Appearance: New NuOrleans is a futuristic floating city. The city is composed of hundreds of interlocked floating panels, each the size of a football field. The layout is spacious with open lanes and many parks and boulevards. All traffic is either foot or bicycle, or done by public transit busses. The city recalls the glory days of the Big Easy, and has a great deal of old French architecture and wrought iron ornamental gates are common, the same goes for two and three story Creole type houses. Cypress, magnolia, and weeping willow trees are also found throughout the city. The interior is very much old style buildings, while the commercial districts ring the outside of the two mile wide raft. The outer most section of the city is the Port Perimeter, and it is where mercantile trading goes on, as well as serving as home base for the fleets of fishing ships, tenders for the fisheries, and seaweed harvesting operations go on. Walking from the Port Perimeter down to Old Metairie is like talking a walk from the 21st century back into the 18th.
The Free city of New NuOrleans is a trade city that moves about freely in the Caribbean Sea, and is a haven for travelers and merchants doing business between the Atlantic Federation and Amazonia. It is a popular tourist location, and is inconvenient enough that little contraband material is moved through it. Aside from trade, the city exports seafood, both fresh and processed and is known for its coffee, pastries and its maintaining of the Mardi Gras festivals. This has carried the Free city a great deal of profit as Old NuOrleans long ago dropped the traditions as the old city gave way to the triple arcological complex of today.
Not everything in New NuOrleans is beneits and coffee. The city requires a great deal of maintenance to keep its floating structure intact. The movement of the city is also ponderously slow and it maintains relations with the various island nations in the area so it has places to shelter during the worst of the hurricanes come through. There is also a vein of vice and perversion associated with the city and its residents. Unlike the Atlantic Federation, the city has loose drug laws, and prostitution is legal.
History: As the Petroleum Era came to a close, and the nations of the world either merged into the new superpower blocs or faded, some places fought to keep their heritages and cultures alive. The emergence of the arcology revived the economies of the world, but it did so by erasing the hearts of old cities, replacing colorful vibrant cultures with their own electric presences. Old New Orleans was one such city that was forced to embrace the arcology, building at first a pair of smaller models, and then building a third larger arco and connecting all three into one of the older arco-plexes. This ended the centuries old traditions of Mardi Gras parades and the cultural tradition of living close to the water and the things that lived in it. Instead of cajun creole food, the arco residents ate flavored mycoprotein meat substitutes and processed food. Many fled the old city and enough came together that a Raft City was built. They followed the model of the Asian raft cities, New Hong Kong, New Taiwan, and Tokyo II.
The raft city rejected the vertical life of the arco in favor of a nomadic life living on the ocean, farming it for fish and seaweed, taking and giving back. The residents rejected the Puritanism of the Atlantic Federation, and revived both the original French culture, and the patois Cajun Creole culture of the old city. As much effort was put into appearances as was self sufficiency and maintenance. As such, the city is a floating jewel in the Caribbean Sea.
But with good comes bad, the Port Perimeter unwillingly and unknowingly plays host to a large number of small innocent looking pirate skiffs and boats. An unknown number of the fishing ships and small trading ships are actually well armed pirate ships that prey on traffic in the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean. There are rumors of kidnapping and sex slaves being bought and sold at midnight auctions on the docks, between the shrimp and fish trawlers. There is also a vibrant drug culture in the city, ranging from recreational use drugs to serious hard drug use pushed through the lower decks of the city where the poorest of the poor live in shanties built in now unused ship hangars.
Laissez les bon temps rouler!
New NuOrleans is the new Big Easy. Despite the troubles of the world the wine is still flowing here, and the people are friendly, and the pastry and the coffee is hot. Don't trouble nobody and they won't trouble you.
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? Responses (7)
Nice description, but when I read 'floating city', my first thought was a New Venice or Amsterdam. Something to do next?
This is an evocative post - the idea of a floating raft city is a cool one, and there are some interesting ideas (the mention of the city taking shelter during a hurricane particularly intrigues me). Adding floating raft city to already interesting New Orleans is bound to make for potential.
My problem with it is that I want more. You say it maintains relations with island nations, but how? Exporting food, cessation of pirate attacks, monetary support to corrupt dictators? What are the logistics of a raft city like? Are there people who have to dive down and scrape barnacles off of the bottom? Does the city have big desalinization plants, or does it depend on rain or trade for water? There should be something interesting in all this stuff?
I guess, overall, there's enough here for players to hear about, or pass through, but not enough to include it as the major locale that the text implies it should be.
I am working with a new format of brevity, I have too many posts go into Development Hell because they become too long and cumbersome. I could have gone into detail about how the individual segments of the raft city are constructed, and how it uses this flexibility and mass to negate the natural movement of the ocean. But that is long, dry, tedious writing. If it was tedious to write, chances are its tedious to read.
While it is good to leave the reader wanting more, it is also good to answer questions. It maintains good relations with the Caribbean nations through a mix of economics (problem nations don't get traffic from the city, or their ships are not allowed to dock), providing supplies to the city (agriculture is limited to sea-farming, so the locals like to import sugar, and other bulky to produce goods). The maintenance crew would work to limit the amount of marine growth on the bottom of the raft, this is likely a full time job for divers in underwater work suits (aquatic power armor without weaponry). Water is provided by a large desalinization plant or a network of small plants, as well as a good recycling system (though it wont be nearly as efficient as a fully enclosed arcology) but the locals are pragmatic people, and collecting rain, and getting water from merchants when its dry (or they want good trade relations).
Compared to the megacities and arcoplexes and arcocities, New NuOrleans isn't that large, or important. But, there is more coming. I originally thought about shoehorning this into a 30 sub of future cities, but instead decided to use the short format for the more interesting ones.
Hope that answers some questions
Another excellent piece, Scras. The only question I have is what powers the whole thing? This sounds like it was created before the Second Renaissance and it's (fusion?) technology. Your arcology sub tells me that it probably has a series of small power plants, but not what fuel those plants use in an age with no petroleum. Ocean thermal energy conversion would seem to be a pretty good fit for this particular city, but I'm interested to hear what you envisioned when writing it.
I would say a variegated mix of power sources: several small fusion power stations, combined with solar and tidal/thermal like you described. I am seeing the larger internal blocks, the core of the city, housing small fusion reactors, likely the size/scale of a a large vehicle would use, or possibly banks of these smaller power plants wired together.
A great place for a meeting a contact, or having a crazy chase scene between the buildings and avoiding going in the drink.