A Tale of Two Tall Towers

Josh Leon reports on his time "around two instructive pieces of vertical architecture that could presumably be competitors in a transoceanic race between the US and China for economic hegemony."
October 10, 2010, 5am PDT | George Haugh
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One is the 1,614 foot Shanghai World Financial Center, finished in 2008. The other is Manhattan's up-and-coming 1,776 foot One World Trade Center. Leon contrasts the new American anemia in big-ticket construction with China's reputation for finishing projects on time and on budget.

He explains that "these megaprojects aren't aiming for human scale. They are underpinned by a certain Darwinian ruthlessness that prevails in global business capitals. The logic goes like this: If cities don't cast a pall over their streets with the latest, greatest, most imposing high-tech monoliths, then requisite global investments will go elsewhere."

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Published on Wednesday, October 6, 2010 in Next American City
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