The Livingstone Peninsular
By D Hebditch
The Livingstone Peninsular is found in the south-western corner of Wellon. It forms the northern arm encompassing the Great Bay which holds so much of Wellon's mineral wealth and is both hilly and heavily forested. It was the first part of southern New Albion to be colonised and is now home to around 5 million people, most of whom live in the City of Livingstone in the southern tip of the peninsular. The Livingstoners are a gregarious, sociable, but somewhat insular people who are happy to stay in what they see as the best part of Wellon. Indeed the people of the peninsular sometimes have to be reminded that they are part of a wider Wellon.
Above: The area of the Livingstone Peninsular in relation to the rest of New Albion
Above: Detail map of the Livingstone Peninsular
The first humans came to the Livingstone Peninsular in 2161 when a BACS team visited the region which they named after the famous Scottish explorer and missionary. They noted the immense biological richness of the region, the nearby petrochemical resources and the general beauty of the area. They established their camp on the plateau that was to become the site of the City of Livingstone with its wide vistas over the south of the peninsular. The team was recalled to Cook's Town on the outbreak of the Alpha Centauri War, cutting short their investigations.
A further team returned in 2169, this time under the auspices of the nascent FPK, and set up at the same camp as its predecessors and commenced a detailed investigation of the region. It became clear that the camp, now known as Livingstone, was expanding rapidly and needed more support that the FPK could provide. Plans were laid to establish a small colony at Livingstone with academic, services and agriculture to support the scientists. Further ideas to expand the colony into a fully fledged 'hub' were made but never gained the support of the Colonial Office. The majority of colonists were to come from elsewhere on Tirane except for those recruited to establish farms in the Solham Highlands.
2171 saw the first colonists arrive in the region, with around 3000 in the first year. These settled on the spectacular northern edge of the plateau, initially in prefabricated housing. This was soon replaced with villa style buildings made from stone quarried elsewhere in the plateau, these excavations delved deep into the plateau and were used to house machinery, a few factories and workshops and the town's infrastructure. The town sprawled on the plateau with wide boulevards and gardens between the villas and other buildings. Livingstone's claims to have built the first swimming pool in British Tirane may not be substantiated, but they were certainly amongst the first.
The atmosphere of Livingstone was a relaxed and intellectual one compared with the rat-race mentality displayed in other parts of British Tirane as colonists struggled to carve out a niche. The Livingstoners survived well, prospering primarily on the proceeds of the exploration industry in the area. Livingstone became renowned for its sociable party scene with its mixture of explorers, prospectors, pilots, academics and local workers. This taste for the good things in life soon became a caricature of Livingstoners in the minds of visitors from other parts of British Tirane. Indeed an influential BBC Tirane comedy series of the time lampooned Livingstoner society as a decedent series of neo-Roman orgies. This is an image that, whilst exaggerated, had enough truth behind it that it has remained in the minds of some to the modern day.
By the early 2190s the population of the peninsular was only just above the 20 000 mark, with the bulk around Livingstone, a smaller number of farmers in the Solham Highlands and an increasing number in the nascent oil industry around the port of Solham. With the exploration of the region largely finished the good times were coming to an end for most Livingstoners and the town suffered an economic depression whilst other businesses and industries were established. One of the most important was the aerospace industry which specialised in LTA aircraft so useful in the south of New Albion. Also influential were biotech industries lured initially to the area by the British Tirane Zoological and Xenological Society's pachyderm relocation project.
In the summer of 2195 one of the region's defining events took place. The previous year the first of what was to become a wave of illegal colonisation, the 'Southern Problem', began along the southern coast of New Albion. Run through the Neuvas Malvinas, people desperate to escape a crowded earth paid extortionate sum to emigrate to Tirane, only to end up dumped on the fringes of New Albion by unscrupulous people traffickers. The bulk of these people ended up on the long string of islands known as the Southern Archipelago but some were landed on the mainland.
One of these runs, designed to pioneer a new route on the Livingstone Peninsular went badly wrong and the ship ran ashore after being almost wrecked on the off-shore reefs. The crew of the ship. the Sueño Azul, were at a loss of what to do, burdened with over 100 colonists, no ship and the supplies ruined. They took over the village of Tranquil Bay killing some of the inhabitants. The authorities dispatched a platoon of the Livingstone Rangers who freed the villagers but killed most of the crew and many of the colonists in doing so. The incident soured the atmosphere in the region and gave rise to distinct distrust and even hatred of the illegal colonists amongst Livingstoners. The region became known by both sides as Massacre Bay.
Ironically as the Massacre Bay incident occurred plans were being laid for the establishment of a much larger colonial presence in the region. These plans were for an expansion of the commercial exploitation of the mammoth Great Bay petrochemical reserves and for Livingstone to become a true hub settlement. These came into effect in the first year of the new century.
The expansion of Livingstone was constrained first by its position on the plateau which naturally limited the scale of the city itself. Nevertheless the main building phase commenced on the plateau. Those Livingstoners who had title deeds to land on the plateau, usually some of the earliest inhabitants, were able to lay the foundations for their future wealth. Some squandered the money but others took a longer view and many of these remain the main landlords of the city to the present day. The new construction was well planned and organised, blending in with the building that had preceded it. The city gained new parks and wide boulevards as well as business, housing and service sectors.
Outside of the city, away from the plateau, a series of feeder towns and villages were to be established to act as commuter settlements for Livingstone. These towns were blended in as much as possible with the surrounding areas. Most eschewed traditional grid layouts for a more holistic approach taking in the lay of the land and natural geography of the area. Where ever possible as much natural flora was left intact as possible. Derided as 'feng-shui' towns by the media they proved popular with people in North Albion and New Scotland who wanted to live in a warmer climate. Most new colonists from Earth however proved to be more comfortable emigrating to the city proper.
On the eastern coast the existing settlement on the mouth of the Solham River which had been the base of the oil exploration teams was expanded. The aim here was purely commercial, and little care was taken and planning to ease the environmental impact was minimal. New settlements were predominantly started by individual companies and many lacked all but the most basic amenities. These deficiencies were eventually put right, mostly by private enterprise, but for several years life was hard in these places. The workers in these industries were drawn mostly from existing skilled labour forces back on Earth but over recruitment from these sources meant that many unskilled people were brought in. Large populations from west Africa, Malaysia and the Indian States were established in the region primarily to staff the oil trade.
In 2223 a new settlement was established at the northern end of the eastern coastal strip. Emulating the deal done by the Netherlands government over the creation of the city of Doorn, the government of Biafra signed an agreement to support a minor colony on Wellon. The main driving force behind this move was Biafra National Oil who desired a greater piece of the action over the exploitation of Great Bay petrochemicals. Unfortunately after initial success pressures within the Biafran government between Anglo- and Francophone factions caused support for the settlement to collapse and control was passed to Wellon under the terms of the treaty. Nevertheless the town of Newport Harcourt continued to flourish and grow and has surpassed longer established Solham in terms of population and influence.
The political sophistication of the peninsular grew rapidly. Local government was strong and local politicians were at the forefront of attempting to solve the Southern Problem. The increasing irritation about the status of the south in the Cam Valley dominated South Albion was eventually solved in 2241 with the passage of the Wellon (Government) Bill. This created the new South New Albion region which was eventually to solve many of the regions political problems. Although much to the chagrin of the Livingstoners Point Sterling was chosen to be home to the South New Albion Assembly.
The peninsular continued to develop along the lines it had traditionally followed, with significant cultural differences between those living in the area around Livingstone city and those on the east coast. However the overall sense of being Livingstoners, and somewhat distinct from the rest of Wellon, was marked across the whole population. Similarly as most of the population had originally either emigrated to the area from elsewhere in Wellon or arrived as colonists from outside the British Isles, there was little identification of significant cultural links with Britain.
Growth has been relatively slow compared with other parts of Wellon, with just under 5 million Livingstoners. The economy is sound and still based on oil, service industries and increasingly tourism. Livingstone is undoubtedly the wealthiest part of the south, with most people living comfortably without the extremes of wealth found in Point Sterling or the 'welfare-poverty' of the Southern Archipelago. Livingstoners are known across Wellon as still loving the good things in life and being somewhat smug in their sense of superiority.
The Livingstone Peninsular runs from north-east to south-west for nearly 500km and ends at St. John's Cape, the southernmost tip of the peninsular. The base of the peninsular is taken as a line from the Stanley River Delta in the north to the mouth of the mostly impassable Puanteur Swamp some 470km to the south. The peninsular is heavily forested and is regarded as being the western most reaches of the New Albion Rain Forest although the area is much easier to traverse that the NARF proper. The area is also very hilly and is dominated by two distinct areas of mountains in the north and the south, the saddle between them is lower and known as the Lakeland Hills. The largest city is the City of Livingstone situated in the deep south other areas of urbanisation are dispersed around Livingstone and between the oil towns of Solham and Newport Harcourt on the eastern coast.
The spectacular Robertson Mountains begin to rise just south of the cultivated Stanley River Delta and run for some 150km down to the Lakeland Hills. The Robertson Mountains, Lakeland Hills and Dyer Mountains form the rocky spine of the area which runs down the western side of the Peninsular. The highest peaks in the Robertsons are nearly 5500m high and are under snow all year round and a number of glaciers are found here whose melt water feed into the Puanteur Swamp during the summers. Excepting some small communities of Stanley River settlers found on the northern slopes the Robertsons are virtually uninhabited. The north-eastern and eastern foothills are covered in jungle, the remaining slopes are usually covered in more temperate arboreal growth.
South of the Robertsons is the Puanteur Swamp a huge area of pseudo-mangrove that runs for 200km into the Great Bay. The area is renowned for its un-healthiness which matches anything the depths of the NARF can manage. It is also home to some very dangerous fauna and flora including crapauds and bog monsters. Humans rarely venture into the Puanteur although there are some communities on the edges of the swamp whose origins lie with bandits and illegal colonists. These places have some of the lowest life expectancies of anywhere in Wellon and are largely ignored by wider Livingstoner society.
The Lakeland Hills lie between the Robertson and Dyer Mountains and is regarded as one of the most picturesque places in the whole of the peninsular. The area superficially resembles the Lake District of the British Isles with many lakes scattered between low peaks and small towns and villages nestling in valleys. The area is lightly forested and also has large stretches of moorland covered in red flowered plantlife and buzzing Appinas. The Lakeland Hills are lightly populated but are very popular with tourists from across the Peninsular while many richer Livingstoners have second homes in the area. Perhaps surprisingly the hills have not yet been discovered by large numbers visitors from elsewhere in Wellon or wider Tirane and retains its own unique charm.
The Dyer Mountains dominate the southern part of the peninsular. This is a massif which run some 330km from the Lakeland Hills to the south-western coast and from the north-western coast is nearly 220km deep. The peaks are lower than Robertsons, reaching only just over 4000m, but the area is much more heavily populated. In the south-eastern corner of the massif is the Livingstone Plateau which is home to the City of Livingstone and the wider area is home to many towns and communities. The Dyer mountains have been mined since the establishment of Livingstone and continue to produce minerals. Alongside these blue collar mining towns are several mountain sports resorts from where holiday makers can ski the glaciers throughout the year.
The eastern coast which borders the Great Bay runs from St. John's Cape to the mouth of the Puanteur and is a sheltered and sweltering region. The first 190km stretch north from St. Johns is sparsely inhabited and is mostly covered in jungle home to large numbers of elephants and gnonose. The remaining stretch of 180km to the Puanteur is the peninsular's oil coast which holds to the two main towns of Solham and Newport Harcourt. The area between and around these crowded towns is home to many smaller communities, ports and oil facilities and most of the population is involved in the oil trade in some way. The interior is mostly still arboreal, although less densely than other parts of the peninsular and is home to many sprawling plantations. The exception is the area of upland grasslands known as the Solham Highlands which is the only area in the peninsular used for large scale farming.
The south-western coast runs north from St. John's Cape to the Western Angle is regarded as the most pleasant coastline on the peninsular. The southern part of the coast is mostly jungle with many small rivers emptying along the coastline. Several medium sized communities are located here and the area is well known for its excellent surfing, something that draws many back-packers from across Wellon. Massacre Bay is also found in this region. Further north the coastline becomes more rugged and the interior more pleasant, there are also more beaches in this area and several large summer resorts. Some of these, especially in Cookson Bay, are renowned even in 'Wild Wellon' for the hedonistic excesses of young people on holidays, a reputation that draws even more young people and repels more mature visitors. There are also a number of fishing towns located in this region. 150 km from the south-western coast are the Newmanx Islands which, although close to the peninsular, are considered part of the Southern Archipelago.
The north-western coast runs from the Western Angle to the Stanley River Delta and is exceptionally rugged and well known for its storms. The region is virtually uninhabited with the exception of a number of small isolated towns in the Yale River Delta.
Livingstone City is the oldest settlement in the peninsular and its political, economic and cultural capital. It is the only city in the area with a Wellon-wide profile. It is located on the eponymous plateau on the south-eastern edge of the Dyer Massif and is home to no fewer than two and a half million citizens. The plateau is roughly elliptical; 25km from east to west and 15km from north to south. Much of the city's charm comes from its unique location atop the green sided plateau, with commanding views across the whole south-eastern part of the peninsular. The sight of hundreds of airships moving over the lush forests, towns only denoted by their LTA towers rising through their canopy is a compelling one used on many images of the region.
The city itself is low rise and one of the more picturesque settlements in the south. The architectural tone was set in the at the turn of the last century with the move towards a new wave of mass colonisation. Already some buildings, including several spas, had been built in the neo-Roman villa style and this style was continued. The Old Town, the original settlement, was slowly rebuilt but all the other districts were built in this style from the start. It is now home to 2.5 million people, around half the population of the peninsular.
The Old Town is located in the south western part of the city and is the site of the original colony. The Old Town is a discrete city in its own right and is home to many of the most important cultural and judicial sites in the city. The Old Town is a crowded district in Livingstone terms and the tight streets around Meridian Square are home to a fast and furious nightlife that actually is open all day round. There are relatively few people living in this section of the city, although there are some prestigious, and well guarded, housing complexes on the southern edge of the plateau.
This area is divided into sections built around squares, piazzas and parks which define their character. Temple Bar is given over to the law courts and legal chambers. The Plaza del Viaggiatore has some of the city's finest hotels. Stanley Park is overlooked by buildings that used to house the city government and still house some GLC departments, and so on.
The City Centre was founded around the turn of the century as the city began to expand. The area was planned to be a typical central business district and also to be home to most of the local governmental and educational institutions. The area is very spacious in its layouts with wide boulevards and ample parklands. However it still manages to feel crowded due to the constant bustle of people travelling too and from work on the trams and trains.
Each of the different institutions are laid out as separate campuses with links running between them. The GLC complex is particularly spectacular, indeed it resembles the US Capitol Building in grandeur, although the GLC has outgrown it and occupies several other complexes around the city. The city centre is also home to several major shopping complexes, which few other cities can match in terms of sophistication, although most are much cheaper. Most of the major corporations present in Livingstone have their headquarters here.
The city's transportation hub is here, with Livingstone Parkhurst rail station and the airport in the northern edge of the district. However the airport is mostly given over to LTA craft and few conventional aircraft are allowed to land, partly due to the exorbitant landing fees.
The west town is the original housing district established in the city and is located in the western part of the plateau. The areas of the West Town were each founded on land owned by existing citizens and were usually named after them and other members of their families. The West Town is much less upmarket than the Old Town but is seen as being much more homely and a more relaxing place to live. It is a sprawling area of suburbia with little in the way of business or industry, although malls and other community areas are commonplace. Architecturally it is very similar to the Old Town, although most of the buildings lack the marble cladding common elsewhere. One place of note is the massive Taylor Field Auditorium, an open air arena given over to sporting and cultural events.
The East Town is located in the south-eastern part of the plateau. Originally developed as an industrial area it became a residential zone in the 2230s as the city began its third wave of expansion. This expansion was less well planned than that of the other areas and the East Town little resembles the rest of the city. Instead most of its buildings are of designs found elsewhere in Wellon rather than the typical villas. The East Town has a reputation as the most blue collar area of the city and has its own unique culture and accents. The district is the most successful in sporting terms and is home to Livingstone City FC as well as other local league teams. The exodus of some industries from the area, Livingstone Airships especially, has depressed the economy of the district and crime is relatively commonplace here.
The North Town is the least developed area of the city and includes most of the northern half of the plateau. Originally set aside for industry, parks and farming it has slowly acquired residential and business areas. It still retains much of its bucolic character and is notable for its many farms growing Terran fruits and vegetables. It is also home to the Livingstone Gin industry. A wide swathe of the district is given over to areas of natural parkland in an almost pristine state which is popular with walkers. Several small towns have grown up here in recent years.
One of the most well known parts of the North Town in Observatory Hill, the highest point on the plateau. Originally home to a BACS/FPK observatory, these buildings have now been given over to the Livingstone Science Museum, although the observatory is still in working order. Observatory Hill is also home to the Livingstone Institute of Science and Technology, a prestigious further education and research establishment.
Sometimes considered as part the North Town the Central Lakes are actually part of the city's sophisticated reservoir system which delves deep under the plateau. The twenty lakes of various sizes are set in landscaped parkland which conceals most of the machinery needed to control the system. However it has also become a popular place for the ultra rich to live and several of the lakes are available for watersports for everyone. Sailing, diving and other pursuits are popular whilst Bluebird Reservoir is given over for high speed racing.
Newport Harcourt is the largest city outside of Livingstone City and is located on the northern reaches of the eastern coast. It was founded as the short lived Biafran enclave in the 2230s but has grown relentlessly since the failure of the venture. The economy is firmly based on the proceeds of the oil industry out in the Great Bay but diversified over the last couple of decades and is very healthy.
As befits a prosperous town Newport Harcourt is a relatively gentile place located at the head of a small peninsular which encloses its main port. The city's buildings are crowded close together and are notable for the close proximity of various churches and mosques. The city's life revolves around the restaurants and bars on the Promenade overlooking the port. This relaxed outlook is somewhat spoiled by the city's reputation for incendiary politics which sometimes turns to violence. Indeed in the past this infighting has caused people to flee into the Puanteur Swamp in fear of their lives.
Solham is the oldest town on the eastern coast and is located at the mouth of the River Fale which runs down off the Solham Highlands. Solham itself was founded to be the centre of the nascent oil industry. It was, and remains, a purely functional town with little to commend it aesthetically. The town sprawls along both sides of the Fale and the river front is crowded with port and ship repair facilities. Solhamers are a tight knit bunch who have long made their living on the rigs, but still have a welcome for outsiders who come to their town. Solham is also home to the North Livingstone Peninsular Council and is the administrative centre for much of the peninsular.
Cookson Bay is not a town itself, rather a conglomeration of tourist resorts tucked into a sweeping bay in the south-eastern part of the peninsular. Originally a small fishing settlement Cookson Bay developed rapidly in the second half of the 23rd Century with the expansion of Wellon's internal tourist trade. Cookson Bay has a superb beach, almost guaranteed year-round good weather and excellent watersports. However in the last twenty years the area has become almost the exclusive domain of young hedonists from across Wellon and nightlife has become almost the raison d'être of the place. This has drawn flocks of young Wellonese to the place but their antics have caused outrage in conservative parts of Wellon and even disapproval from the Livingstoners. Nevertheless many young people regard their transition to adulthood incomplete if they haven't had at least a week of wild excess in Cookson Bay or similar resorts.
The Livingstone Peninsular is run under the national HMWG and regionally by the South New Albion Assembly and the people of the peninsular elect representatives to both. On a day to day level the administration of the peninsular is in the hands of two bodies; the Greater Livingstone Council and the North Livingstone Peninsular Council. The GLC covers the area of the Dyer Massif and the southern part of the peninsular and includes Livingstone. The NLPC is responsible for the remainder of the peninsular including the eastern coast, Lakeland Hills and the mostly uninhabited northerly areas.
The GLC has been dominated by, and is largely the home to, the Progressive Party. Unlike in the rest of Wellon the Livingstone Progressives are predominantly middle class and have a very liberal, partly socialist agenda. The Liberal Democrats have experienced no luck in try to oust the Progressives from control of the GLC for any significant length of time. Indeed the Progressives have been in power so long they have succumbed to a form of institutional inertia and their structure is marked by a very pronounced pecking order. Indeed any ambitious young politicians tend to graduate to regional or national politics as soon as possible. Petty corruption has been a problem in the past but prompt action by the RWC sparked renewed vigour from the Greater Livingstone Police, shamed by the intervention of outsiders on their patch. There are 55 councillors on the GLC, all elected by proportional representation.
The NLPC is regarded by most as a distinctly more practical body than the GLC. In the early years of its existence the various companies involved in oil exploitation had significant influence over the votes of their workers which led to a series of business friendly administrations. Although this influence faded relatively quickly the tradition of pragmatic voting continued. Today the NPLC tends to be run by a coalition formed from two of three main parties, the Liberal Democrats, Social Alliance and the Progressives. All these parties have a significant Tiranista content to their politics.
Perhaps the one underlying question in Livingstone politics concerns the possible devolution of Livingstone from South New Albion and the creation of a Livingstone Assembly directly under HMWG. There is a strong undercurrent of popular support for this move thanks in part to the activities of the Movement for Livingstone Autonomy to the , although there are constitutional objection raised by politicians in both Point Sterling and New Camelot.
There are three main forces operating in the peninsular; the Greater Livingstone Police, the North Livingstone Constabulary and elements of the Royal Wellon Constabulary. The GLP has a good record and has a reputation for solving crimes through their close links with the community they serve. However its detractors point out that sometimes too many criminals escape with warnings rather than punishment but overall the GLP has a high satisfaction rating amongst citizens. The NLC is somewhat less well regarded, being still tainted by 50 year old corruption charges over links with the region's oil companies. The NLC is more robust than the GLP and is sometimes seen as humourless in its approach to law enforcement.
The RWC has a relatively small presence in the region, and this is mostly aimed at monitoring the northern reaches of the Southern Archipelago. However it is rumoured that the Wellon Security Service is operating in the region maintaining surveillance on several key MLA activists who New Camelot suspect of being in favour of full blown independence of Livingstone from Wellon.
Although not regarded as a particularly militaristic part of the Tiralbion there is a sizeable, if low profile, WDF presence in the peninsular. The largest contingent is provided by the Army, which has its 4 Mechanised Brigade stationed in garrison on the edge of the Solham Highlands whilst the regional 1 Southern Brigade manned by the Wellon Rangers is based throughout the peninsular. In addition to these regular forces 25 (Wellon) Special Air Service Regiment has its base on Hammada Creek in Massacre Bay and conducts much of its training in the region.
The RWN's strength in South New Albion is mostly concentrated around Point Sterling but it also has some forward bases on the peninsular. These are mostly for the operation of the Southern Flotilla although some of the Southern Fleet's smaller warships are sometimes seen in the ports of Livingstone. The major facility is located in an annex of Solham's main harbour.
The RWAF is the least well represented service in the peninsular. The only active units are detachments of 934 and 942 Squadrons who operate DHW Albatross and LTA craft in the search and rescue role across the Great Bay and out into the Great Western Ocean. Perhaps unsurprisingly the RWAF has its LTA Trials unit located in the region at RAF Purcell just south of Livingstone close to the Livingstone Airships factory.
Like Point Sterling, Livingstone is a popular place for servicemen serving in the south to take their R&R, and large numbers of off-duty soldiers can be found in the city throughout the week.
Livingstone has a fairly idiosyncratic system of transportation within the region. The use of motor vehicles is limited to areas of the east coast and in the remoter hinterlands such as the Lakeland Hills. In the areas around Livingstone City motor vehicles are very rare, partly through underdeveloped road networks and partly through a punitive local tax system the GLC has imposed throughout its existence. The NLPC has a less restrictive policy but is equally reluctant to fund a major road network. Motor vehicles can still be found in smaller communities, such as those on the Solham Highlands, and are used by government agencies but the peninsular is refreshingly free of the traffic found in other parts of Wellon.
In the place of the road network the peninsular relies on a system combining light conventional railways and LTA craft. Light rail and trams are commonly used within towns and cities and to link in commuter suburbs. The rail network was put in during the development of the peninsular and is beginning to show its age. However it is still a popular and efficient way to travel around the local area. For longer range travel the LTA network is the most advanced of its kind and is run from a command centre in Livingstone City. It was developed partly to help the nascent LTA industry to get on its feet, and is now popular throughout the region. Cruising at 250kph the LTAs come in a variety of sizes and provide a cheap, fast and spectacular way to negotiate the peninsular. Virtually every community has its own LTA tower and are linked into a network of feeder routes and hubs. Travel by LTA is very much a part of everyday life in the region. Dedicated 'cruise zeps' also ply the region catering for the tourist market.
Sea travel is possible in the littoral regions but is largely overshadowed by the widespread use of the faster LTAs. Ports are also used to support the oil industry in Great Bay, especially the subsurface drilling facilities that are so widespread. Heavier-than-air travel is relatively uncommon within the region, indeed there are only four 'major' airports with two serving Livingstone City and one each for Solham and Newport Harcourt. These are used almost exclusively for travel outside the region or by VTOLs supporting the oil industry. With the ubiquity of LTA towers only a few larger settlements have dedicated VTOL pads or grass strip runways.
The peninsular is rich in natural resources, although many have yet to be exploited in any significant way. The most well known resources are the petrochemicals found in the Great Bay. Today these are used more as a source of polymers and lubricants rather than for power generation but have long been a valuable resource. The region provides a large proportion of the workers for this industry but only has limited refinery capabilities. Most of the output is shipped to other parts of Wellon for refinement and onward shipping. There are further mineral resources to be found in the peninsular but so far only the Dyer Massif has seen any concentrated exploitation. There are plans to open up the Robertson range but these have currently been held up in the NLPC.
The forests and jungles of the peninsular are a biological treasure trove. Although not to the extent of the New Albion Rain Forest they are better explored and understood. Livingstone's biotech industrial strength is based primarily on this resource. Also important to the regional economy is the presence of rubber plant equivalents and the importation of the Char plant from New Scotland. These are primarily exploited by plantations in the east coast hinterlands, with the Char especially being a high value as the peninsular produced blend is subtlety different from that produced elsewhere in Wellon.
Livingstone relies on a combination of power sources. Efficient solar cells are common on almost every house whilst the Dyer Mountains has a number of dual purpose dams which can produce hydroelectric power. The city of Livingstone also has an subterranean dual-purpose system of reservoirs inside the plateau which are normally used to store drinking water but can also generate electricity to meet peaks of demand. However like most of Wellon most power requirements are satisfied by the orbiting solar power system which beams power down to a floating rectenna farm complex some miles off-shore from Solham. The Greater Livingstone part of the peninsular is renowned for the unreliability of the power net however and occasional blackouts have led to many towns enhancing their own power generating capacity.
Livingstone is not a major industrial centre but nevertheless has a significant industrial output. The most well known industry is in LTA manufacturing and design dominated by Livingstone Airships, based at a complex some 10km south of the city. Support to the oil industry is also an important employer and a range of facilities specialising in off-shore installations exist on the east coast. Shipbuilding is not a major industry in the region as most yards find it hard to compete with the output of the New Glasgow and Cam yards. The final major industry is the biotech industry, based on a synergy of commercial outfits and local academia.
A large proportion of the people living in the peninsular are engaged in the service industries and in commercial enterprises. The City Centre of Livingstone is the focus of much of this work in the region, although Newport Harcourt is also home to several major concerns dealing with the oil industry. Livingstone has a solid, blue chip, financial system built on a reputation for probity and wise investment. It has never matched the high levels of returns of Victoria or Point Sterling but few investors ever end up broke either.
Livingstone is home to several major home grown corporations which have subsidiaries across Wellon as well as local branches of most of the major Tiranean corporations. The most important institution is the Southern Bank of New Albion which through its mint issues the local version of the currency. Other banks, insurance companies and pensions concerns have a strong presence in Livingstone City.
Agriculture is not a major employer in the region. The bulk of the farming is conducted in the Solham Highlands and in the plantations of the east coast. Much of the latter is dominated by the production of the local Char for export. However most of the towns and settlements in the area have their own small farms and market gardens for the production of local produce. In overall terms the peninsular is a net importer of food from other parts of Wellon and Tirane. Along with its distinctive Char the region is known for its Livingstone Gin, distilled from the local bylder berries. Livingstone Gin is an acquired taste for people from Earth but is incredibly popular in the south of Wellon.
Fishing is also not a major employer in the region, although there are a number of fishing ports in the western part of the peninsular. Fish farming is more noticeable, especially on the east coast where large fish farms specialise in producing Terran fish, including some of the finest tuna in Tirane.
Science has always played a large part in the life of the peninsular, which was colonised primarily to support exploration missions. The FPK has a strong presence here and its headquarters for the whole of the south is here. Also of great influence is the Wellon Zoological and Xenological Society which first came to the area in 2190. Under the leadership of Kelly Russell the WZXS created a reserve for Terran elephants to the south of the city. This project eventually led to the pachyderms being released into the wild and becoming an integral part of the local ecology in the south of the peninsular. The WZXS 'Elephant House' is a major biotech facility in its own right as well as monitoring the elephant community. It has also had a hand in the cetacean relocation project.
Education plays its usual important role in the region. There are a number of key academic institutions in the area including Livingstone University, LIST, Peninsular Tech and Russell City University to name but a few. These institutions have a reputation for the quality of their humanities and science courses and these are intimately linked with the region's biotech industries.
Livingstone has a thriving cultural scene and many artists, musicians and performers make a comfortable living here, especially in the city. The region has many venues, including numerous open air amphitheatres that are found in almost every town in the Greater Livingstone region. Travelling companies of performers put on an array of different shows from Shakespeare, to opera to slapstick comedy. The region also has a tradition of individual sponsorship of the arts, reflected in many leading artists giving private performances at small venues for the benefit of benefactors. Indeed there is much competition amongst leading citizens to be associated with the most fashionable performers.
As a reaction to this there is a substantial underground music scene which in recent years has gained increased exposure through gigs for tourists in Cookson Bay and other areas. This rock/dance hybrid is regarded with condescension in Livingstone but is increasingly popular in wider Wellon.
The area also has a relatively small broadcast media presence with only the local WBC station and the Albion/Sunrise owned Livingstone Media being based in the region. Indeed the area tends to be swamped by broadcasting from Point Sterling and elsewhere in Wellon. One area where the region is well known is in traditional, paper based publishing, and several major publishers are located in the region including companies who will transfer to paper electronic books.
Sports in the region tend to be of the outdoors variety; with rambling, climbing, sailing and the like all being popular. Ball sports are played, although largely without much success on the national stage. Athletics is popular and several Livingstoner middle distance runners have had substantial success.
The peninsular has a massive array of local fauna and flora most of which can also be found in other areas of Wellon.
There have been elephants present on the peninsular since the start of the WZXS project in the 2190s. Gradually these have spread into the wild from the reserve as part of a deliberate project. So far this has been an immense success with the elephants blending well into the local ecosystem. Many herds are now dispersed deep into the interior and beyond the WZXS's monitoring. Sometimes rogue elephants have been encountered and several towns in the Greater Livingstone area have to live with elephants moving through their streets. Watching the elephants is a popular pastime for tourists. The vast majority of the elephant population is located in the peninsular.
These are small breed of Croppers who are also found in the Southlands and other parts of Wellon. They are fast moving creature with long tail and neck which although omnivorous usually feeds on fruits from the trees. The Forest Croppers usually move in packs and are prey to a variety of Kats and Treens. Several people have been killed whilst walking in the forests by stampeding packs of Forest Croppers.
Gabriel Charlton is the young chief executive of the Greater Livingstone Council. Born in a small town near Massacre Bay he was educated locally and at the LIST. He was interested in politics at an early age and was elected to the GLC at 23 for the Progressives. Obviously able, intelligent and a natural politician he has risen through the ranks to become head of the GLC ten years later, a position he has held for five years. A master of social politics he is currently in a position where he has no immediate challengers. His rivals are hoping that he will graduate soon to national or regional politics which he shows no sign of doing as a proud Livingstoner, this has given rise to rumours he secretly supports independence for Livingstone and the MLA.
Rachel Allred is the CEO of South Albion Petrochemicals one of the region's major oil companies. Although born in New Capetown she has fitted well into local society since her move to Livingstone and she has homes in the city and Newport Harcourt. She is secretly immensely ambitious and hopes to dominate the oil trade in the area. In order to do this she has recruited several agents amongst the other oil companies, an action which has brought her into contact with some unscrupulous members of the underworld. Plans for sabotage of rival facilities have been put to her but so far she has staved them off, for now.
Jude Fox-Bishop is one of Livingstone City's most famous male Courtesans. Born and raised in a poor district of the East Town he is tall, good looking and possessing an easy charm. Now in his late 30s Jude is currently attached to Charlotte Phillips, a Fellow of the FPK who is in charge of the Wellon Health Service on the peninsular. It is commonly recognised that he has been a key factor in the rise of Charlotte who is a natural bluestocking. He regularly organises dinner and cocktail parties at her new Old Town villa. He has previously been linked with a woman who became one of the city's MPs.