Lujiazui, by ranmachen.
Good news for Shanghai’s window cleaners: They won’t be out of a job any time soon. According to a report released on Monday by Skyscrapers Magazine, there is a new skyscraper built every five days in China. This means that by 2016 there will be 800, four times the number in the US.
Now you might be wondering if this number doesn’t sound pretty low. Well, a skyscraper is only a skyscraper when it is more than 500 feet (152.4 meters) in height. That’s also when it gets much more expensive to build.
The extraordinarily high costs don’t seem to hold people off. Wrap your mind around this fact: Jin Mao, Shanghais second tallest building, cost 20,000 yuan ($3,088) per square meter to build.
“The appetite in China for high-rises, in the last five years and the next five, is bigger than ever before in the history of building,” says Silas Chiow, China director for Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, the U.S. architectural firm, founded in Chicago, responsible for the Burj Khalifa.
Not everyone is happy about this development though and people are complaining that property prices are way too high. Instead of building fancy tall buildings, many believe that the government should concentrate on building low-cost houses.
Wang Jianmao, an economics professor at the China-Europe International Business School, on the other hand, believes that skyscraper are actually important.
“China does indeed need tall buildings in the process of urbanization as the country has a large population. Skyscrapers could to a degree help save the usage of land.”
One wonders whether he is also a supporter of Fangchenggang’s (where? yeah, we haven’t heard of that place neither. It’s a city in the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region with fewer than a million residents.) plans to build a 528-meter skyscraper. This is even higher than Shanghai’s World Financial Center – currently the third tallest building in the world.
By Nele Diels