Business Today

The curse of skyscrapers

China's tallest building, Shanghai Tower, opens its doors with its economy in recovery mode while India's dream of a tower taller than Burj Khalifa is yet to break ground

Tejeesh N S Behl   New Delhi     Last Updated: December 12, 2017  | 17:12 IST
The curse of skyscrapers

China, already home to four of the top 10 tallest buildings in the world, is now home to the world's second tallest building, the Shanghai Tower, standing at 632 metres. That takes China's dominance of the world's 10 tallest buildings club to 50 per cent.
To be sure, the tower had been completed two years back but bureaucratic delays had prevented it from opening its doors, quite literally, to tenants. While the economy may still not be out of the woods, it certainly negates Andrew Lawrence's skyscraper index theory - of ultra-tall buildings being harbingers of economic gloom.
At $2.4 billion dollars, the building is the most expensive ever built in China. That raises the question: can India afford to build a skyscraper, as dreamt of by Union Minister of Road Transport & Highways, Nitin Gadkari, who intends to build an edifice taller than Burj Khalifa.
Often, a skyscraper & a high-rise are terms used interchangeably, but a high-rise is more than a few metres short of being a skyscraper. So yes, while all skyscrapers are high-rise buildings, not all high-rise buildings are skyscrapers.

Lawrence's skyscraper index however, doesn't hold true as it's hardly an indicator of the economic cycle's direction.

Even if the dates of opening of these skyscrapers are considered, there's no clear link with the direction of the economic cycle.

India does have its fair share of skyscrapers, but its tallest are pygmies when compared with the edifices around the world. India's tallest building for instance, is one third the height ot China's Shanghai Tower.
Mumbai, naturally, leads the country in the number of skyscrapers & high rise buildings, numbering over 3,500.

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