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|A picture of Kunta's skyline by sunset.|
A picture of Kunta's skyline by sunset.
|• Type||Mayor-council government|
|• Mayor||Amadou Izz al-Din|
|• Total||4,615 km2 (1,782 sq mi)|
Kunta is the capital and second most populous city of the United Democratic Emirates (the most populous being Akhmis). It is located at the heart of Onza on the eastern side of the Kalakoro River, though it has spread over the river in recent years.
Kunta is the home to the legislative and judicial branches of the federal government, and also has the most frequently used satellite office and residence of the president. The city has historically been a hub of activity in Arabekh, though it saw extreme urbanization and development beginning in 1940. This development has transformed Kunta into one of the economic, cultural, and political hubs of Aeia, and the most developed and advanced city in Arabekh.
The city was founded in 1374 BCE by the Kalahari Tribe during its efforts to grow the group's boundaries under the name Kalahar. Kalahar initially struggled to grow, even in spite of its location alongside the Kalakoro, but saw a jumpstart in development around 1100 BCE, as the Tribe began to centralize more towards the center of present-day Onza rather than the northern river valley. The city was an early hub throughout the entirety of Onzaian history, and was the place where administrative business was conducted all throughout the nation's history. In 1630, the city was renamed to Andromeda as part of the scientific revolution that was occurring at the time, in honor of the Asuran scientist responsible for great advances in astronomy. It was again renamed in 1940 alongside the adoption of the Constitution of Onza to Kunta.
The Kalahari Tribe branched out from the early settlement of Akhmis beginning around 1400 BCE and sought to grow the size of its territorial holdings. To this end, a large group of settlers ventured south along the Kalakoro River, eventually settling the city of Kalahar some 1,000 kilometers inland. Its distance from the remainder of the Tribe stunted its initial growth, though the city sustained itself via agriculture along the fertile banks of the Kalakoro River, as well as through cultivation of the numerous nearby oases. By 1100 BCE, the Tribe had grown considerably, and the distance between Kalahar and Akhmis was no longer marked by a vast stretch of desert, but instead by a number of settlements. Kalahar grew significantly as a result, and quickly became the farthest west trading post for Arabekhi traders venturing in from the east.
By the establishment of the First Kingdom of Onza, Kalahar had become the de facto capital of the nation, and was home to all administrative activities. Although Akhmis remained the population hub of the nation, Kalahar focused on economic growth, and was particularly attractive to skilled migrants looking to establish markets for their specialized services. As crossing the Kalakoro River became more practical, and traders sought to venture further west into present-day Saraibia and the lands of the Kemenari, Kalahar continued to flourish as a cultural, economic, and political hub.
The city saw considerable renovations under the Kalahari Empire in the 1400s, as Sultans spent fortunes on building extravagant palaces, marketplaces, and other structures (many of which are still preserved today). This is also when the city gained much of its sprawl, as the increasingly cosmopolitan citizens of the Empire sought to be closer to the center of Onzaian politics, and several houses were built as a result.
In the 1600s, the city was the subject of an intense debate between Irsadic fundamentalists and pagan progressives. Progressives proposed honoring noted Asuran astronomer Demaratos Andromeda by renaming the city to Andromeda. Fundamentalists, on the other hand, sought to retain the city's name at the time, Kalahar, claiming that it had significance to Irsad. Historians are conflicted on the validity of this point, but most concede that the city became something of a holy site while the nation was under the Irsadic Caliphate, particularly in the 800s. In a blow to the influence of Irsad in the nation, the city was renamed to Andromeda in 1630.
Andromeda was a hub of industrialization from the late 1700s to the mid 1800s, and was one of the first cities on the continent to favor gas-powered lights over traditional candles. While other cities around the nation saw greater development of factories, Andromeda notably had some of the largest in the nation, and was the site of early labor demonstrations towards the end of the 19th century.
The city has, notably, never been subjected to a siege, though forces from the Onibasi Caliphate came close in 1150 CE. It was sought by the People's Liberation Army in the Onzaian Civil War in the 1930s, but was never reached by the rebel forces.
In 1940, with the adoption of the new Constitution of Onza, the city was renamed to Kunta, in honor of Ishaaq al-Kunta, a 19th century philosopher who wrote extensively on issues of worker rights, equality, democracy, and socialism. By this point, the city was also the nation's official capital. A period of mass urbanization began in the wake of the nation's boosted infrastructure spending following the Civil War, and remarkably, the city grew a vast and recognizable skyline very quickly.
During the booms of tourism in the 60s and 70s, the city saw a mass generation of revenue, and continued its spending on modernization, infrastructure, and building elaborate tourist attractions. Hospitality and tourism became a prominent industry in the city, and the city's local government at the time initiated sweeping building codes and regulations to ensure consistent construction in the hopes of maximizing the city's appeal.
The city continues to undergo mass renovations from time to time, but has risen to be the most prolific city in Arabekh, as well as one of the most prolific cities in the world.
Kunta is located roughly 1,000 km from the port city of Akhmis in the northern tip, on the eastern bank of the Kalakoro River. It also has annexes that cross the river, and a ferry that runs regularly allows transit between both portions. The city is connected to other Onzaian population centers via a network of multi-line highways. Notably, the city also has a high-speed rail connecting it to Akhmis.
The land the city is built on is primarily desert, but the portions of the city build closest to the Kalakoro River are built on fertile land instead. The city is divided into seven administrative districts:
- Tel Kimadi
- Tel Karbarnah
- Al Jadinah
Al Jadinah is the most recently added district and primarily covers the westernmost annex over the river the city holds.
Kunta's climate is generally very hot and consistent with other desert climates of the world. Throughout the year, cloud formation is relatively uncommon, and the city has among the highest amounts of sunshine in the world. Temperatures peak between June and September due to increased humidity and the summer season. Sandstorms occur intermittently, but are generally uncommon when compared to other locations around the nation. November to March marks a period of milder temperatures, albeit still relatively warm.
|Climate data for Kunta|
|Record high °C (°F)||31.6
|Average high °C (°F)||24.8
|Daily mean °C (°F)||19.5
|Average low °C (°F)||12.9
|Record low °C (°F)||5.0
|Precipitation mm (inches)||6.9
|Avg. precipitation days (≥ 0.2 mm)||1.4||3.2||3.0||1.2||0.1||0.0||0.1||0.5||0.0||0.0||0.1||1.7||11.3|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||245.8||233.2||250.8||278.6||344.2||338.1||316.4||308.5||302.1||305.3||287.2||260.4||3,470.6|
|Source: OOWA (1991–2011)|
The atmosphere over Kunta generally ranges from absolutely stable to conditionally unstable, meaning development of tall, cumulonimbus clouds is uncommon and thus major storms are very uncommon in the nation. The lack of moisture in the area's air, coupled with a higher average saturated adiabatic lapse rate, results in a higher lifting condensation level, which also stunts cloud development many days out the year. A lack of mountainous terrain outside the city prohibits orographic lifting, though other types of lifting still occur.
Cities in Onza are generally granted power with respect to Dillon's Rule, in that they are granted limited power to enact policies and act primarily as subsidiaries of the legislature over it (in Kunta's case, Onza's federal government). Cities in Onza are granted the power to make policies that are determined to have only a minor impact on the life of citizens. All other laws and policies must be necessary to the city's ability to function, and even then are not allowed to contradict federal law. Thus, the vast majority of decisions made by Kunta's local government are related to fee collection, minor city ordinances, and zoning and development.
Kunta is governed by a city council that consists of seven council members elected to represent each of the city's seven districts. A mayor is also elected by the entirety of the city's population. In general, the mayor has limited power within the city's administration, but is responsible for appointing a city administrator who manages the city's entire staff and makes most administrative decisions. The mayor answers to the city council, who reserve the power to hold a vote of no-confidence in situations where the council feels the mayor or their city administrator have failed to uphold their duties.
The city government is headquartered in the Qaeat al-Madina, a large municipal building that contains the mayor's office as well as the city's courts. The Qaeat al-Madina is located in the middle of Alhadiqat Al'Iidaria -- a microdistrict in the city that is a park and home to the city's government offices. It is located in the outermost Azaliyah district, following a relocation from the city's heart in 2015.
The current mayor of Kunta is Amadou Izz al-Din. He was elected to serve a four-year term in 2017.
Kunta is one of the biggest contributors to Onza's GDP, boasting an impressive industry dominated by hospitality and tourism. Airlines generate a vast profit thanks to the city's major airport. Retail and other services also produce a considerable amount of wealth for the city, and many international companies such as Siena Del Naro have locations in Kunta. These factors, alongside a number of public parks and public amenities, have made property in the city very valuable.
The city is also a hub for regional trade, although less so than Akhmis. The majority of freight entering the nation through trade arrives via the airport, although efforts have been made in recent years to remove terminals reserved for trade in favor of opening up more space for tourists.
Kunta's economy represents the largest source of non-oil based wealth generation in the nation. It hosts the pinnacle of every other economic sector in the nation, with the sole exception of industry, which is based in other hubs around the nation.
The cityscape of Kunta is notably modern and consists of a large number of skyscrapers. The tallest building in Aeia, the Burj al-Malik, is situated at the heart of the city, and is a defining icon of the city as well as Onza as a whole. Construction on the tower began in 2002 and was completed in 2007, and has since attracted a number of tourists to the nation. The tower is home to a hotel, several restaurants, office spaces, and observation decks. The Manzil Almalik is also a defining icon of the cityscape. One of the world's most coveted hotels, construction on this structure began in the 1980s and was completed in 1991.
The city is also known for infusing gardens into architecture as part of an effort to make the city appear more natural. Several gardens and parks are also maintained by the city as natural sites for tourists and other visitors to walk through. It also has some artificial beaches along the Kalakoro River, which are public beaches, and an artificial tributary was created to allow the development of the artificial Kaf Islands.
City planners enforce a strict set of building codes to ensure consistency among the architectural designs of buildings in the city, particularly skyscrapers. A diverse number of suburbs have also developed around the city's southernmost border. While initially seen by city planners as an obstacle to future developments, these suburbs have become very populous and proven to be a source of revenue for the city.
Planners have also historically been particular about the planning of traffic highways in the city, and have managed to successfully circumvent traffic crutches that other cities in the nation have run into. However, there are still areas -- particularly around exits from major highways and blocks in the downtown areas -- where traffic can become severely backed up, leading planners in recent years to return to the drawing board.
Kunta International Airport (KIA) is one of the most air traffic-dense airports in the world, with tens of millions of passengers passing through the airport's terminals every year. Airlines with the most traffic at the airport include Fly Emirates and Aiktashaf Airlines, as well international flight companies from other nations around the world. Air travel remains the most popular way for tourists to come to Onza.
City developers, under pressure from the federal government, have greatly expanded the availability of public transit in the city since the early 2000s. As traffic congestion grew worse due to the city's increasing sprawl and heavier waves of incoming tourists, developers began ordering the construction of an underground subway network, which has proven to be fairly effective at quelling traffic. Kunta is also accessible to pedestrians in almost every district. A push was made to increase bicycle access, and while bike lanes were paved in some places, the project was ultimately abandoned in 2008 for more ambitious options.
A public bus system carries numerous passengers around the city at affordable rates, though the city often makes the routes fare free around travel seasons in an effort to reduce congestion. The city has spent vast sums of money constructing parking garages to ensure that adequate parking is available, particularly in areas popular to tourists, in an effort to curtail illegal parking -- the prevalence of which has given rise to a fairly successful towing industry in the city. Ride-hailing services are also fairly popular in the city, and the government has partnered with some of these companies to incentivize an expansion of operations in Kunta. Nevertheless, congestion still proves to be a problem at times, especially near periods of high travel.
Rental car agencies have grown popular in the city, and the city government has partnered with some companies to provide rentals to foreign emissaries visiting the city.
The city also maintains a public ferry which carries passengers for free from the portion of the city on the eastern bank of the river to the western half.
Kunta is a hub for education in the nation, being home to the nation's second-ranked university and the 16th ranked university in Aeia, the University of Kunta. Numerous Onzaian politicians and celebrities are graduates of the University, which has a number of academic programs ranging from medicine to law. The city also has a number of public schools per federal regulations that are among the best in the nation.
Schools in the city teach a wide variety of curricula written and maintained by the Onzaian Ministry of Education. Schools in the city also offer courses that focus specifically on the history of the city itself.
Older students in the city generally walk to school, but a number of public school buses also have routes in the areas with the highest population concentrations to collect students and transport them to and from school. Alternatively, since the city maintains an open-enrollment policy -- which stipulates that students can attend whatever school they want, regardless of zoning, so long as transportation is provided -- many take the subway to other parts of the city where their schools are located.
College campuses in the city are generally compact, with the exception of the University of Kunta. This is mostly due to the city's compact building and small-plot zoning, but is also an attractive quality for some adults seeking a less traditional college experience.
Educational facilities in the city are occasionally rented by private organizations and other branches of the city government for a variety of purposes. Notably, many public high schools are also designated disaster shelters, while others are equipped with large auditoriums that occasionally used for expos and seminars.