Oppidum

Oppidum
The river front skyline of Oppidum
The river front skyline of Oppidum
Motto(s): 
"Pro omnibus."
Country
FlagWoodstead.png
Woodstead
Settledc. AD 230
City-statec. 1400
Incorporated1930
Federal City2015
Districts4 cities and 33 boroughs
Government
 • Type Federal subject
 • BodyOppidum Authority
 • Elected bodyAssembly
 • GovernorGeordje Rasmyrsyn
 • OA Assembly36 constituencies
 • Federal Parliament22 constituencies
Population
(December 2015)
 • Total4,752,000
Demonym(s)Oppidumite
Time zoneUTC+0 (Astyrian Standard Time)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+1 (Astyrian Summer Time)
GeoTLD.opdm

Oppidum, officially the Federal City of Oppidum, is one of ten federal cities in the Federation of Woodstead. Oppidum is located on the west coast of Woodstead, straddled by the Charter River (to the north) and Claudiate River (to the south), and has enjoyed considerable growth, both in its economy and its population in the last millennium.

Founded by settlers from the Apennine peninsula, the city of Noviomagus Claudii was founded circa 400AD; this city still stands in the form of the City of Claudius today, where fewer than 1,200 people live full time. Since 1930, Oppidum has widely referred to the twinned cities: the City of Oppidum and Claudius, the now extinct county of Basing between the two, and the county of Arden to south and the east; the Oppidum conurbation, at the time, did extend throughout the two cities, the county of Basing, and the west of Arden, all under their own respective authorities; all parts of this post-1930 meaning now fall under the Federal City of Oppidum which streamlined the definition of Oppidum as a self-contained agglomeration, as of 2015.

Oppidum is often considered one of the most vivacious Astyrian agglomerations given its history and status since its first known settlement. Alongside its history, its tourism and job opportunities also makes it a contender as a global urban agglomeration or city. It also boasts the Federation's largest airport, Oppidum International Airport in the Oppidum Borough of Caelumside, where some of Astyria's richest individuals come through to do business and invest. The City of Scholary provides a strong educational network of universities and learning institutions alongside the City of Portland, which serves as the new steel and glass financial center for the nation, where the Erlenic Stock Exchange Group have been based since the 1890s.

Federal Statistics Agency estimated the population of Oppidum to be 4,752,000 in December 2015; due to the re-organisation of administrative borders, both its urban and proper population are exactly the same. However, the first annual Oppidum Plan Report in 2016 argued that Oppidum is at the centre of the "Northwestern conurbation", accounting for up to 15.3 million people. When only accounting for languages of more than 1,000 speakers, there are 250 languages spoken across Oppidum. Since the early first millennium AD, the area now covered by the agglomeration was always a prime destination for migration from other parts of the world, especially Astyrian continents of Lorecia and Teudallum.

History

Main article: History of Oppidum

Toponymy

Oppidum is derived from what was used as the name for an administrative capital in 1713 as a reference to the history of nearby Noviomagus Claudii. With a palace and monuments atop the hills, the name was seen as fitting with oppidum being a Latin word for enclosed area or administrative settlement. In 1713, the City of Oppidum was created from land from the westernmost area of the peninsula. City of Oppidum still refers to this parcel of land enclosed by walls and trees- it is one of four special zones with direct control under the Oppidum Authority, rather than a local borough council.

In itself, the name for the federal city now frames the conurbation between the City of Oppidum, the original Noviomagus Claudii (now the City of Claudius), as well as the cities of Portland and Scholary and around the dissolved Basing and Arden counties. Until 1930, Oppidum was legally only documented as the name for the 1713 settlement.

Founding

The first settlers, hailing from the Apennine peninsula, settled between the Claudiate River and the Charter River around 230AD. These settlers began to build a planned city on what is known as Arden Brook, a tributary of the Claudiate. It was here that in around 300AD a villa known to be built for a man named Titus Claudius became a central pillar of the community, and a charter claimed the settlements as Noviomagus Claudii, a new city-state. It is assumed, but not accepted as substantial, that Titus Claudius was a leader or possibly the urban planner. However, it is known that the city-state was a democratic society by 319, with the election of the Volos members (the legislative and judicial body, thought to derive from the Latin 'volo'). By 348AD, the city was bustling as a centre for ironworks, and a port was founded to the west of the fortified city on the Basing River, another tributary of the Claudiate. Due to the growth in population and the need to protect the port, the Volos commissioned a public works project in 350 to build west of the walls. Furthermore, they encouraged citizens to actively scout out new lands as part of a new "Confederation of the Claudiates"

In 1167, the Argholeic State expanded westward and northward from the south-east corner of the island; in reaction, crannies across the city appeared as well as a tunnel from the west coast along the Charter River banks to store possessions and hide children. However, by 1189 the Argholeic State offered a strong workforce of adept builders to the Claudiates, and so a bilateral exchange and friendship was built; following the end of the exchange, both the Argholeic State and Noviomagus Claudii entered as equals in to the Union of Wodested in 1193, when the existing Woodstead became one nation.

Oppidum is home to several palaces and historical gardens and is now home to Point Zero, the tallest building in the nation's history. The four cities in Oppidum also serve a purpose as non-residential areas: the City of Oppidum boasts as the city's entertainment and theatrical hub: the City of Claudius contributes historical walkways, royal residences, and heavily maintained bridleways: the City of Portland is the financial district for the nation and the western regions of Woodstead; and City of Scholary is the educational centre which is home to several renowned street markets and piazzas.

Expansion Era

Subsequent years brought royalty to establish estates across Oppidum such as Iustitia Palace. The roaring Wodested-based sex trade of the 1640s resulted in Oppidum being the prime pit-stop for sex workers and new European settlers colonising other parts of Astyria. Consenting sex workers of all types contributed to the revenue of Wodested, and the ports in the area became synonymous with the trade. Upon the establishment of the Erlenic Empire in 1713, the City of Oppidum became the capital, as well as the provincial capital of Wodested Parva.

Modernisation

In 1900, Woldland was picked to be the new capital city of the Empire with the arrival of migrants coming through the west coast. Woldland, Oppidum, Iley, Saint Edward, and Imberford all became large metropolitan areas which were consolidated city-counties, having absorbed commuter towns into their agglomerations. For Oppidum, the City-County Act of 1900 established the City-County of Oppidum to include the older cities of Oppidum, Noviomagus, and Consul and over 60 settlements.

In 1930, when republicanism was voted for across the Empire, the palaces and estates were closed: noble titles were withdrawn, and the position of Oppidum was now reconsidered. The Empire was no longer colonising; President Stanley A. Stanley pushed several Erlenic states to brand themselves as tourist-friendly and industrial hubs. South Ardenborough (now the Oppidum Borough of Caelumside) soon became the industrial heartland of the north. The decades between 1947 and 1977 brought steep inward migration and mass suburbanisation: the last mass migration from outside of Woodstead from the Indian subcontinent, concentrated along the eastern parts of Oppidum.

Government

Local Government

The metropolitan administration is made up of two-tiers- a metropolitan authority and a local tier. The former tier is the Oppidum Authority composed of the executive Oppidum Directorate, the Oppidum Cabinet, and the 160-strong Oppidum Assembly. The Oppidum Authority are based in three locations across the city while the space is being allocated for this new adminstrative structure. The local tier consists of the councils of 33 boroughs which share some responsibilities with the Oppidum Authority.

Federal Parliament

The Federal Parliament is still new, and is yet to be housed in a permanent, purpose-built building; however, 22 of the 500 Federal Parliament seats are allocated to Oppidum Federal City's listed candidates. A few Oppidumite MPs are independent (7); most aligned representatives are social liberals and left-leaning with a strong Green Party, UParty, and Social Democratic Alliance presence in the other 15 seats (6,4,5 respectively).

Geography

Scope

Demography

Economy

Oppidum is the single metropolis of the region, and is often the employment and distribution hub for the Three Rivers region as well as much of West Central and South Coastal regions. The Port of Oppidum and the Oppidum International Airport are major contributors to the success with the former being the nation's largest passenger and freight port, and the latter being the nations main international airport for both cargo and passenger volume. The Port of Oppidum sees daily freight arrivals as well as regular passenger arrivals from Vibrance Ocean Voyages and Auroran Oceanic.

Oppidum is also home to the sole Diamond Star Automotive plant in Woodstead, where most of its commercial vans and trailers are manufactured, and is home to the AAG Air Group which owns Millennium Airways, Aethra Airlines, and several smaller airlines. The Oppidum 20:20 project will be aiming to upgrade much of west Portland, west Basing, and Caelumside to expand and upgrade much of the Port of Oppidum and its industrial estates to bring in new business.

Transport

Transport in Oppidum is overseen by the Oppidum Linkworks (OLw), a department of the Oppidum Authority. OLw is divided in to several groups:

  • 5Core Oppidum, the suburban tramway system currently underway
  • Busways Oppidum, the bus operator
  • OLw Extra works between the Airport management, the local community, and the Authority
  • Roadworks Oppidum, the highways and roads maintenance department and taxi regulator

Airports

Oppidum International Airport is the largest airport in the Woodsteasian Federation. The airport is based in the Caelumside borough. The airport is served by a bus every ten minutes, and will soon be home to the one of the five main hubs for the 5Core tramway system.

Rail

Due to advances in local commuter transport, Oppidum is only served by 3 heavy railway stations which are run by both OLw and Centrail, the federation's nationalised rail servicing group:

  • Oppidum Airport, a terminus on the Iley - Midway - Woldland line
  • Portland Coastal, a terminus on the Aalden - Stormthorpe - Portminster - Empire line
  • Scholastica Square (Northwest University, Oppidum), a stop on the old Creekway - Indus line

As part of a 2030 plan, OLw and Centrail have planned to remove the tracks to these stations by 2030 and re-purpose the station buildings; by 2030, Oppidum will only have one mainline train station connected to the national rail system. This proposal for Federal Cross station will create Woodstead's largest contiguous train station site under the proposed skyscraper of the same name in the centre of Ardenborough.

Roads

As of 2000, roads have usually only been maintained or slightly extended as no new roads have surfaced across the city. Attempts to pedestrianise existing roads and prioritise others for buses and cycling have resulted in reduced commute times and traffic. Traffic surveys suggest that 60% of road usage is for freight across the nation and Astyria. Most major roads end up on one of five major arteries connected to the ancient Peninsula Gateway on the tri-borough border of Scotston, Ardenborough, and Eastern Towers.

Education

The city is home to a university student and academic population of 342,000. The Oppidum Metropolitan Authority audaciously allocated 26% of its 2015 budget to the Oppidum Education Directorate.

Schools

There are 132 schools in Oppidum (4-18 education). Of the 132, 28 have special sensory centres for those with visual and hearing impairments; 33 schools are allocated for special educational needs especially. As of 1998, all non-state schools have been banned following a 1996 referendum across Three Rivers.

Higher Education

In 1771, the Council of Education and philanthropists took to creating the Grand Northern University. With constituent colleges planned to be across almost a third of Wodested Parva, it was the biggest plan to date. Whilst there was a shortfall, the Oppidum College did do very well. By 1820, Oppidum College was thriving and the neighbouring fields were fast becoming facilities and accommodation for respected academics. The University had the Oppidum College ejected from its group after its stances on the curriculum, when an Oppidum College academic criticised its 'Eurocentric ideals'.

Oppidum College later became the University of Oppidum in 1929 and it later attracted academics now associated with counter-culture movements. The University has since incorporated more faculties and has achieved 35,000 annual submissions; in 2000, the Public University opened a campus to focus on public sector jobs and services, as well as vocational courses and post-graduate research.

A recent study of distant learning universities across Astyria suggests that an additional 17,000 people in Oppidum are also on an undergraduate course. United Student Network, the national students' union, has awarded the universities gold ratings and has awarded Oppidum's Scholary, Basing, and Portland areas for providing safe student recreation, facilities, and nightlife.

Culture

LGBT+ Community

Since the 1970s, Oppidum Metropolitan Authority has aided the finance of the Spectrum Astyria, which is a LGBT+ event focusing on providing a safe pride celebration for fellow Astyrians who may not be given a safe space in their home nation. There are 10 "gayvens" according to Spectrum Astyria which are areas which feature LGBTQIA-friendly bars, clubs, restaurants, hotels, comedy clubs, and gay-friendly places of worship. From the most recent Annual Household Survey, it is suspected that 8.9% of Oppidumites identify as a "sexual minority or gender variant"- above the national average of 7.3%.

Sports

The city is home to a number of minor league sports stadiums and will soon open a major stadium. Oppidum is home to the Claudiate Canines football team; however football is relatively unpopular. The city boasts a range of athletics tracks, swimming pools, cricket grounds, rounders pitches, and golf courses.

The Oppidum City Recreational Centre will soon open under the federal city government, to be free to access: it will consist of a velodrome, swimming pools, martial arts centre, several halls, several gymnasiums, and a running track as part of a federal grant to get every school child in to fitness schemes.

The annual Oppidum to Tynemouth Gymnovelo, a nude bicycle ride, has been a fundraiser since 2001. It starts at the beach in the City of Oppidum area of Oppidum.

Twin Cities