This is the last chapter of my narrative Cities: Skylines series about Springwood in where a very ambitious plan goes terribly, terribly wrong.

Not too long ago (all right, it’s been nearly two months, but getting things through the grinder takes a lot of time these days), your favorite Finnish developer Colossal Order released yet another DLC for their popular city builder Cities: Skylines.

To celebrate the new expansion, I decided to add a nice campus area in Springwood. Unfortunately, nothing went according to plan.

July, 2026.

From the mayor’s journal:

A salesman stopped by the city hall today. He offered blueprints for a public library, campus buildings, faculty buildings, and new sports arenas! Interestingly enough, even though everything was brand new, he offered us a 50% discount. We suspected the salesman was either drunk, high, or insane (or all of the above), but we still took advantage of the offer. Just a few minutes later, he came to his senses, and increased the price, but by then it was too late.

The blueprint package also contained two brand new radio stations, Deep Focus and Campus Radio. The former is great for studying, the latter great for whatever happens in between. Say no more, say no more.

But before we get on with that, we have to solve a growing traffic problem. The subway did get some of the cars off the road, and the bus lines save us a lot of car trips, but it’s still too much traffic!

The first thing we’ll do is to redesign some of the bus lines. Many of them use the same stops, but there’s only room for one bus. Then we’ll expand our successful metro network with another two stations, one in the Valley Square, and one in East side of Hickory Park, our commercial district. I’m beginning to think we could benefit from mixing commercial and residential a little, so that people don’t have to go that far to get their groceries.

The current team working on traffic is terribly limited, so we have acquired the help of a traffic manager! Also, we’re getting a bit tired of bulldozing abandoned buildings, so we’ve hired consultants to do this automatically.

September, 2026.

People are getting sick, and it looks like the city lacking a bit of health care. We currently have 700K in the bank, so we could go for a hospital. But we don’t really need the 500 patient capacity it provides, and instead we build a medical clinic. Right next to the cemetery.

The traffic is still a mess, even after we redesigned our bus lines, and upgraded the metro. We have to think differently! To prevent people from having to go long distances with anything that need a road, we’re going to try to mix residential, commercial, and IT areas. We also made our current commercial district, Hickory Park, specialism in organic and local produce, which made about 99% of the businesses close down.

Whopsie.

With that, we had a minor setback to the economy, as a lot of citizens lost their jobs, and most of the city’s stores closed down. That made it hard for everyone to purchase, well, anything. In turn, our IT industry crashed, as there wasn’t enough people to buy their bits and bytes. We did solve much of the traffic problem, however, since there was nothing to drive to anymore.

Even with 1/3 of the city’s buildings gone, we – for some very, very mysterious reason, started to experience blackouts, and had to shell out 80K for a third solar power plant.

Aerial photo from Cities Skylines showing a gridlock caused by buses lining up at a crowded bus stop.
“Cities Skylines: Bus Troubles.” New DLC coming soon.

January, 2027.

We’ve solved the solar power plant mystery. It turns out this particular power plant design is depending on the sun to work efficiently, and the last months has been particularly bad in terms of The Sun. So bad, in fact, we’ve had to buy a fourth solar power plant.

A thunderstorm with severity of 4.7 is heading our way. Exactly how severe 4.7 is, none of the meteorologist could tell. Once again, we have no emergency shelters, so this will get interesting.

The thunderstorm came, and ignited a few fires across town. Our Institute of Creative arts is ablaze! The students are dancing their entire rain dance curriculum, but to no avail. Hopefully the fire brigade can save the school. At least they won’t get stuck in traffic.

Springwood only has 12 firetrucks available, which is plenty on a normal day. Today, however is not normal. To cope with the fires raging across our beloved Springwood, the city council has voted to build a fire station, adding another 25 fire engines to the city.

The Springwood Institute of Creative on fire after a severe thunder storm.
The Springwood Institute of Creative on fire after a severe thunder storm.

July, 2027.

When it rains, it pours (obviously). Just as the last fire from the thunder storm has been extinguished, a massive earthquake hits! It tears through Valley Square, leaving scores dead and even more trapped in the rubble.

Many of the roads between the new fire station and Valley Square are damaged, and the fire trucks are just lining up outside the disaster area. The de- and re-zoning of many of our districts has led a few people to leave, the earthquake was the straw that broke the camel’s back.

People are living Springwood en masse. I’m not sure if we’ll be able to salvage this – and we haven’t even started to work on the campus we wanted to build.

The aftermath of the 2027 earthquake. Collapsed buildings, destroyed roads, and a rescue helicopter hovering in the background.
Aftermath of the 2027 earthquake.

The End.

After having watched many hours of instructional videos about city planning, I’ve come to realize that Springwood will never become the utopia we hoped it would be. I’ve decided to do the only right thing. The city council is gathering tonight to sacrifice a goat to the old gods, and unleash the forces of mother nature on Springwood. This pool of sin – organic as it might be – needs to be destroyed!

Our goat sacrifice pleased the gods, and they sent plenty of earth quakes, meteorites, forest fires, thunder storms, and other nasty business our way. Most of the city is now gone, with only about 200 citizens still clinging to their homes. There are rumors going around they are trying to start some sort of doomsday cult.

Let them have it their way. I’m off to start from scratch again somewhere else.

Aerial photo of Springwood. Craters, burned down forests, and general destruction.
Bye, bye, Springwood.