by Max Barry

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The Ecumenopolis of
Compulsory Consumerist State

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The Ecumenopolis of Luxcentra

The Ecumenopolis of Luxcentra

LinkNational Theme
Lacking an anthem, the planet uses a national theme, which is generally used for commercial purposes.


Somewhere, in a quiet part of the galaxy, orbiting a quiet little orange star in a triple star system with a red dwarf and unusually quiet black hole, there is a not so quiet place.

The 6th planet from its star, this bustling center of enterprise and entertainment and home to 98 Trillion, sits on a speedy 160-day orbit. There's a hustle here that one can't find anywhere else. Captains of industry, laborers, salarymen, shop owners: people from every walk of life. They all commute and work and live together. Even the schoolchildren walk as if they're in a hurry. Digital amenities permeate this society, the bars and restaurants more numerous than grains of sand on the Earth's beaches. There are only 18 hours a day to get things done here. Time is so precious that, barring some technological and physical limitations, it could almost be used for currency. Certainly, some have even gone into monetary debt for wasting others' time. Nowhere on its entire surface is there a natural forest. There are no jungles, no oceans, no rivers. All water is gathered off-planet or from within the planetary mantle, cooled off for use, before being "recycled" back into the mantle. The heat energy produced by this place is so strong that it has become an island of habitability outside the habitable zone. Its leaders have decided to redirect it and power a planetary energy shield. Surface heat is dispersed into a chasm hundreds of miles wide and thousands of miles long and tens of miles deep, where the heat energy is redirected as power for the shield.

This is the planet-wide city. This is Luxcentra.

Luxcentra is an ecumenopolis, a planet-wide city, in the Luxeran System. It boasts average densities similar to that of the now ancient Kowloon Walled City, a long-demolished illegal property just outside of Hong Kong, and formerly the most densely populated place on Earth. The planet is home to 98 trillion souls and a premier center of innovation and business within the galaxy or, at least, it aims to be. Replace the industrial areas with housing, and there is housing capacity for 140 Trillion people.

The planet is dependent on a wide network of icy bodies and inner habitable planets for sustainability and food. Major networks of space freighters bring 281 Billion tons of food onto the planet every day. The demands are so high that even habitable planets orbiting the red dwarf (Luxera A) within the system have been colonized and essentially mandated for agricultural use only. Food grown on Luxcentra are housed in 100-story arcologies, with redirected urban heat used as an alternative to sunlight.

Ambitious, time-driven and classy, the people of Luxcentra are highly sophisticated. They must be, as those who don't learn the mindset end up dwelling in the 2nd tier of the planet, their only source of sunlight an occasional mile long atrium. The good news is that so long as you live below your means, you can work yourself to the upper tier. Everyone on the planet, at one point or another, spends at least a few years in the 2nd tier. Financial hardship at the beginning of a Luxcentran's career is almost impossible to avoid. While most labor below management has been relegated to automated workers, there are a few human laborers, but they must work days at a time to stay competitive with the robots. Human labor is mostly found on the habitable planets.

Life on Luxcentra is rather hard, despite all of its amenities. The payoff comes when its absurdly wealthy denizens travel to other planets, where they can afford all of the luxuries and spend time in peace.

Life, Politics & Industry


An industrial district in the sunset hours of the day.

Hardships

Despite the comfortable lifestyles of Luxcentria People, their lives do come with challenges. The creation of an entirely urban planet has resulted in some unique weather patterns, particularly when it comes to disasters. With only a few days warning, the less dense parts of the planet may be subject to adverse weather which includes but is not limited to heat storms, sinkholes, and man-made earthquakes.

Most common are the heat storms. The first sign is the methane emission clouds, followed by a small heat wave. A heat warning is issued in case more clouds form. A few days later, through a recently discovered weather effect involving the urban heat island effect and the methane itself, the little orange sun rises to a surface that's coated 200+ degree weather with winds above 300 miles per hour. The buildings are durable enough. Anyone who is outside is burnt beyond recognition. Luckily, injuries are easily avoidable, as heat warning systems are quite advanced.

This is one situation where, ironically, the poor are far better protected. In the last 10 years, there have only been 32 deaths of the poor from heat storms. In contrast, there have been over 10,000 deaths of the rich. When those deaths involve a person of consequence, entire planetary industries can be shaken to their core.


The famous "Purple Town" entertainment district in the middle of a heat storm.



Industry & Landscape

The landscape of Luxcentra is as diverse as the Landscapes found on earth. Thousands of architectural styles dominate the landscape. The result is a mosaic of styles that fit every individual. However, some are more common than others. And what all landscapes on the planet have in common is their separation into two layers. The top layer is the aforementioned upper tier, where the people in the top 1/3rd of the income brackets live, while the rest live on the lower tier. However, the two tiers interact with each other all the time, and you can find people from all classes in either tier. Like any capitalist system, your job plays a large role in determining where you live and vice versa.

Most jobs are of lower management positions. These people also happen to be those who are found living on both tiers, kings of the lower world, servants on the upper world. Their main tasks are making sure that automated workers operate correctly and overlooking the progress of non-automated workers.

The planet is divided into different kinds of districts, divided into categories, whose land areas are decided by geography. Central business districts are the defining feature in the national landscape. These monstrous boulevards span thousands of blocks and are no more than 200 blocks wide. They take anywhere from 900 Million commuters in the smallest CBDs to over 4 Billion in the largest CBDs. Some of the Largest CBDs have even more people, with many originally being Purple Districts. See bottom of page for more on purple districts

Purple Districts still serve purposes as massive CBD's today, due to their efficiency and unparalleled office space.

Below is a list of the Central Business Districts and other major districts of note. Districts that originally served as purple districts will have their names in purple.

Zen Walton Financial Center

The Largest CBD, the Zen Walton Financial Center, originally named "City At The Purple Pole" at the north pole, was built by the Purple Initiative Party as a purple district around 50 [earth] years ago. It was originally the capital district before a new one was built closer to the equator.

Was the site of the largest embezzlement ring in planetary history.



Daily Commuters: 15,ooo,ooo,ooo

Church Ave.

While Luxcentra is fiercely against any religious influence anywhere on the planet, human nature demanded some space for religious activities. The government conceded after decades of legal battles. But they agreed to only construct one such place. The result was annual mass pilgrimages to this one corner of the planet. To say it's an overcrowded CBD would be an understatement. Whether its clergymen, businessmen or even just people coming into pray, there is not an unextraordinary amount of people coming here daily.



Daily Commuters: 9,ooo,ooo,ooo

Dreamland Center

The Dreamland Center is famous for its vegas-like bar scene. However, being a Purple District, it was built not with bright lights, but with the distinct retro architecture that the Purple Party favored.



Daily Commuters: 8,5oo,ooo,ooo

Lux Vera Ave.

One of the few CBD's with a waterway running through the center. Rivers are usually only found in the lower tier, however, this one was diverted to the upper tier. It's near a massive city park, which is home to several subterranean glaciers.



Daily Commuters: 4,3oo,ooo,ooo

Lux Intercenter

If any CBD is the embodiment of modern Luxcentra culture, it's the Lux Intercenter. Dystopianism was abandoned shortly after the Purple Initiative Party lost power.



Daily Commuters: 4,1oo,ooo,ooo

Luxera Star System

The Luxera Star System is a trinary star system consisting of one K-type orange dwarf, one M-type red dwarf and a small black hole, which serves as a barycenter for the system. There are a total of seven habitable planets within the system, five of which are only mildly habitable. Nonetheless, all but one (Luxcentra) are used specifically for agriculture. The largest city off the planet of luxcentra has no more than 5 Million people.

Statistics

Chart on Planetary Stats to Come Soon.

Note to self: Luxcentra is Earth sized, with an 18-hour day and 160-day year.

Luxcentra

Luxcentra is the center of activity within the system. The earth sized planet boasts an impressive 98 Trillion people, squeezing them at relatively similar densities as the Kowloon Walled City that once stood just outside of Hong Kong.



Luxcentra during the day. The planetary shield is visibly counteracting solar radiation. The Magma chasm is visible as a large orange streak on the planet.



Luxcentra at night. The planetary shield can be seen from this side, blocking solar radation.

Geography

The entire surface of the planet is covered in urban terrain. The planet is divided into districts, and categorized. The below table gives some key information on these categories as well serving as a color coded legend for any further tables.

Category

Dimensions

Description

Industrial District

Typically 1,000 Sq. Miles. Found in both the Lower and Upper Tiers.

This is where all amenities begin. The life of the planet comes from industry. Billions commute to work in these places.

Computing District

Typically 500 Sq. Miles. Found mostly in Lower Tier.

Almost lifeless district kept at extremely low temperatures. This is where most of the planetary servers and computing equipment is located. They tend to be isolated.

Heat Dispersal District

Size varies from 10 meters wide to over 500 miles wide. Minimum length is 30 miles. Maximum length is several thousand miles. Found on upper tiers, extending to lower tiers.

These districts are built as chasms extending below the crust to mitigate the urban heat island effect. If you look down, the orange glow of magma can be seen miles below.

Leisure & Entertainment District

Typically extend 500 miles outwards from a Central Business District, running the extent/length of the CBD. Found mostly on upper tier. Exist as red light districts on the lower tier. Often border Central Business Districts, but standalone districts are typically 50 Sq. Miles.

This is where the after-hours action happens. World class entertainment and amenities in every form imaginable exist here. The dizzying lights of the planet-wide city are on full display. Includes hyper-malls offering world-class shopping and regular shopping. Mega Parks are feature here as well.

Retail & Service Districts

Ranges from 5 Sq. Miles to 200 Sq. Miles. Found on both tiers.

This is where most commercial services are located, and where much of the everyday shopping of items that cannot be shipped happens. Werehousing for said shops are also located here.

Military District

Typically range from 30-60 Sq. Miles. Found on both tiers.

Where the guardians of the nation reside and train. Off-limits to civilians.

Living/Residential District

Range from 1 Sq. Mile to 5,000 Sq. Miles. Found on both tiers.

The basic unit of the districting system. Where the people live and sleep. A mix of high and low density, complete with schools, universities and small parks. Educational and Research facilities are based here as well. However, amenities, restaurants and entertainment is sorely lacking.

Historical/Traditional District

Typically range from 1 Sq. Mile to 20 Sq. Miles, found only on upper tier.

These are the villages and cities that existed before the planet became a worldwide city. They're distinct in their architecture, which is hundreds of years old

Government District

10 Sq. Miles, found only on upper tier.

These districts are where the Government is based. All of the decision-making, services, bureaucracy and dirty work involving the numbers are done here.

Luxury District

Ranges from 50 Sq. Miles to 500 Sq. Miles. Found almost exclusively on upper tier, but for the weird tastes of a few of the elite who prefer the lower tier.

Where everyone wishes to end up. All the largest parks, best weather patterns, best apartments and shops are found here. The elites live out most of their lives here. Luxury Districts even often come with small, personalized office spaces, which are found in distinct office towers.

Central Business District

Usually about 50 miles wide, and extend for hundreds of, if not thousands of miles in length. Found on upper tier.

This is where the major functions of the economy take place. Tens of thousands of skyscrapers line monstrous boulevards and blocks. These districts are truly the center of activity, and even have all of the qualities of the above districts, albeit on a much smaller scale.



The Purple Initiative Party (Luxcentra's Totalitarian Era), How Purple Districts Came To Be


The former Party Headquarters of the Purple Initiative Party. The party had a decentralized network of over 120 HQs, and was run by a board of CEOs. This HQ was the central node in that network.


The Purple City Government District Proposal. These were the original renderings used before the project broke ground. "Purple Districts", as they were called, sprang up all over the ecumenopolis during party rule. They served as centers of decadence, exclusive luxury shopping and exclusive housing for party members only. Party work was also done in these districts with little to no transparency.


Believe it or not. Before the president joined the Industry Party, he was a member of the now-defunct centrist party called the "Purple Initiative Party". This party was infamous in that it started out with a neoliberal approach, but was so lacking in principles, that its flawed, yet scientific approach meant a party that blindly and slowly fell into authoritarian trends. Once a threshold was reached, it wasn't long before the party became outright totalitarian in its policy making. The Purple Initiative Party ruled with an iron grip for about 120 years. The economy flourished, and the rich became insanely rich. Everyone was forced to either give their entire lives to their companies or found their own companies and enslave others. Consumerism became rampant, all economic regulations virtually ceased to exist and corruption was rampant. All companies had essentially specialized in every field and employees were only allowed to buy their respective company's products. Companies that did not have thousands of employees went under in months. The MLM business model was the only model that could surpass the barriers to entry, provided it would restructure itself into a legitimate company before it grew out of control and collapsed. Interestingly, there was never any solid ideology behind the party outside of neoliberal centrism. Eventually, economic conditions (zero profits from out-of-network) led them to break up the massive pyramid schemes. Entire industries got disrupted and, for a time, supply chains broke down. Store shelves were empty, however, the Party had averted a bigger catastrophe of having virtually all of the planet's small businesses go collapse from the unsustainable MLM models they were forced to adopt. This led to the party further liberalizing and personal freedoms being restored. After 120 [earth] years of dictatorial Corporatist rule, elections were restored. The Purple Initiative Party lost the very first election with only 19% of the vote. The party was broken down and rebuilt as the Plutocratic Party, which is now Luxcentra's second largest political party. President Walton, before he was president, started his political career in this party, before founding the Industry Party.


The party was known bringing into reality a retro architectural style. This style came to be known as "Dystopianism." (Original, I know) Unsurprisingly, sci-fi thrillers and cyberpunk movies became very common during this era. These settings birthed the modern film industry in Luxcentra.

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