NBBJ plans Midtown Manhattan-sized sustainable neighborhood
NBBJ has revealed an ambitious masterplan for a large new neighborhood in Shenzhen, China. Taking up roughly the same size and shape as New York City's Midtown Manhattan, the Net City project will emphasize pedestrian access and public transportation, and will feature significant greenery and sustainable technology.
NBBJ's masterplan for Net City was chosen following an architecture competition held on behalf of Tencent. The Chinese multinational conglomerate is the world's largest video games company and also owns WeChat and QQ (popular Chinese messaging platforms), plus more.
The project will take up an entire 320-acre (129-hectare) peninsula in Shenzhen and will be centered around a new Tencent office building. Nearby will be a residential area that contains schools and homes, and there will also be retail spaces, other office buildings, and amenities.
The design and height of the buildings will vary throughout the development, ranging from small single floor buildings to 30 floor high-rises. A large greenery-filled area at its center will be used for pedestrians and cyclists, with all non-autonomous vehicle traffic diverted elsewhere.
"Inside Net City, general vehicles are diverted into the basement around each plot, and by using the height difference of the site to form a fast-moving traffic and slow-moving traffic zones," says NBBJ. "The folding green corridor in the center that connects all the plots is geared for pedestrians, bicycles and autonomous vehicles. A public transit network accommodates subway stops, high-capacity buses and corporate shuttles to transport people throughout the city. Greenery is everywhere, from gardens, groves and parks at the ground level to grass-covered rooftops."
In addition to all its greenery, the Net City project will boast sustainable technology, such as solar panels on the rooftops and sensors used to track its environmental performance and to warn of flood risk. Rainwater will also be collected and used.
Construction on the first phase of the project is due to begin this year, with its full completion expected by 2027.