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Net City: Tencent is building a Monaco-sized ‘city of the future’ in Shenzhen

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Net City: Tencent is building a Monaco-sized 'city of the future' in Shenzhen

Written by Oscar Holland, CNN

Technology giant Tencent has unveiled plans for an almost entirely car-free “city of the future,” equivalent in size to Monaco, in the Chinese metropolis of Shenzhen.

Dubbed “Net City,” the 2-million-square-meter (22-million-square-foot) urban development will prioritize pedestrians, green spaces and self-driving vehicles, according to its designers.

Although primarily for Tencent’s use, many of the spaces and facilities will be accessible to the public. Credit: NBBJ

The ambitious city-within-a-city is set to occupy a stretch of reclaimed land jutting out into the Pearl River estuary. Designed to accommodate a population of some 80,000 people, the site will primarily serve Tencent, the conglomerate behind WeChat and China’s popular QQ messaging service.

But as well as providing company residences and offices, the neighborhood is expected to host shops, schools and other public amenities, and will be connected to the rest of Shenzhen via road bridges, ferries and the city’s subway system. The American firm behind the master plan, NBBJ, hopes that the new district’s entertainment venues, parks and waterside promenade will attract visitors from elsewhere in the city.

The site will be constructed on a stretch of reclaimed land.

The site will be constructed on a stretch of reclaimed land. Credit: NBBJ

As such, the plan differs from the enclosed campuses pioneered by big tech companies in recent years, according to Jonathan Ward, a design partner at NBBJ.

“It’s definitely a destination (and has) a civic component,” he said in a phone interview. “It’s not meant to be an isolated, secure island — it’s a vibrant city. People will walk through it, they’ll connect … and it will be a vital hub for Shenzhen.”

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Eliminating the car

With an unusually large vacant plot to work with, NBBJ — which won an international competition to design the site — was able to rethink the car’s role in urban planning, Ward said.

“Our main goal was to provide a place where innovation can really flourish,” he explained. “To do that, we tried to minimize the impact of the car as much as possible.

“Going ‘car-free’ is still a little bit challenging in our world, so we spent a lot of time designing the city to be as low-impact as possible, removing (cars from) where they don’t need to be and focusing on people.”

The master plan prioritizes pedestrians, with limited access to conventional vehicles.

The master plan prioritizes pedestrians, with limited access to conventional vehicles. Credit: NBBJ

Although regular cars will be able to access some parts of the neighborhood, the plan centers around a “green corridor” designed for buses, bikes and autonomous vehicles. The layout eliminates what Ward called “unnecessary” traffic.

“You don’t need one block surrounded by roads — you can maybe have eight blocks surrounded by a road, and take away all the ones in between,” he said. “We’ve been ‘subtracting’ roads in places where we think it’s perfectly fine for people to walk two minutes longer from a subway or a (taxi) drop-off.

“And, in those two minutes, you might see something inspiring, connect to nature or meet a colleague you haven’t seen for a while — all those things you can see happening in a workplace environment can happen in the city.”

Interconnected planning

As well as integrating with Shenzhen’s wider urban fabric, NBBJ’s master plan is designed to offer what it calls an “interconnected, human-focused organic ecosystem.” For Tencent employees, this may mean eroding the distinction between their work and private lives — an idea that has become all the more relevant in light of the Covid-19 pandemic, Ward said.

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“Traditional cities are very much siloed, even in the densest cities where there’s more interaction and intermixing,” he added. “But what can happen now is you can start to blur those lines (between work and play), and bring more interaction between different parts of life.

“You’re seeing more blurring of those lines, for better or for worse. But I think we can make it for the better as we tune this model going forward,” he added.

Elsewhere, the master plan considers environmental sustainability with rooftop solar panels and elaborate systems for capturing and reusing wastewater. Planners also looked at projections for future sea level rises to ensure that buildings are better protected against climate change.

Transport systems will connect the "city-within-a-city" to the rest of Shenzhen.

Transport systems will connect the “city-within-a-city” to the rest of Shenzhen. Credit: NBBJ

Tencent isn’t the only private company looking to create its own miniature city. Earlier this year, carmaker Toyota unveiled plans for the 175-acre “Woven City” in the foothills of Mount Fuji, where it will test autonomous vehicles, smart technology and robot-assisted living. In Toronto, Sidewalk Labs, a subsidiary Google’s parent company Alphabet, was planning to transform a stretch waterfront into a futuristic new neighborhood, before it canceled the project citing “economic uncertainty” caused by Covid-19.
There are also a number of other large-scale developments being planned in Shenzhen, a city that has exploded in size since 1980, when the Chinese government named it a “Special Economic Zone.” The first phase of a new business district called Shenzhen Bay Headquarters City, also being built on reclaimed land, is expected to complete by 2022.

Tencent’s Net City will take around seven years to complete, with construction expected to commence later this year. The dozens of individual buildings, which will range from one to 30 floors in height, will be designed by variety of different architecture firms.

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Who is Paulo Bento, the Portuguese coach from South Korea who coached Cruzeiro?

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The coach commanded the Portuguese national team at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil and left the South Korean national team after being eliminated in Qatar.

Portuguese coach Paulo Bento qualified South Korea for the playoffs of the World Cup, something the team had not achieved since 2010, when the South Korean team reached the 1/8 finals of this championship. But 4-1 rout against Brazil as a result, shortened the path of the Asian team, as well as put an end to the work of Paulo Sousa in the national team.

Paulo Bento started his career as a coach with the youth team of Sporting Clube Portugal in 2004. At the club, he commanded the youth team for two seasons, winning the junior national tournament in his first year. Incidentally, the coach took over the first team shortly after he announced his retirement as a player.

Given his prominence in the youth categories, Paulo was chosen to replace José Peseiro, who was eliminated in European competition, in the professional team of Sporting CP for the 2005 season./2006.

Professionally, Bento was runner-up for four seasons in a row in the Portuguese Championship. Despite this, the coach won two Portuguese Cups and two Candido de Oliveira Super Cups. On November 6, 2009, the coach resigned.

Having distinguished himself at Sporting, Paulo Bento was announced as Portugal’s coach on 21 September 2010 after the World Cup in South Africa, where the then-champion Spain was selected in the round of 16.

Gettyimages

In qualifying, the coach managed to show good results in the first games, plus, of course, take Portugal to the semi-finals of Euro 2012, taking off from Spain on penalties. Having stood out in competitions, the coach extended the contract until Euro 2016.

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However, after losing to Albania in qualifying for Euro 2016, the coach could not resist and was fired in September 2014. The unsuccessful campaign at the World Cup of the same year in Brazil also affected.

After the Portugal national team, Paulo Bento returned to Brazil in May 2016, but this time to coach the Cruzeiro club. With a contract until December 2017, the coach made his debut in the second round of the Brasileirão the same year.

Paulo Bento Cruzeiro Brazilian Championship in Sao Paulo 05062016Washington Alves/Light Press/Cruzeiro

However, Bento only lasted 17 matches in power with six wins, three draws and eight losses, leaving the team in second-to-last place in the tournament.

On 11 August 2016, the coach was announced as the new commander of Olympiacos, Greece, where he remained until 6 March 2017, winning the Greek title. Following this, Paulo Bento was announced as Chongqing Dangdai of China leading the team for only 15 matches.

20221124 Paulo BentoGetty Images

On August 16, 2018, Paulo Bento was announced as the new coach of South Korea following the departure of Shin Tae-yong, who lost in the group stage of the 2018 World Cup.

As part of the South Korean national team, the coach has 55 wins, 12 draws and eight losses, having won the East Asian Cup title and classified the team at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. After being knocked out against Brazil in the 1/8 finals, the Portuguese announced his retirement from the national team.

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Pioli ‘pulls’ Leao by the ears and says the Portuguese ‘must make a dash’

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Pioli 'pulls' Leao by the ears and says the Portuguese 'must make a dash'

FROMTefano Pioli, Milan coach, gave an interview on the Italian radio program Sky Calcio Club on Sunday in which he talked about Rafael Leao’s participation in the 2022 Mundial, a test in which the Portuguese striker was a replacement for Fernando Santos. ‘, indicating that he has been talking to his player over the past few days.

“If we talk? They have an obligation to call me at the end of the game. He is happy because Portugal is doing well. It is clear that he would like to play more. I can take advantage of this for a contract extension,” said Pioli, who also spoke about the Portuguese’s renewal process.

“He is fine with us and management and Rafael are talking. We are waiting for good news,” the Transalpine coach fired.

Looking at his player’s short playing time at this 2022 World Cup, Pioli admitted that Rafael Leau would like to have more playing time for the national team, but hinted that the Portuguese striker is not unhappy.

“If he plays a little? It’s hard to judge because Portugal has a very high quality team. Rafael is happy because Portugal is having a good World Cup, but there is a lot of quality and competitiveness in the attacking sector of the Portuguese team. “, – stressed the coach of the Italian, who also left a small warning to Rafael Leau.

“When you see him in training, you immediately understand that he has incredible potential. He has technique and speed that few others have. Over the course of a period, he had to develop and adapt to the reality at Milan, where the pressure is different from what he is. he was in Lille. It took time, but his potential to become a great player was always there. But he still needs to make the leap to become a champion because he can be even more decisive in the opponent’s zone,” he stressed.

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“If you think about Rafael from two years ago, he has made tremendous progress. He’s missing a few things, but he’s smart and approachable. I can give him all the ideas he wants, but his talent must be left free. should improve his heading, given his physique,” he concluded.

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Portugal, nuts and the Portuguese consumer: a successful trilogy

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Portugal, nuts and the Portuguese consumer: a successful trilogy

Nuts have become part of a limited group of Portuguese agri-food sectors that manage to achieve much-desired food self-sufficiency. In the case of almonds it is 170% and in the case of chestnuts it is 116% in relation to the national consumption.

The value of Portuguese agricultural production in 2021 was 9.6 billion euros, representing a growth rate of 14.6% compared to 2020, and therefore it is fair to say that dried fruits today, with a production of 80,000 tons and exports reaching 100 million euros contributed. to this success.

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