000) would be a better fit.
Crafers is heavily inspired by the cities of Whangarei and Albury, New South Wales, as well as original ideas that I had for the city years ago. Whereas Whangarei is a long, thin city wedged in between hills and a harbour, Crafers sits in a gentler river valley, and so it can spread further out. The suburbs of Stoern, Dankworth, North End, Riverside, and Hicorang are all inspired by some of the Whangarei suburbs (and that's how Hicorang got its name, as a slight re-imagining of Hikurangi); the suburbs around the Kerr, Banner, and Redcombe Hills are based on western Albury, because plonking down three large hills is a good way of filling in space when you don't know what else to do. Dunedin and Tauranga were also the basis of some of the southern suburbs, particularly Plume Hill, Tranrike, and Janori; and just for variety, I even consulted a map of Kingston, Jamaica to give me ideas for building around Redcombe Hill. Let it not be said that I don't do my research.
As for where Crafers slots into the bigger picture, it sits rather nicely on two main highways: the M31 that forms part of the Avington-Silverton corridor, and the A21/A34 Endorie-Holme corridor. Because of this, the city had to be bypassed north-south, but traffic heading to Holme or Endorie still has to wind its way through the streets, causing one almighty traffic jam. I like seeing roads under construction on maps, so why not have one of those? By 2022 the city will have a nice bypass to the south, meaning nobody will need to drive through the city, and Crafers
will suffer a slow death can have its streets back. Once that happens, the A21 and A34 will meet at the Crafers Valley Freeway at Parkers Creek, the present stretch of the A34 through the city will be returned to the council, and the C322 will still be gridlocked over the Albert Street bridge.
When it comes to the city's economy, I'm still deciding. As a regional centre, it has the large farming region of western Cambria to support it, but it also needs to have something of its own. A brewery is a good place to start, since the city's almost bang on the equator and the summers can be hot and humid, but it's not quite enough. Anyone have any ideas with which to prop up the Crafers economy? There's a bottle of Trident Stout in it for you.
Where to from here
Crafers must expand! Sprawl! Consume! My idea for Crafers is that it was a small country town up until the population boom of the 1940s-60s, when it began to stretch out towards Stoern and Vinegar Hill. After a bit of a lull in the '80s and '90s, the city is growing again at astonishing speed, and new suburbs are having to be added. Horse Hill and Parkers Creek are under construction and others will be marked as planned or under construction, but elsewhere the city is going to boom. Hicorang and Helensvale are small commuter towns now, but I'm planning on expanding them greatly, as well as building up on the flat land east of the Crafers and Halls Rivers. Myrcia might have to put the brakes on, but in Crafers it's full steam ahead (mainly because Federal wants development and the Liberals want taxes). This is partly a reflection of the fact that Whangarei, Tauranga, and Albury have a lot of newer development, and with the big coastal cities bursting at the seams, Crafers is looking pretty attractive these days.
With the general shape of Crafers pretty much sorted and the main work on the city nearly done for now, I plan on working on the towns of Helensvale, Canterbury, Trunmarn, and Linnister as a way to start forming the larger Crafers Valley region. Point of interest: Helensvale is based on Helensville, north-west of Auckland, although the real-world town isn't sixty kilometres from the coast. I'll also have to extend the A21 west towards the Cambrian-Prihor border and Endorie, and the A34 east towards Cockburn and Holme. Crafers might just become one of Vodeo's nicer cities.
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Crafers looks nice! The only thing I'm just not feeling is that railway curve near Gordon street, it's just too sharp to function. And this is totally random, but maybe you could 'spice up' the local economy by adding some dairy industry? Lactose is always fun. Now where's my Trident Stout? --Eklas (talk) 07:43, 18 April 2017 (CEST)