Building High Rises Without Hurting Cities

High-rise buildings are coming back into vogue in South Africa, and planners are trying to balance iconography with urbanism.
November 16, 2008, 1pm PST | Nate Berg
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"The evolution of cities and their skylines is never fixed or static. Take Johannesburg. Over the past few decades, the fundamental look and feel of the city's skyline has changed markedly. It has reached a point where, from certain vantage points, three central business districts (CBDs) are now observable: downtown Joburg proper, Rosebank and, increasingly, the Sandton skyline is starting to dominate."

"What is also interesting to note is that, while the initial exodus from downtown was to ‘fat-and-flat' office parks, Sandton now appears truly to be ready to embrace the high-rise."

"Tall buildings are back in vogue internationally at present, and South Africa appears alive to this international property-development trend."

"So, as South African property developers and city planners prepare for a ‘high-rise renaissance', what lessons can be learnt to ensure that this desire to go vertical adds to the character and efficiency of our cities rather than detracts from them?"

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Published on Friday, November 14, 2008 in Engineering News
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