Chinese tech conglomerate Tencent is preparing to break ground on a development in Shenzhen that can only be described as a neighborhood built from the ground up.
Work is set to begin on the 21-million-square-foot project dubbed Net City later this year, according to the Wall Street Journal. Net City is set to rise on a 320-acre chunk of government-owned land on the Shenzhen waterfront as big as midtown Manhattan.
Master planner NBBJ has come up with a mix of space to make Net City something like its own ecosystem, including office space, apartments, parks, sports facilities, retail, and a school. It’s planned in three phases.
NBBJ design partner Jonathan Ward said the idea was to build a blueprint for a sustainable city of the future, according to the Wall Street Journal.
There will be few roadways accessible by car and some are designed to make cars drive slower. There’s a large network of bike paths planned, as well as ferries and a subway station.
The coronavirus pandemic has raised concerns that demand will weaken for tightly packed urban developments.
Sidewalk Labs, a development company owned by Alphabet, last month canceled a long-planned 12-acre project on Toronto’s waterfront. CEO Dan Doctorofff cited the “unprecedented economic uncertainty” gripping the global economy.
But the economic fallout from the pandemic could put large parcels of urban land up for grabs to developers, encouraging large master-planned developments. [WSJ] — Dennis Lynch