Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat

CTBUH Leader's Message

 July 2011

Sang Dae Kim Sang Dae Kim
CTBUH Chairman
Professor, Korea University

For more on the CTBUH Chairman, visit Professor Kim's Chairman page.

One word that pops up regularly in popular city science is glocalization, sometimes referred to as globalocal. The reason why my spell check application doesn’t recognize these words may be because the word is a blend of the words global and localization.  It refers to the ability to think globally and act locally.

Combining a global scope with a local focus is something that the CTBUH has been doing for quite some time. Although the Council was founded in the United States over 40 years ago, today the range of activities has expanded far beyond the US. Personally, I am very pleased to see efforts to professionally organize interest in our topics in some Asian countries starting to take off.

On May 16th for example, the CTBUH China organized a tall building workshop at Shanghai Tongji University. Being the first significant CTBUH activity in China, the Council has now created a presence in the “rising giant”.  CTBUH China and everyone who helped organize the workshop are off to a great start.

CTBUH Korea has been around for a while and has already more than one thousand members. Issues of the CTBUH Journal are being translated into Korean and distributed to local tall buildings professionals. Workshops on various aspects of tall buildings are organized up to three times a year. These activities significantly contribute to the exchange of information between academia and practicing professionals.

In addition, CTBUH Korea is establishing a one-year educational program for executive-level professionals, which will be the first stage of a two-year university graduate program. CTBUH Headquarters and CTBUH Korea are also working on a new Research Journal, the first edition of which will be published in March 2012. This Research Journal will be a great opportunity for the academic community to get further involved with the Council.

CTBUH Japan has recently advanced significantly under the leadership of Prof. Akira Wada, who is a Professor Emeritus at Tokyo Institute of Technology and just acceded to the President of Architectural Institute of Japan. Professor Wada is also the CTBUH Fazlur R. Kahn lifetime achievement medal winner for 2011. As I learnt during my visit to Japan last March, many executives from well-known architectural and construction offices are involved as members of CTBUH Japan and regular meetings are held. I anticipate more opportunities for innovative technologies, which they have been accumulating - including: seismic design, vibration control, high strength concrete and high performance steel - to be shared with the international community and the many experts around the world through the platform of the CTBUH.

During the last week of June, I visited three Southeast Asian Countries; Thailand, Indonesia, and Vietnam, to promote the CTBUH in the region. I am hoping that we can initiate more local activity in these countries by participating in the organizations activities and contributing to the fields of design, construction, and education of tall buildings. At the seminars held in each of the countries, my colleagues, Jong-soo Kim (CS Structural Engineers), and Kwang-Ryang Chung (Dong Yang Structural Engineers), spoke about tall building design and engineering to the professionals who will soon advance their countries towards a new era of tall buildings. I send my deepest gratitude to the Country Representatives who made the opportunity possible including Prof. Pennung Warnitchai (Thailand), Mr. Tiyok Prasetyoadi (Indonesia), and Prof. Phan Quang Minh (Vietnam).

With respect to these local initiatives, we are still however a global minded organization. As you may already know, Seoul will host a 3-day CTBUH World Conference starting October 10th this year. The abstract submission deadline has passed recently and we have received a tremendous  number of  papers - 206 in total from 30 different countries  around the world. We’re excited to be able to offer you a program with excellent presentations, as this will also greatly advance the development of the Council.

The fall season in Korea is beautiful and fantastic. I hope that you will also experience the beauty of Korean rivers and mountains, and I would also recommend experiencing the culture of the ancient city of Gyeongju as well with its millennium-long history (BC 57 – AD 935).

We look forward to seeing you in Seoul this Fall!

All the best,

Sang Dae Kim