China’s largest internet company, Tencent, is building a new district in Shenzhen from scratch – and, for the sake of curbing climate change, it’s designed with humans in mind instead of cars.
“I think there’s more of an awareness that car culture and car infrastructure is one of our big climate control challenges,” says Jonathan Ward, design partner at NBBJ, the firm creating the master plan for the district for Tencent. “I also think that the younger generation sees it as a limiter to a more vibrant city. So there’s a lot of awareness and awakening happening, and that then puts pressure on organizations, from the bottom up, to make change.”
The district is called Net City, can easily be reached by cycling or public transportation if needed, and will include Tencent offices, housing, schools and retail shops. There will be a lot more green spaces for parks, pedestrians and cyclists, with little access to streets and parking and zero necessity to drive.