Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat
Sustainable Vertical Urbanism Forum
Monday, 9 July 2018
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On July 9th, 2018, a one-day symposium entitled “Sustainable Vertical Urbanism” was held at Tongji University, co-organized by CTBUH China Office and Tongji University. This symposium was held as part of a key sub-forum of the International Doctoral School of Future Cities and Architecture held by Tongji University, from July 1st through the 14th. During the symposium, urban planning, infrastructure, architecture, technology and several other topics were covered. The speakers were CTBUH Academic Institute Members, and some of them also sit in the Academic & Teaching Committee.

CTBUH China Office Director and Academic Coordinator Dr. Peng Du chaired the morning portion of the symposium and introduced CTBUH academic initiatives; Professor Helen Lochhead, Dean of UNSW Built Environment, gave a presentation about the benefits of encouraging competition in design.
CTBUH China Office Director, Dr. Du, hosted the morning portion of the symposium, where Professor Helen Lochhead, the Dean of UNSW Built Environment, gave a speech entitled “The Role of Policy in Shaping Innovation in Design and Sustainability of Tall Buildings in Sydney.” During the speech, she talked about the benefits of introducing competition into design to encourage better design, presenting several blocks in Sydney as an example.

Professor Kyoung Sun Moon, Associate Professor, The School of Architecture, Yale University, then gave a speech entitled “Toward Mile-High Vertical Cities,” where he examined the best structural systems for high-rise buildings through detailed examples. In his presentation he stated that a great contribution toward overall sustainable design of high-rises can begin with structural material savings. As the last lecture of the morning, Professor Charlie Q.L. Xue, Associate Professor, Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering, City University of Hong Kong, explored train-adjacent dense cities with his presentation on Hong Kong: “How Dense Can a ‘Rail Village’ Be? – a Case Study of Hong Kong”. With a large population in a small area, Hong Kong is a great model of high-density urban planning that is closely interwoven with efficient rail transport.

Professor Kyoung Sun Moon, Associate Professor, The School of Architecture, Yale University, gave a presentation called “Toward Mile-High Vertical Cities"; Professor Luke Leung, Director of Sustainable Engineering, SOM, explored the symbiotic relationship of the various systems in high-rises.

Dr. Sun, Research Assistant, CAUP, Tongji University, hosted the afternoon portion of the symposium. Professor Abbas Aminmansour, Associate Professor, AAS, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, gave a speech entitled “Thinking Outside the Box: The Sustainability of Tall Buildings.” His presentation focused on the sustainable impact of a building on its surrounding environs, beyond the building itself. After his speech, Professor Luke Leung, Director of Sustainable Engineering, SOM, gave a speech called “Urban Utopia: Environment, Energy, Ecology,” where he challenged traditional ideas of a high-rise buildings, encouraging a perspective on the complexity of this typology that examines its various systems on an almost cellular level – parallel to human biology.

For the last lecture of the day, Professor Kheir Al Kodmany, College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs, University of Illinois at Chicago, gave a presentation called “The Vertical City: Sustainable Development Model,” where he introduced his book, “The Vertical City,” which examines the design, urban planning and development of a sustainable city, with the dense, tall building as an integral part.
The symposium ended with a panel discussion hosted by CTBUH China Office Associate Director Jiaqi Qu, where challenges that may arise during sustainable design and strategies to address them were discussed.