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Playing With: Urban Segregation
Basic Trope: A City of Adventure divided into two or more distinct areas, generally along lines of prestige and physical landmarks.
  • Straight: The city of Tropain is split into halves by the Tropiary River. Northwest Tropain is where the upper-classes and the Duke live, while Southeast Tropain is run-down and overcrowded with poor riff-raff.
  • Exaggerated: Northwest Tropain is a shining jewel in the country of Troperion, with amazing architecture, the great Minigame Zone and some of the best and brightest of their elite ranks. Southeast Tropain, on the other hand, is a complete slum
  • Downplayed:
    • The city of Tropain is split into halves by the Tropiary River. Most of the city's middle-class inhabitants live in Northwest Tropain, while the lower-income residents tend to live in Southeast Tropain.
    • While there are different demographics for each district, there is much less segregation. The more respectable commoners do live in some of the upper-class areas, perhaps due to being successful in business, or being appointed as resident artisans by the nobility. Likewise some of the nobility do live in the lower-class sections of the city, because some owns factories and needs to be there 24-7, some would rather get away from the boring pampered life to try out living hippie/simple/adventurous, and some others are simply philanthropists who would like to help.
    • Northwest Tropain has bigger houses, lovely parks, and wide beautiful roads and vistas. Southeast Tropain has small apartments, somewhat narrow streets, and relatively few parks. Both, however, have public amenities that guarantees a decent minimum standard of life (eg schools, hospitals, council housing, sewer connection).
  • Justified:
    • When Tropain was first founded, the aristocrats and governors built their estates on the northwest bank, the servants and commoners were placed in the southeast bank, and the separation remained this way ever since.
    • Tropain is a major center of commerce, attracting lots of people eager to make their fortune; to deal with this.
    • Duke Winsblown has a very strict martial presence that is decidedly laxer on the southeastern side of the city.
    • A neighborhood that gains a good reputation (good schools, safe, good jobs, etc.) tends to attract those who help further that reputation via higher income (and subsequent taxes). Likewise, negatives such as high crime and pollution keep people except the poor and desperate away.
  • Inverted: A river or other landmark is divided by a city.
  • Subverted: Northwest Tropain and Southeast Tropain, are divided by a wall. Our heroes live on the Southeast side. We here rumors about how Northwest is better, but once they get over the wall, they find the Northwest is not better.
  • Double Subverted: But they cross another wall, and they find a beautiful city.
  • Parodied: The city is stupidly divided and organized to the point where the sections of the cities are sorted into sections by absurdly specific individual occupation without any sort of controlling central planning.
  • Zig Zagged: Tropain starts as a single city with no major divisions in class; over time, the southern side florishes as they reap more benefits from the land. This also attracts crime, until the southern side is more beautiful and ridden with more problems. Another land then attacks Tropain from the south, causing that side to take the most damage; the elite migrate to the northwestern side and being rebuilding there, while trying to shunt the undesirable elements to the undesirable side.
  • Averted: There are no unified good or bad areas. Every section of the city has its jewels and blemishes.
  • Enforced: The barrier between the two halves of Tropain is a Broken Bridge: players start in one half and must somehow get to the other half and move around undetected.
  • Lampshaded: The Hero travels from one district to the other, and comments on the obvious class-based divisions, possibly snarking at the impracticality of it all if the Southeast is really that bad off.
  • Invoked: The wealthy elements of Tropain arrange for 'undesirables' to be rounded up and herded into ghettos in the poorer regions of the city.
  • Exploited: Ulrich the Usurper gathers his rebel army among the disadvantaged Southeasterners, playing on their discontent.
  • Defied:
    • However, the river isn't as good at keeping the 'undesirables' out as they wanted, and many find ways to get back in, leaving them all back at square one.
    • Meanwhile, rich Northwesterners have been taking advantage of the low property rates to build second homes in the Southeast, slowly "gentrifying" neighbourhoods on the other side of the river.
    • The more successful Southeasterners, the more enlightened Northwesterners, and a strong socialist government selflessly took efforts to actually improve the slum houses - connecting sewer, allocating better teachers, and providing subsidized house repair services etc. 50 years later, the southeast became just as safe and savoury as the northwest.
  • Discussed: The Smart Guy explains to The Hero, an out-of-towner, the history of the city and how Tropain came to be split into its current class-based divisions.
  • Conversed: The Hero, the Upperclass Twit, and The Smart Guy have a lengthy debate on the history, benefits and drawbacks of the current layout of the city. Many of the arguments they all make can be compared to Real Life cases of Urban Segregation, its causes, and possible remedies.
  • Deconstructed: Residents of both sides aren't too thrilled with the growing blight of Southeast Tropain; members of the "good" side see it as a blight and a security risk, while the reason why members of the "bad" side dislike it are entirely obvious. Social upheaval throws both sides into disarray.
  • Reconstructed:
    • Southeast Tropain didn't start out as a dump; originally it was as upscale as Northwest Tropain, but was trashed by repeated raids and siege attempts from southern enemies. The Duke tides complainers over by making a big show of "urban renewal" projects; while these are barely a drop in the bucket, they let the "good" citizens feel like they're doing something great for their less fortunate neighbors and let them look down on the "ungrateful cretins" for not being satisfied.
    • While everyone would like to have wide open squares, big mansions, and beautiful parks, sometimes, gentrifying the area can drive out poor people and create slums elsewhere. Of course the poor deserves at least a good-enough home, schools, health care, and reasonable proximity to workplaces like everyone else. What they shouldn't expect are luxuries like big parks, wide avenues with wide footpaths, or 10-bedroom mansions. (Resulting in Downlayed entry #3.)
  • Played For Laughs: One half of the city is made of wood and the other half is on fire. The two parts are connected and the "rich" people from the north side spend a lot of time beating out fires from their houses.
  • Played For Drama: The Hero had a very hard childhood in Southeast Tropain. With his family abandoning him and his little dog killed by the local Mob, our hero sets off to make a better life for himself on the other side. However, his status as a Southeasterner makes it hard for him to get employment, and the parents of his new friends and Love Interest forbid them from interacting with him.

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