After the main layout was already in place, I decided to do a huge overhaul of the entire level. I could see that the inital design had many flaws, and I wanted to redo much of the design from the ground up so that I could get an end result I felt happy with.
In the initial design, the puzzle part of the level felt too drawn out, as the path toward the clock tower was too long and eventless. I moved the clock tower much closer to the starting point, and instead created a completely new return path from the tower.
In the initial design, the player was supposed to return using the tall bridge, but this would make for quite boring combat. Instead I added an underground system and a large marketplace where the combat could feel more interesting.
Furthermore, I completely blocked the entry paths upon returning from the tower, to eliminate the risk that the player accidentally chooses to backtrack through the entire level. Instead I made sure that the player would take a new unexplored path forward.
I also did many more smaller iterations, and in the end I ended up with a very different level from the one I had started out with. Below are some overviews I drew during different stages of the process.