China bans skyscrapers taller than 500 meters

Source:Global Times Published: 2020/5/11 13:53:40

Migrant workers at Beijing's CBD district File Photo: VCG

China is cutting its city skylines, setting a horizon limit at 500 meters, and multiple skyscrapers have been rushing to "readjust" their heights since late April, the China News Service reported on Monday. 

China is home to the world's tallest skyscrapers, with real estate developers frequently laying out designs with heights hitting 600-800 meters. The Chinese mainland has five out of the world's 10 tallest skyscrapers, including the 632-meter-high Shanghai Tower, the 599-meter-high Ping An Finance Center in Shenzhen and the 527.7-meter-high CITIC Tower in Beijing's Central Business District. China also has 678 of the 1,478 skyscrapers worldwide with a height of over 200 meters. 

The Burj Khalifa in Dubai is the world's tallest skycraper with a height of 828 meters.

Per a circular jointly issued by the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development and the National Development and Reform Commission on April 27, localities should not blindly pursue the construction of ultra-high skyscrapers and should observe a general limit of 500 meters. 

The China News Service reported that the circular's first casualty was likely the Suzhou Hungnam Centre in Suzhou, East China's Jiangsu Province, which revised its initially designed height on April 24 from 729 meters to 499 meters to comply with the new rule, following years of delays.   

The report quoted a former housing ministry official to have said the general limit suggests any new skyscrapers higher than 500 meters may be subject to daunting approval processes. 

At least one skyscraper in Chengdu, Southwest China's Sichuan Province and another in Shenyang, Northeast China's Liaoning Province have suffered the same fate as the Suzhou Hungnam Centre, according to the report.

While a skyscraper can maximize land usage, advocates of lower skylines point to drawbacks in high maintenance costs, fire risks, low returns on investment and marring city skylines, as well as skyscrapers' reputations as pet projects for the rich and the powerful.

The circular noted that if a locality legitimately needs to erect a skyscraper taller than 500 meters, the building's design must pass robust tests to ensure its fire safety standards are sufficient, and that it is earthquake-resistant and energy-saving. Then it needs further reviews by the two relevant ministries.

Posted in: ECONOMY

blog comments powered by Disqus