Why is China building so many skyscrapers

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10-15-2010, 12:01 AM
 
136 posts, read 651,342 times
This is something I've always been curious about but have never found a satisfying answer. Basically, Asian cities have incredible skylines full of hundreds of gleaming, modern glass skyscrapers. Many of these are extremely expensive, costing sometimes in the billions of dollars each. As per The World's Best Skylines 15 of the top 20 skylines are in Asia. If you were to overlap a picture of say Zurich with say Hangzhou, China it would appear that Hangzhou was the more modern, prosperous society if you were judging only by the buildings. Asia has a high population, but so does Europe and it has hardly any skyscrapers.
10-15-2010, 01:12 AM
 
3,606 posts, read 5,620,545 times
Originally Posted by mikejj2004
This is something I've always been curious about but have never found a satisfying answer. Basically, Asian cities have incredible skylines full of hundreds of gleaming, modern glass skyscrapers. Many of these are extremely expensive, costing sometimes in the billions of dollars each. As per The World's Best Skylines 15 of the top 20 skylines are in Asia. If you were to overlap a picture of say Zurich with say Hangzhou, China it would appear that Hangzhou was the more modern, prosperous society if you were judging only by the buildings. Asia has a high population, but so does Europe and it has hardly any skyscrapers.
I think you may have underestimate how crowded and populated asia can be. For eg south korea has 50 million people in about 100,000 square Km, however two thirds of the country is uninhabiltal moutains. You could contrast south korea with england, england has a ver similar pop to South Korea but has a 30% larger land area and is almost totally flat.

Other places like Japan and Java (the island Jakarta is situited on) Manilla and hong kong have very similar problems, to Korea, they build up, becuase they can't build out like most european cities. Europe has a much more even population distribution than Asia, their are very few super cities in europe.

I think you will also find that asians are also far less protective of their heritgae and old buildings than the europeans, they like to show off, particularly in Dubai's case.

Last edited by danielsa1775; 10-15-2010 at 02:24 AM..
10-15-2010, 03:02 AM
 
242 posts, read 676,487 times
Originally Posted by danielsa1775
I think you may have underestimate how crowded and populated asia can be. For eg south korea has 50 million people in about 100,000 square Km, however two thirds of the country is uninhabiltal moutains. You could contrast south korea with england, england has a ver similar pop to South Korea but has a 30% larger land area and is almost totally flat.

Other places like Japan and Java (the island Jakarta is situited on) Manilla and hong kong have very similar problems, to Korea, they build up, becuase they can't build out like most european cities. Europe has a much more even population distribution than Asia, their are very few super cities in europe.

I think you will also find that asians are also far less protective of their heritgae and old buildings than the europeans, they like to show off, particularly in Dubai's case.
I agree. Also, if I were an alien and landed in the middle of a city, I think I'd be more impressed by the beauty of European architecture than the coldness of glass skyscrapers. Some of them have fancy touches, but from a pedestrian standpoint, they're over powering, they give you the sense of being one in thousands, just a person on a floor in the middle of a large towering building. One gives the impression the creator put their heart into it, the beauty of the detail, the other gives the impression engineers put a lot of thought into the mechanics. "How can we house this many people or businesses as cheaply, quickly, and safely as possible in this limited space?" In fact, some European cities are very cautious about the development of large buildings or don't allow any skyscrapers at all, yet are very prosperous.
10-15-2010, 07:16 AM
 
3,606 posts, read 5,620,545 times
I wonder about the survey? if their is only 289 buildings above 90m in seoul their must be 10,000 80m tall ones. It has the same pop as New York city in 1/5th of the Land area.

Last edited by danielsa1775; 10-15-2010 at 08:00 AM..
10-15-2010, 07:32 AM
 
15,976 posts, read 36,944,545 times
Originally Posted by mikejj2004
Basically, Asian cities have incredible skylines full of hundreds of gleaming, modern glass skyscrapers. Many of these are extremely expensive, costing sometimes in the billions of dollars each.
All the money is over here. That's why I've been here off and on for 15 years.

When I go back to the States, it feels like I'm in the stone ages. Lack of internet cafes, poor public transportation, clunky cellphones, a population of people who shop at k-mart.
10-15-2010, 08:46 AM
 
2,912 posts, read 4,040,104 times
Originally Posted by Tiger Beer
All the money is over here. That's why I've been here off and on for 15 years.

When I go back to the States, it feels like I'm in the stone ages. Lack of internet cafes, poor public transportation, clunky cellphones, a population of people who shop at k-mart.
The thing that gets me about US cellphone service is that the caller gets charged AND the called gets charged also. At least that is the way it is in Alaska with their local cell phone service provider. And the US is just now discovering Pre-Paid....hahahahahaha....15 years behind Malaysia.
10-15-2010, 11:19 AM
 
342 posts, read 1,751,769 times
Many European countries have declining populations and limited economic growth. Also most European countries are fully industrialized and have been for some time. As a result there is little need for new construction of office buildings, housing, hotels etc. The buildings that were built in the distant past are in many cases sufficient for the European countries' needs. In the distant past the technology for building skyscrapers did not exist.

In contrast many Asian countries have increasing populations and rapid economic growth. Many of these countries were not fully industrialized in the past and are in the process of becoming industrialized. Many people are moving from rural areas to urban areas in search of greater economic opportunity. Much of the older buildings in Asia are of substandard quality and functionally obsolete. These countries now have the access to the technology and engineering expertise required to build fancy skyscrapers, and since they have rapid economic and/or population growth there is sufficient demand for the space. In addition labor and construction costs are much lower in most Asian countries than they are in Europe and the US. Also Asian people tend to prefer urban living to suburban living and are used to living in high density areas.

Asia is in the process of becoming more prosperous than the west, and these skyscrapers are evidence of that.

Originally Posted by mikejj2004
This is something I've always been curious about but have never found a satisfying answer. Basically, Asian cities have incredible skylines full of hundreds of gleaming, modern glass skyscrapers. Many of these are extremely expensive, costing sometimes in the billions of dollars each. As per The World's Best Skylines 15 of the top 20 skylines are in Asia. If you were to overlap a picture of say Zurich with say Hangzhou, China it would appear that Hangzhou was the more modern, prosperous society if you were judging only by the buildings. Asia has a high population, but so does Europe and it has hardly any skyscrapers.
10-15-2010, 06:53 PM
 
Location: 30-40°N 90-100°W
13,856 posts, read 23,394,704 times
I think some of the Asian nations modernized more recently than the US or Europe so skyscrapers might be a way to say "hey, look at us we're a growing economy." China has done many "prestige projects" to emphasize their modernity. Southeast Asia might be the same.

In cases of nations like Japan, where modernization is somewhat older, it might be the crowding issue. Or it's just that they like it. Before the days of skyscrapers Asian nations would build pagodas several stories high. Granted Europe built towers before skyscrapers so maybe that's not relevant.
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