World Building: The ECILAL

We introduced the ECILAL back in this post, and it has since become the expected default play area. The Easel, as residents tend to refer to it, grew out of my research into Megacities, megaregions, and feral cities.

For those of you unfamiliar with these terms:

  • Megacity: An urban area that exceeds 10 million residents.
  • Megaregion: A chain of roughly adjacent metropolitan areas joined by urban sprawl.
  • Feral City: A failed or failing metropolis, where anarchy rules and strength is the only power.

They say that writers should start with writing what they know, and since I live in a dystopoic nightmare-future of surveillance and conspiracy… I mean, on the east coast of the United States… the world of Glass Shadows finds its home there as well.

The east coast today is home to three separate megaregions: The northeast megaregion, which runs from Boston down to Washington, DC, the Piedmont Atlantic megaregion, which runs from Raleigh down to Birmingham, and the Florida megaregion, which covers pretty much all of Florida.  The Great Lakes megaregion is generally considered to be in the Mid-west, but even today, it has almost started to overlap with the Northeast.

While designing the ECILAL, I tried to extrapolate how the entire region might grow without the restrictions of zoning laws or environmental regulations. Starting today reaching forward nearly a century to the world of Glass Shadows, I could see leaves of urban expansion stretching out form the branches of the highway and interstates. It was easy to see the sprawl continuing to expand until these megaregions met up. Throw in a few Arcologies (Hello, Manhattan! Hi Detroit!), and corporate protectorates (Good morning, Harmony Heights!) in heavily populated areas, and you have the ECILAL.

Looking at current events and the trajectory of Detroit, in Glass Shadows it continued its slide into a feral city. Detroit is now a wasteland of city ruins with a single corporate Arcology giving those outside its walls the finger. The residents who could not flee in the wake of the collapse remained. Ruled by violent gangs, the area is in a constant state of flux.  As the megacorporations begin to move into the area to try and “mine” it for recoverable materials, brush wars erupt between poorly armed insurgent-style gang-bangers, and corporate security with heavy, military grade equipment.

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