At the same time, there is still intense global debate on whether the extrapolation of our cities vertically offers the best chance to combat global climate change, or whether a more sustainable pattern of life can be better achieved through other means. Tall buildings are not the only solution for achieving increased urban density, and the higher embodied energy of constructing and existing at greater heights may offset gains in land and infrastructure efficiency. The impact on inhabitants of future vertical cities must also be better understood. In all cities, infrastructure, long-term planning and joined-up thinking are essential. The major issues are no longer focused on just individual buildings, but how these buildings fit into the larger urban whole.
That the 21st Century will be the age of the Asian Skyscraper seems indisputable. Already, the past two decades have witnessed a major shift in tall buildings from west to east. Many of the major advances in the tall typology are now taking place in Asia, often with a collaboration of eastern and western expertise. With global urbanization approaching 200,000 people every day, the need for a new or extended city of a million inhabitants every week is driving massive growth in hundreds of Asian cities simultaneously – from Mecca to Manila, Istanbul to Incheon, Karachi to Kunming.
The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat brings its 9th World Congress to the dynamic skyscraper city of Shanghai to examine these poignant issues. Is the skyscraper a sustainable building type? Can tall buildings truly reduce and harvest enough energy to become carbon-neutral? What is the full impact on the city and the lives of its inhabitants by developing skyward? And what support mechanisms and urban infrastructure are required for such growth? The 2012 Congress will convene the world’s leading tall building owners, developers, contractors, architects, engineers, planners, policy-makers, and others to ultimately answer the question: does the vertical city offer the best chance for human survival in our rapidly-populating, urbanizing, consuming, and resource dwindling world? Join us in Shanghai to find out…
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