Tencent plans smart city the size of Midtown Manhattan

China’s Tencent is looking to build its own city, called Net City, including corporate offices, apartments and a school on a 21-million-square-foot development the size of midtown Manhattan, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Jonathan Ward, design partner for project architect NBBJ, said the idea is a “sustainable city of the future,” WSJ reported.

The multinational conglomerate is planning the real estate development for Shenzhen, with construction slated to begin later this year, WSJ reported. The land will face a bay and sit on 320 acres of government-owned land.

Sports facilities, retail and parks will also be included in the development, WSJ reported citing NBBJ, which said the project is slated to come in three phases. The first phase is looking to bring a transit hub, apartments and offices.

Net City is planned to have only a few roads accessible for cars, so as to encourage more walking or biking, WSJ reported, and some roads will be designed so driving will be slower. People will also be able to use bike paths, ferries or the subway to get to Net City.

According to WSJ, the waterfront will be built to withstand storms and rising sea levels; properties will be built to maximize shade; and building heights will be lower to allow for more energy conservation and less material to build.

Some have questioned whether the pandemic has reduced the practicality of living in dense cities due to the risk of infection by proximity. But Ward said he didn’t think that would be the case, WSJ reported…

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