Shenzhen unveils New Marine City project

The China Marine Economy Expo was held October 14-17 in Shenzhen, generating RMB 740 million with almost 400 deals inked while attracting nearly 100,000 visitors and 450-plus exhibitors from 28 countries and regions. 

The expo had a wide-ranging focus across three main sections: 

  1. Marine resources development and engineering equipment
  2. Shipping and ports
  3. Emerging industries

Exciting announcements featured including the signing of a “Blue Economy International Alliance” between more than 170 Chinese and foreign enterprises, and a formal “Blue Partnership” treaty signed between China and 12 Pacific Island countries to jointly focus on developing an ocean-based economy, formulating marine space plans and training marine-industry talents.   Xuelong 2, China’s first independently-built polar research icebreaker, also made its maiden voyage from Shenzhen to conduct Antarctic research during the exhibition. 

Shenzhen has a solid industry within electronic information and more than 7000 enterprises engaging in maritime-related businesses, and has goals to become a global center of ocean-based industries.

The marine industry is one of Shenzhen’s seven strategic emerging industries, with plans for a new marine precinct, Ocean New City / New Marine City, which will be home to 50,000 people and cover 7.44 sq km of reclaimed land at the east side of the estuary of the Pearl River, adjacent to the Shenzhen World Exhibition and Convention Center.

Visitors at 2019 China Marine Economy Expo watch a sand table demonstration of the plan for Shenzhen New Marine City , Sun Yuchen

As a major project in the Greater Bay Area, Shenzhen’s New Marine City is expected to lead the development of the marine industry in the area becoming one of the four marine industrial hubs in Guangdong.  The other three are the Binhai Bay New Area in Dongguan, Nanshan District in Guanghzhou and Cuiheng New Area in Zhongshan City.

Ocean New City / New Marine City, Shenzhen

Following a competition that was part of China’s 13th Five-Year Plan for the Development of the National Marine Economy, urban design and innovation studio Tekuma Frenchman was selected from over 140 applicants with 6 firms to pursue a masterplan for Shenzhen’s New Marine City, the future flagship of Shenzhen representing its Blue Economy.

Their proposal “Ocean Edge, Return of the Mangroves” was awarded the first prize by a jury of international experts and local planning authorities and its implementation is underway with Tekuma Frenchman advising the local planning institute.

Much of the architecture and infrastructure will float or be built directly above the water, while some occupies the existing coastline. But all of it is set amidst replanted mangrove trees aiming to protect the shoreline from waves, retain soil, support biodiversity for marine fauna and flora and help clean the water.

The growth of the forest will be monitored by sensors controlling the mix of freshwater runoff with salt water, ensuring ideal habitats for wildlife.  Storm surge and rising sea levels are a factor in Shenzhen, so by putting so much of the city on piers and floating structures this also minimizes the need to alter the coastal environment too much, which could disrupt the flow of water very easily.

Tekuma Frenchman was awarded 1st prize by a jury of international experts and local planning authorities for their proposal “Ocean Edge, Return of the Mangroves” for Shenzhen’s marine city.

Another feature of the city is an industrial park that will house research and development for deep-sea exploration and resource extraction using autonomous undersea vehicles. The focal point of  Ocean’s Edge is a pier extending from the convention center directly to the waterfront, hosting entertainment and exhibition venues like restaurants, a deep-sea aquarium, specialty retail shops, clubs, water sports, and cinemas along with offices and a ferry terminal.

Li Wenxiong, chairman of the state-owned Jianfa Group, which is leading development of the project, told local media that Ocean New City will be benchmarked to the world’s three major Bay Areas – New York Bay area, San Francisco Bay area and Tokyo Bay area – and its development will follow world-class standards in planning and construction.

“We hope to establish a unique ‘estuary personality’ for the new ocean city, exploring a new type of people-sea-city harmonious relationship that promotes restoration through development. This will set a new paradigm for the process of ecological land-building and the symbiosis of land and sea.” – Li Wenxiong, Jianfa Group

The state-of-the-art facilities and institutes will take at least 10 years to build, and will reach its output peak in 2030-2035, by which time it expects to be generating RMB 300 billion of revenues annually.   Li said Ocean New City will focus on five main industries: high-end equipment, electronic information, modern services, environmental protection services, and new energy. 

Watch Tekuma Frenchman’s winning proposal for Shenzhen’s New Marine City below:

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