Chinese internet giant, Tencent Holdings plans, to build a futuristic ‘Net City’ for employees in the port city of Shenzen.
The futuristic city, designed by renowned architect Jonathon Ward, will be two million square feet – roughly the size of Monaco.
Tencent’s city inside a city, located near Shenzen’s reclaimed Pearl River estuary, will accommodate Tencent group’s staff and offices – much like that of the Googleplex.
Able to house around 80 000 permanent inhabitants, the city is reportedly going to include schools, shopping centres, office parks and other public amenities.
After hosting a design competition for the city, Tencent selected NBBJ as the design winners and Jonathan Ward was given creative licence to design the next-gen metropolis. In an interview with CNN, Ward said he planned to integrate the city of Shenzen with Net City, unlike other ‘closed campus’ designs from other big firms.
Cars will be a rare sight in Net City as one of the design team’s main goals was to lessen the environmental effect of vehicles on the city’s ecosystem, says Ward. The large piece of land afforded NBBJ the opportunity to re-evaluate the automobile’s role in an urban environment. While Ward admits eliminating cars altogether is impossible, ‘green corridors’ for buses, autonomous cars and bicycles will replace miles of traditional asphalt roads. Short roads and byways will be removed in favour of footpaths.
Ground will be broken for Net City later this year. Expected to take seven years to construct, the city will sport rooftop solar panels and futuristic water reuse systems which fall under China’s Sponge City Construction Project. This project aims to repurpose wastewater in major Chinese metropoles and restore and maintain downstream ecosystems.
Tencent has followed the Japanese automotive giant, Toyota, in building its own metropolis. At the year’s start, the car manufacturer announced plans to build ‘Woven City’, a 175-acre miniature city designed with autonomous vehicle testing and robot-assisted living in mind.