Arts and Culture

Check out this virtual recreation of Kelowna

Part art and science, it has traffic problems too

It’s the modern-day equivalent of building a model railroad town in your uncle's basement.

Digital city builders are part art and part science.

They let users create fantasy worlds, or more perfect versions of where they live.

And that’s the inspiration for Quade Lang.

The Kelowna baker took it upon himself to build the entirety of Kelowna in a popular city building game called Cities: Skylines, and has plans to improve his home town.

“I've always been interested in creating realistic cities in the game,” Lang told Kelowna10. “I figured Kelowna would be perfect considering I could fit most of the city on the game map, and I've lived here for my whole life.”

The endeavor took 20 hours over the course of one week, with him picking away at the project here and there.

Surprisingly, virtual Kelowna shares at least one glaring similarity with its IRL (In Real Life) counterpart: traffic congestion.

“The traffic is awful, pretty much at a complete standstill all through the highway from Rutland to the Westside,” he explained.

Tunnel and high-capacity tram

His digital metropolis also faces some economic issues due to limitations of the game, made worse by his attempts to stay accurate to what Kelowna looks like in real-life.

With this in mind, he now plans to dip into a little fantasy and make some major overhauls to his virtual city, primarily its transit network.

Lang said he has plans to convert some of the highway to an underground tunnel and run a high-capacity tram along Harvey Avenue. Density is also in store, with designs to flip most single-family homes into mixed-use medium-density apartments.

“Basically, my main goal is to make it so Kelowna is not a car dependent city anymore with plenty more pedestrian-only areas as well,” Lang said.

Though he is not an urban planner, his improvements are being crowdsourced online from Kelowna residents.

And while no formal outreach has happened, his video got a nod of approval on YouTube from the City of Kelowna’s own account with a simple “Looks great!”

Published 2022-11-24 by Robin Liva

Get a fresh daily look

See what’s happening in and around our city, and the people who call it home.

Our newsroom abides by the RTNDA Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct and follows the Canadian Press Stylebook. If you have any questions or concerns, or would like to send us a news tip, please contact us.

Kelowna10 is division of Pattison Media, and strives to achieve the highest ethical standards in all that we do.