Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat
NYU Team Wins First CTBUH Research Seed Funding

September, Chicago

Hong Kong at night.

See more on the 2012 Research Seed Funding

A research team from the Polytechnic Institute of New York University has won the CTBUH’s first research seed funding grant for a proposal to study the impact of tall building developments on physical activity in China.

The team, led by Dr. Kristen Day, Professor and Head of Department, Polytechnic Institute of New York University, will receive $20,000 to conduct research project and  to pursue additional funding in conjunction with the CTBUH.

“This research project is very timely and very critical to the rapid growth in China, which has the largest number of tall buildings in the world,” said Dr. Payam Bahrami, CTBUH Research Associate. “Very little is known about how the design of tall buildings or tall building districts impact physical activity levels in China.”

More than 50 organizations from around the world applied for the seed funding, which was sponsored by AECOM. The winner was chosen by the CTBUH’s Research Seed Funding Review Committee. Each submission received at least three peer review evaluations; the top 10 were each reviewed by five academic and professional experts.

2012 Funding Sponsor

The winning entry “has a well developed methodology and clearly identifies potential future outcomes,” Dr. Bahrami said.

The goal of the research team, which includes Dr. Mariela Alfonzo from Polytechnic Institute of New York University and Dr. Zhan Guo from Wagner Graduate School of Public Service  of New York University, is to “provide guidance for the design of tall buildings and districts that can positively improve health in China’s rapidly growing cities,” according to the proposal’s abstract.

China is facing rising rates of chronic diseases and obesity in cities, which is linked to insufficient physical activity.

“In China, which has the largest number of tall buildings in the world, preliminary research suggests that density is inversely correlated to physical activity,” the researchers state. “This study will address the gap between the design of tall buildings and tall buildings districts related to the physical activity levels performed by residents in China.”

CTBUH announced the winning proposal at the Shanghai Congress Dinner. CTBUH Chairman Timothy Johnson and Li Hongyu of AECOM awarded the $20,000 check to Dr. Day. Find daily news coverage of the Shanghai Congress here.

The seed funding program is one of several initiatives by the CTBUH’s year-old research department, which is seeking partners for a variety of projects.

“We are actively seeking support for research projects from the construction industry and organizations around the world, as we look for ways to expand the base of knowledge about tall buildings and their impact on cities,” Dr. Bahrami said.

Timothy Johnson, Dr. Kristen Day and Li Hongyu, AECOM