Shanghai Highrise Surprise

Planners in Shanghai, who are fretting over 'the diminishing quality of life' caused by the high-rise building boom of the 1990's, are considering putting a limit to high-rise development in the city.
October 24, 2003, 1pm PDT | Connie Chung
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In Shanghai, "the city's urban planning bureau is expected to revise local building laws to limit, and perhaps ban, high-rise development....if Shanghai officials and planners regarded every new building as another step in its march to become a leading world city, mundane problems, the sort experienced by so many other places, have arisen. The population density in certain downtown areas exceeds that in Tokyo and New York....Some downtown areas got so dense with buildings that they became 'heat islands,' where temperatures rose above surrounding areas....In a city known for its graceful colonial architecture, the skyline became more formless as residential towers cropped up in every corner of the city. With increasing frequency, residents filed complaints based on an obscure law mandating that every home or apartment must receive at least two hours of sunlight a day....'The interesting thing about Shanghai is that for a variety of reasons it was almost designed from the outside in, as if planners were more concerned with how it looked to the outside world than how it worked from within....' "

Thanks to Connie Chung

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Published on Sunday, October 19, 2003 in The Chicago Tribune
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