How is Cascadia Infrastructure Holding Up?
The urban areas in Cascadia are still similar to the cities of North America, with all the modern conveniences and infrastructure found in modern metropolitan areas. In some rural areas of the country, there is a lack of access to modern utilities—electricity, treated water, and plumbing. The vast majority of Cascadians, however, live in urban areas with all the comforts found in most North American homes. The Cascadian transportation network, whether it is the roads, railway lines, or the airports, is expansive and allows the people to move freely throughout the country. In short, foreign visitors from modern countries would find little difference between the infrastructure of Cascadia’s major cities and their own hometowns.
While nearly 70% of Cascadians live in urban areas, only around 16% reside in the six main cities of Seattle, Tacoma, Vancouver, Portland, Salem, and Eugene; the remaining population reside in smaller cities and towns spread throughout the country. In the rural areas, the standard of housing is often far inferior to that of the US. It is generally considered on par with the housing found in developing countries.
Travel throughout Cascadia is widespread thanks to its extensive transportation network. However, the roads no longer necessarily conform to the standard maintained by Canada or the United States, and they are poorly maintained in comparison. Nevertheless, expressways and highways do connect all the major urban areas as well as the more rural areas. The rail network is expansively utilized and connects all major seaports and cities, offering quick, relatively easy movement throughout the country. There are over 180 airfields throughout Cascadia, with over 50 being able to accommodate large commercial aircraft.
Cascadia’s extensive network of pipelines convey petrochemicals from internal producers and neighboring Canada to Asia. The diverse nature of Cascadia’s economy has ensured that, while an important source of revenue, it is not entirely reliant on the passage of Canadian hydrocarbons through its pipelines to ensure financial stability.
The country derives its energy from a variety of sources, including extensive use of wind and solar. Hydroelectric energy production has been curtailed somewhat due to the nation’s philosophical predisposition to Bioregionalism. Despite their stated energy production priorities, Cascadia still produces energy predominantly through the burning of fossil fuels and its five nuclear power stations. This has allowed Cascadia to become a net exporter of energy, though its poor electrical infrastructure results in waste of around 15% between production and consumption/export.