Locations of interest
The Yellow Bridge
The Burgh, as many call it, is built over hilly terrain on a higher level of the mesa. It is not the most practical site, but it has a commanding view of the rivers and the other four domes below. New Pittsburgh is a solid mass of metal and smoke, with an imposing skyline that peaks toward the center of the dome with the Althauser Rocketry building, corporate seat of the powerful Althauser family (if there was any golden age in this city, it was when Goddard Althauser was governor general; but that was long ago). The architecture is glass, steel, and Martian basalt, weirdly evoking a twentieth century metropolis less than half a kilometer from what is otherwise a city of bright, new constructions. Its parks and sidewalks sit at the bottom of canyons of concrete with fast-moving one-way flyways above, always seeming perilously too close to the buildings. Fortunately, there isn’t much in the way of wind shear in a Martian city dome. This is my favorite part of town. The climate of the dome is extravagantly humid, tuned for frequent drizzles, and one hears English spoken with comforting regularity. The after-work pubs in Burgh Center pour a variety of American-style microbrews, and one can watch an ice hockey match at Rail Eos Stadium four months out of the year.
Unlike Valles Center, the Downtown area is mixed use, with both corporate offices and a great deal of high-rise housing; thus one finds a great many groceries, simulspace cafes, clinics, and pet stores. Although this is true of Martian cities in general, people in this part of town in particular are absolutely mad about pets; walking a dog is a display of wealth and resources. Cats and more exotic animals are equally prized, though not as status symbols. Despite all of our successes with transgenic animals, to the best of my knowledge transhumanity still
hasn’t managed to develop a cat that will put up with being walked.
The Yellow Bridge, a massive structure of arched girders, is a major public gathering place, spanning a wide public reservoir (Allegheny Public) placed for climate regulation between downtown and the residential district east of it. A lower deck carries four lanes of traffic on an arterial road. The upper deck is a foot and bicycle bridge that puts me in mind of the Charles Bridge in old Prague. South of downtown is mostly residential. North and east lie a combination of small research labs and microfacturing facilities. Much of Valles-New Shanghai’s ground-based industry is concentrated here, with hundreds of 3D copy stores, garages, fabricator shops licensed with blueprints to fab certain goods, and even artisan workshops using pre-fabricator construction techniques. Outside the dome, the rest of the mesa is taken up by the groundside opera-tions of Althauser Rocketry and by Valles Skyport, the city’s primary spaceport.