Housing Block Essay
The first thing that you need to do is place roads. The example below contains a 58-tile loop (24 tiles x 7 tiles) and a 9-tile access road.
The loop doesn't have to be rectangular. Sometimes it is necessary to adapt the layout to accommodate the terrain. The shortest walk by the service providing structures limits the number of road tiles that can be in the loop. For Emperor, the shortest walk is 30 tiles by the Herbalist and Acupuncturist. When walkers reach their limit, they will take the shortest path (by road) back to the building that generated them. With a 58-tile loop, the shortest path is to complete the loop and thereby provide service to all of the houses in the block. If the loop is too large, the service walkers will reverse direction a leave the remainder of the block uncovered.
I want this Housing Block to be a very desirable neighborhood so that I can evolve the houses to Luxury Apartments (the highest level of common housing). To improve the desirability of the area, I chose to build Grand Ways over the roads in the loop. At this time, I also placed a Residential Gate to prevent my service walkers from leaving the block. I chose a Residential Gate instead of a Roadblock because I can set it "open" to allow access by Market Employees. It is a good idea to set the Gate as soon as you place it, so that you don't forget to change it later.
The disadvantage of using Grand Ways to increase the desirability of the area is that they have to be in place before you can add houses and support structures around the outer perimeter of the loop. This is a high initial expense, which can be a problem if money is short. A double row of Gardens will generate the same desirability as a Grand Way, and Gardens can be added later when the city is making a profit. The disadvantages of Gardens are that they take up more space and, in the long run, they will cost more than the Grand Ways.
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Emperor: Rise of the Middle Kingdom is a game by Breakaway Games and published by Sierra
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