New Cleveland is one of the largest cities on the planet Sapphire, the commercial and cultural metropole of Southern Oz continent. Over 2 million people occupy the city proper, with another 7 million living in the extended Metroplex. It is the hometown of Prime Commander William Keeler.
New Cleveland occupies a peninsula and shoreline on the southern edge of Lake of the Loons in central Southern Oz continent.
New Cleveland is a seat of research and education, as well as a cultural center for the planet Sapphire and indeed the Perseus Quadrant.
New Cleveland was a not an area designated for settlement by the Colonial Survey crew prior to the settlement of Sapphire colony. It was felt that the Lake of the Loons southern flood plain was too flood prone, too prone to storms, and the underlying strata too unstable to support a major inhabitation.
The area was first inhabited by an artist’s colony founded by Admiral Lexington Keeler, who arrived on Sapphire in the 47th Century after spending several hundred years in stasis after driving the last of the dark lords out of the galaxy. He chose the location for its remoteness from other settled parts of the planet and the pleasing scenery of the lakefront. The lake was then designated the Great Midcontinent Lake, but Keeler insisted on renaming it Lake of the Loons, claiming that “there are a lot of loons down here,” a claim that ornithologists were unable to verify.
Over the next ten years, the initial group of 28 colonists grew to an encampment of over 2,000. In the Sapphirean Year 4632, the encampment petitioned the colonial government for recognition as the City of New Cleveland (named for one of the great cities of ancient Earth, according to Lexington Keeler). The petition was denied, but the colonists went ahead and proclaimed it anyway. In 4656, the academic institution that would eventually be known as the “University of Sapphire at New Cleveland” was founded, which would lead to the city’s recognition as a center of art and learning throughout the sector.
For the next eight hundred years, the city and its university slowly grew in prominence. In the 53rd Solar Century, at the height of the Human Galactic Commonwealth, it was considered one of the jewels of the Perseus Quadrant and attracted scholars from across the Commonwealth…. At least those scholars willing to travel to what was still considered a remote and backward area of space. However, with the fall of the Commonwealth in the 55th Solar Century, and the subsequent “Thousand Year Blight” that kicked off on the planet Sapphire, the city and the region fell into a prolonged period of stagnation. The Blight drove an influx of new arrivals from the planet’s more settled regions as the climate across most of Delta Continent became extremely harsh.
As the planet’s climate improved and stabilized at the end of the Blight, New Cleveland gradually began thriving again and emerged in the modern area as one of the two largest metroplexes on the planet; exchanging that honor back and forth with the Corvallis Metroplex, until finally both were surpassed by a resurgent New Halifax in the in the 76th Sapphirean Century.
The city occupies a peninsula and stretch of coastline along the south shore of Lake of the Loons in Oz Province in the southern hemisphere of the planet Sapphire. The city’s suburban enclaves stretch south of the urban core, giving the metropolitan area a claw hammer shape.
Most of the city’s downtown area is built on a peninsula that forms a natural harbor that facilitates trade on the great lake. The rest of the Metroplex stretches along the shore of the lake and into the lands to the south. Most of the shoreline is relatively flat but rises gently toward hills to the southeast and southwest. Barrier hill, an artificial flood barrier constructed in the 5500’s has since become part of the landscape. The city’s position near the center of Oz continent coupled with its proximity to the planet’s largest lake results in a mild, temperate climate. Summers are generally warm and sometimes hot, winters are mild and often snowy.
Approxitmately two million people live in New Cleveland proper, and another seven millions in the extended Metroplex that includes the nearby cities of Somerset, Lakelight, and Coolsville. New Clevelanders have a reputation for intelligence matched with a passion for enjoying life reflected in the city’s abundance of taverns, entertainment complexes, recreational facilities, sports arenas and houses of worship.
The Metroplex is governed by a lottery-selected council of 100 citizens. There is also a largely symbolic mayor elected by popular vote to serve a single five-year term. He is unpaid, but collects commissions by performing at weddings, birthday parties, religious coming-of-age ceremonies, and by facilitating business dealings. As is the case with most of Sapphire’s cities, crime is rare and security services are provided by freelance Security Police.
The economy of New Cleveland is tied in closely with the University of Sapphire at New Cleveland, the planet’s largest academic enterprise and a significant commercial power in its own right.
Much of the city’s economy is based on finance and investing, technological design and development, and entertainment media. There is significant trade in raw materials and finished goods owing to the city’s positioning at the center of Oz continent and on a major lake that facilitates trade.
The city also has a growing interstellar tourism industry and has become a destination for travelers from other worlds in the Perseus Sector.
Education within the metroplex is a privatized function in keeping with Sapphirean standard practices. There are hundreds of schools and academies throughout the city.
The city is also the host of the University of Sapphire at New Cleveland, the largest academic enterprise on the planet.
The city is connected to other cities in southern Oz by Continental Highways 47, 29, and 66 and by the Transcontinental MagLev lines Southern 1, Southern 2, Western 3, and Eastern 6. The main surface route into town is the NC-17 freeway, which connects to the NC-4000 Downtown Superloop.
There is a well-developed network of hovercar roadways throughout the city, as well as a network of privately-operated MagLev pods and Sky Taxis.
New Cleveland is also serviced by the Cloudbuster New Cleveland Aerospace Port, a commercially owned and operated facility located east of the city; which services a range of passenger and cargo operations.
There is an extensive harbor and shipping complex along the lakefront facilitating ship and MagLev transport across the Oz (Alpha) continent.
New Cleveland has a number of professional, semi-professional, and collegiate athletic teams, or which the most prominent are: Groundball – Suicidal Lunatics, USNC Armpit Avengers
Air Hockey – New Cleveland Loons, USNC Armpit Avengers
Rounders – Hammerheads, USNC Armpit Avengers
Aerial Inertial Combat - Lake Dragons, USNC Armpit Avengers