Colonia Nova Proposal

COLONIA NOVA: NEUALTENBURG IN TOGAS

Colonia Nova Map

Proposed layout of Colonia Nova 

When planning a new sim, one of the first decisions that must be made is whether or not to pursue a specific theme. Three options presented themselves:

o Create an unthemed expansion
o Retain the theme of Neualtenburg
o Introduce a new theme

We have chosen the third option. It is our belief that the experience of Neualtenburg has proven that theming a sim has many advantages. First and foremost, it reinforces the iconic status of the sim. Giving the sim a theme automatically provides it with a story, an atmosphere, and an appeal beyond what the traditional residential sims can offer. A theme can serve as a unifying factor in bringing together residents from diverse backgrounds under a common cultural identity.

It is our belief that the common theme of Neualtenburg has, in fact, been a distinct advantage to the community in providing a shared cultural frame of reference for its citizens, in contrast to the fragmentation of interests and references that characterizes the main grid. In Neualtenburg, your neighbors may very well have diverse interests and aspirations, but everybody knows about the chicken hat. Nonetheless, we have chosen to depart from the medieval Bavarian theme. This is not because we think it is weak or that it has no appeal, but rather that we feel Neualtenburg will appeal more widely as a community to prospective residents if we are able to offer two separate yet related experiences for citizens to choose from.

The Colonia Novia project aims to reproduce the experience of living in or around a planned Roman city at the height of the Roman Empire. More specifically, we have chosen Colonia Agrippina, moden day cologne, as our source of inspiration. Recreated as it was in 120 AD – when the Roman Empire had reached its height in nearly every measurable sense – it will represent the awesome power of Rome, as well as the unique, vibrant atmosphere of a colonial city often referred to as “the Roma of the North”. Indeed, Colonia Nova is the perfect way to expand the theme of Neualtenburg. It shares both its Germanic origins and its superb, organized approach to government in common with it.

GOVERNMENT AND COLONIA NOVA: THE PRAETOR

We believe that the approach to government in Neualtenburg has proven itself stable enough to be used as a basis for expansion. While we acknowledge that a new sim might be a good opportunity to experiment with new, alternative forms of government, we feel that a new sim is an investment of such a magnitude that it is not prudent to risk an invaluable asset: the stability and peace of mind provided by a society based on democracy and the rule of law.

We propose that a position of Praetor be created for the new sim and that the person holding it be granted office in the public Praetorium, which is included in our plans. The Praetor will de facto be an extension of the Guild in the sense that he or she will be charged with upholding the covenants in the Colonia Nova sim. The Praetor may, for this purpose, decide to institute a council, if so desired. These advisors, or “comites”, were an essential part of provincial government. The Praetor position can potentially take on further responsibilities as the sim develops.

In all other aspects of policy, we recommend that the current institutions of government be expanded to cover the new sim.

BUILDING THE CITY: WHO STACKS THE BRICKS? WHO PAYS?

We have proposed a sim comprised of a Roman-themed urban concentration and a layer of zones outside of the city on opposing sides of a river. The sim also contains a large public building (an amphitheatre) outside of the city walls.

It is our proposal that, as with Neualtenburg, all structures inside the city walls be created prior to or at the same time as the sim is being made available for residents to move into. We cannot rely solely on the new residents to create the kind of buildings that are needed to give the sim its Roman theme. Rather, we need a beacon – as provided by the urban concentration and the amphitheatre – and a few templates and textures for residential and commercial pre-fabs to get new citizens lacking building skills started easily. All of this has to be built by somebody.

As the experience of Neualtenburg demonstrates, it is important to establish a formal agreement with all who produce buildings for the city. We therefore recommend that a contract be drawn up, specifying the terms and conditions under which the artisans involved perform their work for Neualtenburg.

The question remains, however, of what incentives can be established to attract prominent and skillful builders to perform work for Neualtenburg. Cash payment is usually recognized as the most agreeable form of incentive. It is the belief of the project team, however, that the expenses incurred in paying all builders market prices for their contributions will make the sim prohibitively expensive. It is therefore encouraged that other avenues of incentives be pursued in order to entice prospective builders to contribute. Issuing bonds in the new sim might be an option, as drawing on the general goodwill experienced by Neualtenburg in the builders’ community might be as well.

PUBLIC vs COMMERCIAL LAND

The new sim is required to be allocated in zones of public, commercial and residential land according to a 10 / 40 / 50 percent distribution scheme.

It has come to the attention of the project team that this distribution is quite different from the one currently used by Neualtenburg. Specifically, the public share of land is less than a third of what it is presently in that sim. Furthermore, the share of commercial land is equally significantly higher than that of Neualtenburg.

In order to be able to furnish the sim with certain vital public amenities such as roads, a river, a city wall, and in order to be able to exert some control with the Roman theme of the city, we have decided to apply a broad interpretation of what criteria constitutes sufficient grounds for labeling land as being “commercial” in nature. Specifically, we have taken the following measures:

City walls, roads and rivers are considered to be commercial, since they will be used as prim pools (like P280 in Neualtenburg) that can be sold to citizens under a specific covenant requiring, for instance, that structures already in place on the lot not be removed and that the waterways be kept clear.

Furthermore, we consider ‘”institutions” such as the MoCA and the School in Neualtenburg to also count toward fulfilling the 40% commercial land requirement. In Colonia Nova, an institution will be a plot – typically in the city – that has a unique, existing building on it that is intended for a specific purpose. For example, we propose that a building be established in Colonia Nova to house Thermae, i.e. Roman baths. This building should be designed as part of the initial establishment of the sim and be included as a part of the parcel that then goes on sale with the stipulation that the building stays intact and that the owner undertake a commercial enterprise broadly centered around the concept of the Roman bath, offering products and services that are derived from that theme. We see this concept as providing instant business concepts as franchises to prospective residents who may want to try their skills at a commercial venture, but for whom the task of creating buildings, refining business concepts and performing the daily operations of running a business can seem a bit daunting. It is our belief that we have found a concept that will contribute beneficially toward lowering the threshold for when a citizen can engage in commercial activity in Neualtenburg.

Specifically, the following structures are designated as being commercial under the scheme described in the above:

– (Insert list of proposed “institutions)

BUYING LAND IN COLONIA NOVA

<Insert here the calculations to establish pricing>

COVENANTS AND ZONING

We propose that Colonia Nova use a more differentiated system of zoning and covenants than Neualtenburg. This will help us offer land in many different configurations to suit a broader range of prospective residents. We suggest that land and covenants be differentiated according to the following parameters:

– Category, i.e. “Residential” or “Commercial”
– Geographical location, i.e. inside or outside of the city walls, north or south of the river
– Special provisions: i.e. does it house an “institution”? Is it a prim pool or not?
– Sky box or not. We have chosen to classify some land that was originally meant to be residential as commercial. The reason for this is that the commercial classification will enable the owner to install a skybox on his property at an altitude of 400m or higher. This will cater toward the category of small-time builders and designers, who primarily want their land to be a residential space but would appreciate the opportunity to conduct “commercial” activity in a skybox above their land.

CREATING LIFE IN COLONIA NOVA

Various games: The Romans enjoyed an unparalleled quality of life, one that was influenced by the thousands of different cultures that the Empire had come into contact with by the time it had reached its apex. The Romans were particularly fond of games – modern games like chess (Latrunculi) and Tic-Tac-Toe (Terni Lapilli) trace their origins back to Roman times. It was also not uncommon for Romans to play games adopted from far-away cultures, such as Senet, an Egyptian board game. One particularly lucrative draw would be Imperium, a strategy game not unlike modern-day RISK that is highly competitive yet relatively easy to learn.

Without question, however, the most well known and romanticized of all games in Roman society were violent ones. Gladiator matches grew in popularity throughout the golden years of the Empire, far exceeding the modern equivalence of any sport. Not only would Gladiator matches, held at the amphitheatre included in this proposal, provide an expected and therefore necessary element of Roman culture, but, if used appropriately, could add a very popular and enjoyable asset to the sim itself.

The possibilities for other forms of entertainment are virtually endless. Colonia Nova will attract many residents simply because it offers an authentic, historically accurate environment. The amphitheatre will likely be a prime spot for hosting discussion groups and other events, and things like role-playing may be well suited to the sim as well.

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Published on October 10, 2006 at 9:19 am  Comments (1)  

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