The sheer size of the asteroid that was hollowed out to form Greenwood Station offered several opportunities to Rockhounds' construction crews. At first plans were made for a massive corporate headquarters in one of the several caverns excavated, with a park in another to provide relaxation and recreation space for the miners. The initial makeshift habitats were rather crude and cramped, and a set of 'wavetech automated construction units were deployed in the largest of the available hollows with instructions to make something better.
The AS's of the bots in question took one look at their instructions, found them laughably incomplete, and proceeded to rampage through every bit of architectural and city-planning information they could find on the internet. A few hours later, they went to work. A large number of additional 'bots were constructed, first, using the materials available (most of the semi-refined metal had simply been stockpiled in the same space it had been extracted from). Their numbers thus increased, the construction of the actual city began.
When someone remembered to check back on them a few weeks later, the first neighborhoods were almost ready for habitation, utilities were on-line to most of the area, and an Enhanced Visual Environment dome covered the ceiling with a programmed day/night cycling display based on Earth's temperate northern latitudes. Some constructive criticism was offered of a few of the bots' choices, plans were discussed, and after several hours of debate the corporate leadership agreed to let the bots finish what they'd started. Two weeks later, workers began moving into the residences made available, and more were invited in to staff the service industries that were growing up around the ever-expanding community.
Greenwood Technical Training Institute (later Greenwood Community College, much later Greenwood University) opened its doors almost immediately, as did several well-known fast-food chains, more upscale restaurants and bars (such as the famous Valhalla), electronics suppliers, clothiers, and sundries providers such as Target and Wal*Mart. The city rapidly became known on Earth as a fine destination for people who wanted to live and work in space, but did not necessarily consider themselves 'Fen'. It offered a minimal tax burden, plenty of employment opportunities, and the inestimable cachet of living and working in orbit.
By June of 2011, the city's population was nearing thirty thousand, and city management was handed over from the central planning authority of Rockhounds' corporate board to the publicly-held Greenwood Colonial Authority. The first publicly-elected mayor was Paul Cormier, a veteran businessman and community activist from upstate New York. Chris Marsden and the rest of Rockhounds' leadership were glad to leave things in his hands as the city began to grow even further.
The cavern selected had a generally elliptical shape, which has been rounded off by some expansion into the rocky outer walls of the asteroid. The outer rim is taken up by one of the city's several express motorways -- the decision was made early on to maintain the modern style of personal transportation, although most automobiles are electrically-powered and equipped with some mushy-tech safety devices. Alternating 'rings' of zoning regions move inwards from this, with the center dominated by a large public park. Road speeds are not high - the entire cavern is only about 12 miles long and eight across - and the rim road is screened from the weather by a force-field system to provide safe driving.
The central park is about two miles long by one wide, elliptical once again, and includes a large open field, several semi-forested areas, and a small lake for swimming (and supporting the aquatic part of the city's ecosystem). It is modelled consciously after New York's Central Park. Smaller parks are scattered around various neighborhoods of the city.
The city's compass is arbitrary, not having a magnetic pole or axis of rotation to base it on. 'North' is towards the 'forward' end of the asteroid, where the public docking bays are located, and the massive engines that move it (when necessary) are at the 'south' end. 'East' and 'West' are defined from that, following the gravitational plane of the city. With several loop roads in the city, reference is also made to 'spinward' (clockwise, going 'north' when on the 'west' side and 'south' on the 'east') and 'antispinward' (counterclockwise) when referencing driving directions on them.
Prominent features in the city include the Boskone War Memorial (a small area set aside in the park), the University (constantly growing), and the Mall (constantly being shopped at). Rockhounds and several related businesses have their headquarters in town, and tend to share an open, airy architectural style, with plenty of space, moving air, and growing green areas. Trees in the lobby are not uncommon.
Greenwood Museum of Natural History is a popular tourist spot, including the usual educational exhibits on history, space science, and planetary sciences. The Hall of Heroes is one of its more popular attractions; the exhibit spans the circumference of the third floor of the building. It includes entries from the entire length of human exploration, such as Leif Ericsson, Christopher Columbus, the Wright Brothers, Charles Lindbergh, and of course a wide selection from the pre-Fen space programs. The final item in the Hall is labeled "The Next Great Hero", and consists of a mirror.
Many independent companies have set up operations in Greenwood City, providing various goods and services to the residents. Some examples include:
- Starbucks (Yes. They're everywhere.)
- Marriott Hotels
- Greenwood Symphony Orchestra, Inc.
- Stellvia Travel & Tourism, UnLtd.
- Hephaestus Manufacturing Inc.
- Hammergirl Anime
- Wizards of the Coast, Inc.
- The Dolomite Group, Inc.
- Ferrexpo PLC
- Toyota Jidosha Kabushiki-gaisha