Here are the things I’ve added recently building The Habitats.
North of the Central Library is the most densely populated section of the city. Twelve distinct neighbourhoods, known collectively as The Habitats, are prominent in this area and each has notable architectural and cultural features.
Smaller neighbourhoods exist between the larger ones, and can blend aspects of the more extensively planned neighbourhoods. Within The Habitats there are primarily mixed-use developments, but some pockets are exclusively residential.
The Habitat Line
The Habitat Line connects from The Commons Station to a loop through the twelve large neighborhoods of The Habitats, with a stop in each before returning to the station. This line travels only on raised tracks, allowing for reliable service and renowned views of the extraordinary architecture it passes. One remarkable section of track passes through a gigantic tree that has been magically altered to allow passage.
The Paths of Rest & Motion
Paths that accommodate pedestrians, cyclists and other active transportation connect the neighbourhoods of The Habitats. These paths serve as a cemetery, with walls to either side holding cremated remains.
Goblins of this city traditionally hold cremation ceremonies before interring remains in stone boxes, and the walls along the paths were designed to accommodate the standard boxes, which are often decorated as memorials.
Solar lanterns line the paths to light them at night and benches are spaced throughout. Playgrounds, skate parks, small parks and other recreational spaces often line the paths.
The Treehome Neighbourhood
North of the Central Library is a forest of uncannily large trees. These oaks have been shaped by magic to hold homes and other spaces. Living bridges connect trees and woodshaped ramps allow for access to the ground. Magical lifting vines are used to accommodate people and goods that are unable to use the ramps.
Elven immigrants founded the neighbourhood, but now it is one of the most diverse in the city. Artists of many disciplines are known to work in the canopy of the Treehome, where lighting is cherished.
Mushrooms are grown in great quantities in this area, and an autumn festival is held each year to celebrate a harvest.
North of Treehome is a large hill filled with earth bermed homes. These homes often don’t resemble traditional goblin homes except that they are built into the earth. This neighborhood has some very old homes, dug into the hill centuries ago, but even those have typical conveniences like electricity, fiber optic internet, civic water supply, and sewer connections.
Homes in the Earthworks are often passed down through generations and in this neighborhood there are plenty of storytellers who are itching to share family histories from porches.
Historical markers and statues of legendary goblins can be spotted along the hillside, usually accessible by the road that corkscrews up the hill. At the top of the hill is a monument to the city’s founder, featuring a golden statue of that winged goblin, Sukaar.
East of both Treehome and Earthworks are The Cubes, an exceptionally dense complex of cubic dwellings. Arranged to allow natural light for most home cubes, the structure has been compared to a pixelated mountain.
Cubes are usually single family dwellings, but internal halls allow for easy access to other cubes, so extended families often cluster a few cubes together to live closely. Communal kitchens, gaming areas, gyms, small libraries, daycares, and pools can be found in inner cubes. Dwelling cubes have balconies that often hold potted gardens.
The Towers District
West of Treehome and Earthworks is The Towers District, a dense area of skyscrapers of a disorienting range of architectural styles.
Originally developed by magic users making increasingly elaborate and lofty wizard’s towers, the district grew more and more crowded as technologies for constructing tall buildings improved. Many skyscrapers are topped with traditional stone and mortar towers favoured by the oldest wizards.
The current tallest tower is the home of the goblin wizard Procs, who always wears a robe of black and silver. His tower reflects his personal style, with a black surface decorated with silver accents.
Each tower in this district is home to at least one magic user, and communities are formed around particular magical interests within each tower.
The Brutalist Bouquet
The Brutalist Bouquet stretches across the northern edges of Earthworks, The Cubes, and The Towers District. The large concrete buildings that form the neighbourhood were once unadorned and formed a monochrome landscape of bewildering geometric shapes.
A movement was made to reinvigorate the impressive structures through widespread flower gardens, including massive vertical displays. Now the contrast of the flowers and concrete have attracted a thriving community.
Notable goblin gardener Eagdirx helped to lead the movement to bring colour to the neighbourhood and remains a leading elder voice in shaping new gardening projects. Her close ties to activists throughout the city make her one of the most influential people in the city.
Northwest of The Brutalist Bouquet is an area of the city with homes made from unpoppable magical bubbles. The bubbles vary in size and appear much like soap bubbles but can have altered opacity by magical command. Magic users can quickly add or subtract bubbles to structures, so the neighbourhood has become attractive to newcomers looking for their first home in the city and visitors seeking temporary lodging.
Floating bubbles are frequently used for transportation and are known for their safety and comfort. Pilots with magical proficiency are employed for complicated routes but most bubbles for transportation have automated routes and routines.
Passing through any bubble can be allowed by mental commands of people attuned with the bubble and attunement is regulated by residents of home bubbles. Public spaces typically are enclosed in bubbles with universal access.
North of The Brutalist Bouquet appears to be a large nature park with a lake and forested expanses. Those who know where to look will find entrances to an underground neighborhood. The Underground is home to many people who prefer lower light exposure, and it’s not uncommon to find dwarves, gnomes, goblins and antfolk working, playing and living together.
The Underground initially was developed as a mine in the distant past but has now been made into a comfortable and safe place to live. Access to the water and sewer systems of the surrounding city makes it a hub for workers on those systems.
The Featherfall Lake and the forest above are actively used for recreation by many in the city. Boat races are popular events that happen frequently.
The Quiet Neighbourhood
East of The Underground is The Quiet Neighbourhood, a community where a social pact is in place to limit loud noises, visual stimuli, other sensory disruptions, and disruptive magical and psychic activity throughout the day. Founded as an enclave for telepaths and empaths to have a refuge in the crowded city, it welcomes others who have sensory needs.
Soundproofing, gentle lighting, clutter-free spaces and ample seating are typical of homes in this part of the city.
The train stop for The Quiet Neighbourhood is approached by a raised track at a reduced speed in order to limit noise from transportation.
The Roost Cliffs
North of The Underground is a high cliff with tall, narrow structures built into it. Many flying people have made the cliffs home, with birdfolk, fairies and magic users most often found in this vertical community. Care has been taken to include elevators to allow access to people who can’t fly.
Elaborate vertical flower gardens can be seen on many homes and a festival that includes a garden competition is held each Summer.
Visitors to the cliffs are often attracted to balloon rides that allow visitors to experience the views of most residents.
The Winter Plateau
Above The Roost Cliffs is a plateau that is kept in perpetual magic winter. Homes are built to be cozy for folks who are not well suited to exposure to the cold, but many residents of the plateau prefer the cold weather and make homes that take advantage of ice and snow.
Winter sports and activities can be practiced on the plateau year-round, and ski hills, skating rinks and snowshoe trails are popular spaces.
The Old Town Neighbourhood
Wrapping around the eastern, northern, and western edges of the plateau, The Old Town Neighbourhood is filled with preserved buildings and those designed to fit with the aesthetics of buildings that were built centuries ago. Renovations for accessibility have been done for most buildings.
The goblin history in this neighbourhood goes back beyond recorded history, and some families have lived in the same homes for generations. Some now-playful family rivalries play out in games held in Old Town Square, the central gathering point.