La Défense

From Atlas
Defense
Capital of Montfort Province
City of Defense
Clockwise from top: Opportunity neighborhood skyline, Cochrane Bridge (facing west), the Belmond River at Valmorel, Palais des Roses, and Victory Park
Clockwise from top: Opportunity neighborhood skyline, Cochrane Bridge (facing west), the Belmond River at Valmorel, Palais des Roses, and Victory Park
Flag of Defense
Flag
Nickname(s): Opus magnum, Timeless City
Acronia provinces.png
Red pog.svg Defense
Acronia provinces.png
Location within Acronia
Country Acronia
ProvinceTemplate:Country data Montfort
DepartmentTemplate:Country data Defense Defense
Established1946
Government
 • MayorAxel Thierry
Area
 • City of Defense3,006 km2 (1,161 sq mi)
 • Defense Metropolitan Region11,605 km2 (4,481 sq mi)
Population (2018)
 • Density5,203/km2 (13,480/sq mi)
 • City of Defense15,641,069
 • Defense Metropolitan Region39,128,764
DemonymNanchampois
Time zoneUTC (Prime Meridian Time)
 • Summer (DST)UTC +1 (Acronian Summer Time) (UTC)
Postcode areas88001–88030
Area code(s)641
GeoTLD.defense
Websitedefense.gov.uak

Defense (Acronian: la Défense) is the most populous city in both the Union of Acronian Kingdoms, and Atlas as a whole. Situated in northwestern Acronia at the innermost point of Causeway Bay in Montfort province, its metropolitan area encompasses nearly three quarters of the department of Defense. The city of Defense itself covers 3,006 square kilometers (1,161 square miles), while its metropolitan area encompasses nearly 11,605 square kilometers (4,481 square miles). As of December 2018, 15,641,069 people lived within Defense's city limits, or approximately 7.5 percent of the Acronian Union's population – while a total of 39,128,764 people lived in the Defense Metropolitan Region.

As both a commune and a prefecture of Montfort province, Defense is both a constituent member of the Montfort Provincial Assembly and an electoral district at the National Assembly, represented by Mayor Axel Thierry and Prefect-Governor Pascal Lévy respectively. The city is divided into 30 arrondissements, and is officially bilingual, despite a significant disparity between the heavily predominant Acronian-speaking community and the minority Cambrian-speaking community. The largest city by both area and population in Acronia, Defense is also the capital of Montfort province. In 2018, the city was the most tourist-visited city in Atlas, and it is a chief component of the Acronian Union's tourism industry as well as the national economy overall – Defense is estimated to comprise 19% of the national GDP.

Originally an agglomeration of shantytowns and a pirate haven known as Turtle Harbor, the area became the site of a large-scale joint amphibious invasion by Acerria, Brytene, Ederland, Tenburg, and Volgaria during the Second Great War, which was successfully repelled by the Armed Forces of Acronia. Acronia's success in driving back the Elesarian forces led Acronian media to dub the region where the fighting took place la Défense, or "[the] Defense". The moniker swiftly entered common use, and Turtle Harbor was officially renamed Defense in 1946. In the aftermath of the Second Great War, the Rock administration approved a colossal government-funded construction campaign in the area, with the goal of creating an advanced, ultramodern metropolis. The core construction effort lasted 9 years, ending in 1955, whereupon the Defense Commercial Area and other business districts were completed – however, construction of various residential neighborhoods in the city lasted well into the 1980s.

History[edit]

Etymology[edit]

The area surrounding Causeway Bay was originally known as the Nanchamps region, with the group of settlements at the mouth of the Belmond River in particular being known to Cambrian-speaking merchants and pirates as Turtle Harbor, a direct translation of the area's original Old Acronian name Avorvecle. The name Defense derives from Acronia' decisive victory in the Invasion of Acronia during the Second Great War, where various elements of the Armed Forces of Acronia successfully repelled an enormous joint-Axis expeditionary force in a series of attempted landing operations which lasted from 16 December to 20 December 1944. The victory marked a turning point in the Mistral Sea Theater and proved a tremendous morale boost for both Acronian troops and the general Acronian public.

The battle was heavily covered in Acronian press, with the National Post in particular famously declaring that Union forces would fight "until lambs became lions and pebbles became boulders, from the shores of the Defense to the waters of the Riposte" in their 21 December edition. The phrase was widely used thereafter, both within the Acronian Union and throughout Atlas. At the conclusion of the Second Great War in 1946, both Turtle Harbor and the larger Nanchamps region were officially renamed Defense (la Défense in Acronian) in commemoration of the battle, as part of the 1946 Territorial Redistributions.

Origins[edit]

Idea approval and early construction[edit]

The city of Defense was originally conceived in January 1965, under the administration of President Gerard Blitzer, by several high-ranking members of the Ministry of the Interior. The original idea for the city of Defense was for a new, ultramodern metropolis that could serve as a major hub for culture, finance, politics, progress, and trade to be created to further advance the Free Union on its path to become an international power. Nathaniel Fredericsen, then the Minister of the Interior, was given the plan of Defense in early March, 1965. Greatly impressed, he immediately presented the plan to President Blitzer.

Due to the fact that the Free Union's economy was turning fragile due to defense spending for the Second Great Atlassian War, Blitzer was originally skeptical of the idea, according to an interview in 1999 following the completion of the city's construction. However, his opinion shifted after seeing the final draft of the city's blueprint and several attempts to convince him from several government members. Blitzer gave his approval of the plan, which was made public by mid-April of the same year. On April 26th, 1965, the Senate voted in favor of the plan, 61 to 39. A week later, on May 1st, the Parliament again voted in favor of the plan, 34 to 8. With approval from both tiers of the legislative branch as well as the executive branch, a week-long nationwide vote was organized from May 9th to May 15th, 1965. It resulted in a solid 55% to 45% in favor of the plan, thus allowing the Defense plan to be put forth into motion.

Construction of the city began on June 23rd, 1965, once a somewhat flat tract of land measuring roughly 4000 square kilometers on the Free Union's Fale Ocean coastline was designated the final location for the city. Several minor towns, plantations, settlements and shanties were located in and around the area, but were either cleared or cut out from the projected city area. A work force of roughly 5000 men and women was commissioned by the government to participate in the construction of the city. Construction was forced to a halt in early 1966, following an array of lawsuits filed against the government for illegally clearing land mostly belonging to local farmers. The issue was finally settled in March 1966, with the government winning the lawsuit after months of arguments.

Post-GAWII construction[edit]

Following the end of the Second Atlassian Great War in 1969, the central government, now under the administration of President Mikhail Lazarevich, was able to allocate much more funding into the city's construction as the defense budget began to shrink drastically now that the nation was no longer warring. As a direct result of this, the building process of Defense became quicker, as an additional labor force consisting of 2,500 men and women were commissioned by the government and sent to aid the construction effort in Defense in January 1970. The commercial municipalities of Armistead, Cochrane, and Opportunity were reportedly finished by March 1971.

As construction continued into 1972, President Lazarevich lost the 1972 Acronian Presidential Elections, losing to Jules Desjardins. Desjardins, along with his party, the Acronian French Party, which also happened to be Gerard Blitzer's political platform, hugely favored the construction of Defense, and boosted construction funding even more as his first act as President. By the summer of 1972, the entire Eastern Residential Sector (ERS) was completed, heavy construction in the Defense Commercial Area continued and construction of the Defense Metropolitan International Airport began.

File:DefenseConstruction.jpeg
Construction in Causeway Bay municipality, in 1980

Several municipalities, including the governmental Levesque municipality, Septimus, and Brisbois were completed by 1975. As Jules Desjardins was voted out of office for Arsène Laroche, after a single term as President, significant progress had been made - the Defense National Train Station in Cross Point municipality had been constructed, the construction effort in the Industrial Sector was going smoothly, with the municipalities of Garrigue and Rocquencourt already achieving completion. Once Laroche assumed the presidency, he almost immediately opened reservations for both citizens and corporations looking to purchase units in the metropolis. It was reported that a total of Ċ300 million (around Ċ450 million in the current exchange rate) was received in the first 24 hours of the reservation openings alone. By December 1975, every unit in the entire city was reserved.

As the turn of the decade approached, the municipalities of Scrigny, Valmorel, and Viges were completed, and the entire Western Residential Sector was approaching completion as North Cochrane and Axess, the two lone WRS municipalities still uncompleted, were half-completed and beginning to be built respectively.

Construction in the 1980s[edit]

File:DMIA.jpeg
The Defense Metropolitan International Airport shortly after its construction was completed, in 1981.

The turn of the decade came with Cyril Geiger succeeding Arsène Laroche as President, but being an AFP member as well, the government's policy on the city's construction remained mostly unchanged. By 1982, after a decade of work, the Defense Metropolitan International Airport was completed. Due to this, several VIPs, including the President and other high-ranking government officials, were able to visit completed areas of the metropolis. Cyril Geiger himself visited Defense in 1982, as former Presidents Gerard Blitzer, Mikhail Lazarevich, Jules Desjardins, Arsène Laroche and Presidents Ambrose McAffery, Emil Dreyfus, Edison Cochrane, and Pius Dragovich did between 1981 and 1999.

The municipality of North Cochrane was completed by 1984, but a second wave of lawsuits from farmers bordering the construction site to the west slowed down Axess municipality's construction progress.

Geography[edit]

Climate[edit]

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Arrondissements and Districts[edit]

  • Armistead: A major commercial municipality situated directly north of Causeway Bay, Armistead is the second largest commercial municipality in Defense, just after Cochrane. Along with Brisbois, Causeway Bay, Cochrane, and Opportunity, Armistead forms the Defense Commercial Area (DCA), one of the busiest business districts in Atlas. The iconic Soldiers' Square is located in this municipality. Sharing borders with the municipalities/neighborhoods of Causeway Bay, Cochrane, Kurowski, North Cochrane, Opportunity, and Rothwell, it is the municipality with the most borders. It is also the base of the city's subway system, the Defense Metropolitan Underground Train (DMUT) system, and the Defense Bus Transportation (DBT) system, making it the city's transportation hub.
  • Axess: Situated on Axess Hill, Axess was voted the best residential neighborhood in Acronius. Its near-nonexistent crime rate, close proximity to the DCA, official status as the richest neighborhood in Defense, and cliffside panoramic view of the city are major contributing factors. It is part of Defense's Western Residential Sector (WRS), and is located between Redmayne, western Brisbois, and the rest of the WRS, and Causeway Bay, eastern Cochrane, and the rest of the DCA, greatly facilitating transportation to almost all of Defense. It borders the municipalities of Brisbois, Causeway Bay, Cochrane, and Redmayne.
  • Brisbois: The westernmost and least dense DCA municipality, Brisbois is the only DCA municipality to possess residential areas. The Defense Metro Authority's headquarters, the University of Defense and the WGH Centre are all located in Brisbois. The northern and eastern sections of the municipality are connected to the DCA's core, whilst the western and southern sections are mostly residential.
  • Causeway Bay: A municipality entirely comprised of commercial or industrial facilities, its namesake is the busiest port in Acronius. The only DCA municipality to possess a waterfront, Causeway Bay is the most densely-populated municipality in Defense. It allows and facilitates trade with countries across the Fale Ocean such as Cinoth and Sde Dov, as well as other countries in Auchoi and Buralia.
  • Cochrane: Named after former president Alexander Cochrane, the Cochrane municipality is dubbed the 'Heart of Defense', mostly due to its status as the Defense District's hub for business, finance, shopping, and trade. The iconic Cochrane Bridge, which links the municipality with the municipality of Septimus, as well as the well-renowned Exchange Square, Roaring Dragon Theater, Sheridan Centre, and Strootman Plaza are all located in this municipality. It is situated directly northwest of Causeway Bay, and is part of the DCA.
  • Levesque: Alternatively known as the Government Municipality and named after former president Grégoire Lévesque, the municipality of Levesque is home to the District Council headquarters, as well as numerous other governmental facilities, belonging to both the central government and the district government. The renowned Levesque Palace is situated in the western part of this municipality. Levesque borders the municipalities of Causeway Bay, Opportunity, and Septimus. It also serves as a brief reprieve for the heavy amount of skyscrapers in the bordering DCA municipalities, as numerous parks, the biggest of which is the iconic Victory Park, exist within the municipality's borders.
  • Opportunity: The easternmost DCA municipality, Opportunity is the most commercialized municipality in Defense.
  • South Point: The least populated municipality in Defense, South Point hosts the Defense Metropolitan International Airport (DMIA), which is the city's main only commercial airfield. The entire southern portion of the municipality is comprised of the DMIA, whilst the rest of South Point is mostly industrial, with only one residential community situated on the municipality's border with the municipality of West Torrington. Torrington and West Torrington are the lone two municipalities that South Point shares a border with, making it the municipality which the least municipalities.
  • Voclain: A mainly residential neighborhood of Defense, Voclain is located in the northeastern extremity of the district. Notorious for its rampant underground narcotics empire, it is one of the most crime-ridden neighborhoods in the nation. It borders the municipalities of Cross Point, Saint Stéphen, and Sheridan.

Topography[edit]