Lugdunum, just before promotion. Most people live in grand insulae cliff dwellings, which avoid the usual distribution problems by getting food directly from the plateau and getting other goods directly from the northern lowlands. A small villa "loop" block in the east-central valley is fed by a small casa farming village on the western and central islands. Natives are ignored. No salary was taken and no personal funds were used. The "rescue" gift was accepted, but further debt was avoided. Accepting the promotion (after 12 years), the result is: Culture: 100 Prosperity: 100 Peace: 51 Favor: 75 Population: 5429 Funds: 57038 Continuing to govern, after 2.5 years the population stabilizes at 5590. After 5 years there is still unemployment, even with marble, iron, and weapons industries turned on. Designing the cliff dwellings was tricky, with many failures before finding a successful configuration. Having a few less cliff dwellings would allow simpler roads (less dead ends) and fewer design problems. To compensate, the small villas could be replaced with a few large villas (requiring a coloseum) and plus some grand insulaes. I would have used this revised approach, except that the number of grand insulae or better houses was a secondary winning condition (after Prosperity) in "almost a competition".
Additional Comments: I realize that I am just seeing this YEARS after it was posted, but the use of market ladies on top of the cliff to 'reach' houses on the other side of the cliff is brilliant. Very clever solution. What is the 'reach'? 2x2 blocks? You say it took several tries to get it right. I can imagine that was the case. Great work!