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Motto: Age is Strength
Country Questers
Metropolitan Area Greater Jesselton Area
 • Type Metropolitan Authority
 • Body Jesselton Combined Metropolitan Authority
 • Chief Minister Simon Tybridge
Population (2017)
 • City 7,125,150
 • Density 0
 • Metro 13,544,209
 • Metro density 0
Demonym(s) Jesseltonian
Time zone East Alisna Mean Time (UTC+1)

Jesselton is the capital and most populous city of Questers. Jesselton straddles the river Beam, its islands and its estuary, and has been inhabited for at least three millenia. It is named after King Jessel, who made the settlement his capital in 870. Jesselton refers not only to the ancient city based on the Island of Jesselton, but also the surrounding conurbations, which have been incorporated into the city itself for at least two centuries. This large urban area constitutes the Greater Jesselton Area, a Metropolitan Area, and is governed by a devolved authority known as the Jesselton Combined Metropolitan Authority. Jesselton has an urban area of 323 square miles and a metropolitan area of 5,420 square miles. Its 13.5 million citizens account for 11% of the country's total population.

Jesselton is home to five World Heritage Sites: Jesselton Castle, the Questarian Observatory, Jesselton Minster, the Old Jesselton Docks and the Commonwealth Theatre. Jesselton has some of the largest museums and art galleries in Alisna and the world, including the National Museum, Peoples History Museum, Questarian Maritime Museum and Art Heritage. Three Peoples Leisure Parks are sited in Jesselton, including KSB Beaufort. It has the highest density of sport events and arenas in the world. Jesselton's underground railway and mass transit system is one of the largest in the world, with 182 rapid transit stations. Other landmarks include: the State Broadcasting Building, the Parliament of Questers, Central Zoo, Island Park and Beam Park, the North and South Jesselton Bridges, and Central Station.









Jesselton lies between the 52st and 52nd parallels (51-52°N) and the 11th and 12th eastern meridian (11-12°E). It is situated in southern Questers, approximately 60 miles from the border with Pollona, and at the mouth of the Beam river. Most of the city of Jesselton is built within 10 miles of the river; the original settlement of Jesselton is built on Jesselton island, a river island, facing out into the Jesselton Harbour, a 133-sq mile bay. The site was chosen for its natural military advantage and was later found to be well suited for a port. The highest point in the city is Phillips Hill at 465 feet, although this is smaller than the tallest building.

The total Jesselton city area is 341 square miles, but significant land under the purview of the Jesselton Combined Metropolitan Authority is used for national parks, which total 104 square miles. The Jesselton Naval Base is part of the civilian jurisdiction of Jesselton, and includes a further 37 square miles. Including water, the city's total area amounts to 630.5 square miles (1,630 sq-km).


York Borough, viewed from The Island; the renovated Archer Street is blocked by trees.
Jesselton Island's central business district, viewed from southeastern Halesley; the main buildings include the Ministry of Supply, the Central Planning Board, and the Ministry of Transport and Communications.
Jesselton, from Chairman Hill in Millsbury National Park.


A map of Jesselton.
The six boroughs and other areas of Jesselton:
  1. Jesselton Island
  2. York
  3. Phillips Hill
  4. Sale
  5. Halesley
  6. Beaufort
  7. Millsbury National Park
  8. Jesselton Harbour National Park
  9. Bingham National Park
Jesselton's six boroughs
Jurisdiction Population Land area Density
Borough County Estimate
persons /
sq. mi
persons /
sq. km
555,250 32.3 83.6 17,190.40 6,641.75
2,777,515 80.5 208.6 32,491.80 12,538.78
2,615,590 57.9 150 47,970.90 18,516.77
1,265,910 60.4 156.5 20,958.77 8,088.88
789,101 34.6 89.7 22,806.39 8,797.11
755,217 75.3 195.5 10,029.44 3,863
8,758,583 341 883.9 25,684.99 9,909
13,544,209 --- --- --- ---

The Jesselton Metropolitan Area (JMA), the legal and technical city limit, is formally divided into six Boroughs with an area of approximately 341 square miles, in which around 7.358 million people live. The area outside of the JMA is part of the County of Jesselton, and governed by the Jesselton County Council; the rest of the county is considered the metropolitan area of the city, in which a further 6.2 million people live, although it is governed by the Jesselton County Council. There are also three National Parks and the Jesselton Naval Base.

The six Boroughs constitute the usual definition of Jesselton, although its metropolitan area is contiguous with the urban area; each Borough of the JMA is co-terminous with a Borough of the County of Jesselton. In some areas, the city is enclosed, either by urban forest, canal, or the ancient Jesselton walls. Each borough is made up of many neighbourhoods and Communes. The six Boroughs are:

  • Jesselton Island, commonly known as The Island, is the smallest Borough by both area and population. It is home to the city's central business district, including most government ministries and agency head offices, Central Station, the country's largest train station, and Salient Square, the centre of nightlife in Jesselton. It is the cultural, financial and administrative capital of the city, although its ancient port, part of which is a World Heritage Site, is still operational. The Island is also home to the Castle of Jesselton, a fortification dating back to 800 AD.
  • York is the largest Borough by both area and population. It is home to the south entrance to the Beam Bridge, a historical crossing point, and also several important industrial enterprises, including the main factory sites for HPG Questers, Haslane-Dowding Aerospace, and Fantane Aircraft. Its history with aerospace and the location of the Richard Elliot International Airport led to York being chosen as the site of several high-tech research agencies in the 1990s, such as the Aerospace Trials and Development Agency and the Practical Robotics Commission. Although York was once considered a purely industrial and residential Borough of the city, the 21st-century saw the completion of two large shopping centres near the Beam river and the renovation of Stevenage Road and Archer Street into modern cultural centres. The addition of the New Peoples Theatre and the Peter Hood Stadium completed the reconstruction, causing some to consider York as a cultural contender to the Island.
The Brook Lane Festival is Questers largest multicultural carnival, with more than 500,000 people in attendance.
  • Sale is a historically ethnically-diverse Borough, as the historic Law of Settlement precluded foreigners, including Questarian-born Jews and Danskere, from living in other parts of the city. Sale is outside the Jesselton city walls and takes its name from The Law of Sale which prohibited Questarians from trading inside the Borough. The Laws were repealed in the 20th century but Sale retains an ethnically diverse and less developed characteristic. Its Communes are known for their multicultural nature; Questers largest ethnic festivals, such as the Brook Lane Parade, are held in Sale Central Market. Sale is host to the All-Commonwealth Annual LGBT Parade, since 1995 the largest LGBT parade in Alisna. Sale is home to the University of Modern Arts and the Richard Elliot School of Political, Economic and Social Science. The Borough includes Jesselton's Chinatown.
  • Phillips Hill is the second largest Borough by population and a site of heavy industry since the 19th-century, when factories were placed there in order to keep smog from blowing over the rest of the city. Phillips Hill suffered from significant urban decay until the 1990s when it was rebuilt and its slums were demolished. The Borough is the most rebuilt in Jesselton with hundreds of modern tenements and apartment blocks. Anti-gentrification programmes have allowed Phillips Hill to retain a strong working class identity. Since 2000, Phillips Hill has been home to one of the largest student populations in Questers, with the opening of the Phillips Hill Technical College and the Commonwealth Technical University.
  • Halesley is traditionally a more wealthy part of Jesselton, as south-blowing winds protected it from the heavy industry on the south bank, although its coastline, connecting to Jesselton Harbour, is still an operational port. In the past fifteen years, Halesley's population has nearly doubled: the borough has been a centre for the high-tech economy, with green industry and computing industries like software development and programming experiencing rapid growth. Halesley contains the main campus of University College Jesselton, although the university campus expands into both Sale, Beaufort, and Millbury National Park.
  • Beaufort was incorporated into the city in 1992. Formerly the Royal Borough of Beaufort and the location of the main Palace of Beaufort, principal economic activity in Beaufort used to be preservation of the royal grounds and other household work. The Palace and former royal grounds have been converted into KSB Beaufort leisure park and Beaufort is now an economically diverse Borough. It is the second-smallest Borough by population and the least dense.


Revivalist architecture from the 18th-century still exists in northern Jesselton.
Sandown Houses in Phillips Hill, typical of the austere style of apartment construction in the early-mid 1990s.
Royal Towers in Beaufort. The former site of the Royal Dockyard was renovated in the mid 2000s to contain large high-rise housing at subsidised rates. The neo-Imperial style is unusual.

Jesselton's architecture can be divided into several distinct types; surviving heritage buildings from the renaissance and medieval periods, revival architecture from the 18th to 20th-centuries, and contemporary architecture, which includes brutalist architecture, and a Questarian form of architecture called Modern Socialist architecture, and identifiably post-modern styles. Jesselton in particular was mostly rebuilt in the 1990s in a huge slum-clearance project by the now-defunct Jesselton Urban Regeneration Authority. The Authority had wide powers to approve architectural styles and a mandate to build new, modern housing as quickly as possible. The need for economy in construction in the 1990s has had a wide effect on many residential areas in Questers. Many older buildings were built with white limestone quarried in Richmondshire.

The Island of Jesselton still has buildings from the medieval period, many of which are now listed structures. There are some structures, including the Castle of Jesselton, which are older, and the Jesselton city walls are approximately 1,000 years old in some areas. Revivalist architecture built during the 18th and 19th centuries dominates official buildings like government ministries, but the majority of buildings in the Island are still modernist. In contrast, both York and Phillips Hill, the southern boroughs, have large amounts of brutalist architecture, both from the 60s-70s when there was a brief construction boom, and the 1990s after slum clearances rebuilt the residential areas. Remaining architecture from the 19th and 20th centuries in these Boroughs reflects the character of South Jesselton as it expanded to meet the needs of industry.

In Halesley and Beaufort, historically wealthier boroughs, townhouses from the 18th and 19th centuries remain, and until the 2010s the majority of housing was still low-density, whereas housing in South Jesselton was predominantly mid to high rise and high density. Since 2010 a number of large mega-projects have been built, in different architectural styles, both to house the increasing number of citizens and to project an image of socialist modernity. Luxury housing in Jesselton is rare, but the newer large apartment buildings have amenities not seen before in Questarian public housing and are provided on subsidised rents. Many of Jesseltons larger houses were converted to multi-story flats during the Communist period.

Urban planning

Jesselton's planning body is known as the Jesselton Strategic Urban Planning Authority (J-SUPA, or J-Super), formed in 1992 in order to rebuild and regenerate the city. J-Super, which has been administered by Andrew Gowans since its inception, focused on four aspects of urban planning. The aspects are now considered as part of the Jesselton model of urban planning.

  • Ecology: Jesselton would become an ecological city with low per capita carbon emissions and pollution, resource conservation, and be generally green. Millions of trees were planted during the 1990s to this end. More than 100 new parks were created inside the city and the Jesselton Industrial Reservoir, a large canal and reservoir system, was rebuilt, repopulated with wildlife, and turned into an urban lake and park. Jesselton is self sufficient in energy from its nuclear power stations.
  • Personal and psychological: Jesselton model aims to reduce social exclusion and to design an urban setting in which individuals can interact with the community easily. Gowans was able to successfully argue for a form of economic organisation in which community-owned micro-enterprises were common. Residential areas were designed and planned to be close to these community centres.
  • Discrete planning: Gowans rejected a grid design, and numbered streets, instead deciding that each street would be named and planned organically around its major ecological features. He advocated the construction of 'irregular' and 'recognisable' structures, so that the city would be navigated by landmark. Most streets would be within walking distance of a visible landmark; Gowans believed that association with commonly-understood cultural objects would lend a sense of identity and belonging to those who lived amongst them. Similarly, old buildings and streets were often preserved from development, but new, modern buildings were also built.

At its height in the early 2000s, J-Super had a staff of more than 55,000 and occupied most of the country's architects and urban planners. Since that time its size has shrunk as personnel have been sent to other metropolitan areas to impart their knowledge there. J-Super remains a powerful and distinctive Jesselton institution.



Climate data for Jesselton (Monitoring Station 51, Salient Park), 1991-2017 normals
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °F (°C) 38.3
Daily mean °F (°C) 32.6
Average low °F (°C) 26.9
Average precipitation inches (mm) 5.15
Average snowfall inches (cm) 8.5
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in) 11 10.5 10.1 12 9.4 9.3 8.9 11.1 11.5 12 12.25 10.9 128.95
Average snowy days (≥ 0.1 in) 15.0 16 11 0.4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.7 14 57.1
Average relative humidity (%) 62.5 62.2 60.5 55.3 64.7 67.2 65.2 67.0 68.8 68.6 66.6 67.1 64.66
Mean monthly sunshine hours 162.7 163.1 212.5 225.6 256.6 257.3 268.2 268.2 219.3 211.2 151.0 139.0 2,534.7
Percent possible sunshine 51 52 53 53 53 57 56 60 56 57 49 46 52.8
Source: Military Weather Directorate



Jesselton Authority







Public transport in Jesselton is co-ordinated and planned by the Jesselton Integrated Transport Authority, or Jita. Public transport consists of conventional rail, linking the County of Jesselton to the City, an integrated mass transit system known as Jesselton Harbour Rapid Transit (JHART), including light rail, tramways and bus rapid transit systems, and a bus network. The Integrated Transport Authority plans and manages the transport system in order to maximise efficiency for commuters. In 2017, 72% of Jesselton used one of the methods above to commute; another 26% used a bicycle or walked.

Jesselton Harbour Rapid Transit

The Jesselton Harbour Rapid Transit system combines eleven light rail networks (known as JRT or Jesselton Rail Transit) with four tram lines and two bus rapid transit (BRT). Ridership was 1.122 billion in 2017.



Central Station, Questers largest train station.









See also