A new “pandemic-proof” neighbourhood could be the future of housing in a post Covid world, architects have claimed.
The flagship new metropolis in Xiong’an, China, has been dubbed a “smart city” after architects pitched homes designed for outbreaks.
Blocks of apartments will be made that are specially equipped for homeowners to live during future lockdowns.
Each flat will come with a large balcony so residents have ample outdoor space.
And there will be communal work areas big enough to keep a social distance.
Vegetable gardens and a rooftop solar farm will allow residents to be self-sufficient if the disaster impacts food chains, The Telegraph reports.
The Chinese project is being headed up by Barcelona based Guallart Architects, which claim the neighbours will start a new normal in a post-coronavirus design.
Founder Vicente Guallart told the outlet: “We cannot continue designing cities and buildings as if nothing had happened.
“Our proposal stems from the need to provide solutions to the various crises that are taking place, in order to create a new urban life based in the circular bio-economy.”
He added to the Thomas Reuters Foundation: “We wanted to make a manifesto of those things that we thought were important during the lockdown and in the future.
“If homes allow telework and tele-education, have flexible spaces on large terraces, and cities can grow food on the roofs or print objects in their neighbourhoods, we will be more prepared for the crises of the future.”
The pandemic-proof neighbourhood consists of blocks designed for entirely integrated living and working during a future epidemic.
There will also be a shop, offices, kindergarten, swimming pool and fire station.
The neighbourhood is designed to be self-sufficient should a future virus halt the world’s food chains.
There will be greenhouses with LED lighting and hydroponic heating for residents to grow their own herbs.
And office spaces will be complete with 3-D printers to manufacture whatever is needed during lockdowns.
Streets are being designed for pedestrians and cyclists, with cars only allowed in some areas.
The project has been championed by Chinese president XI Jinping, hoping the new neighbour will ease pressure on Beijing.
There will also be 5G internet and a high-speed rail link to the city.
Up to $500 billion is expected to be invested in the creation of Xiong’an over coming years.
President Xi hopes that most of its industry will be cutting edge technology firms, making the future city a would-be rival to California’s Silicon Valley, according to The Telegraph.