Skyscrapers in Shanghai. In five years, the number of skyscrapers in China will exceed 800. (Photo/Xinihua)
A recent report evaluating Chinese cities’ competitiveness based on their number of skyscrapers has warned of the risks of over-investment in high-rise buildings in China, which is already home to nearly half of the world’s 10 tallest buildings.
The report, released in Shanghai on Dec. 28 by Motian City, a research institute focusing on skyscrapers, ranked Hong Kong, Shanghai and Shenzhen as the three most competitive cities in China.
The report adopts the US standard of defining skyscrapers as buildings higher than 152 meters, with Hong Kong topping the list with 58 such buildings, while Shanghai and Shenzhen have 51 and 46 skyscrapers, respectively.
China is home to four of the world’s 10 tallest buildings — the third-tallest in Shanghai, the fourth in Hong Kong, the seventh in Nanjing and the ninth in Guangzhou.
The abundance of skyscrapers has led to questions over whether the country’s economy can support these super-tall buildings, which are expected to exceed 800 in number within five years. The 200 skyscrapers currently under construction in China are equal to the number of existing skyscrapers in the United States, according to the Motian City report.
Concerns arise from the fact that 25 of the 50 tallest skyscrapers in China were built by property developers, while that figure is only 16 in the US.
This difference indicates that Chinese skyscrapers face greater pressure to attract tenants compared to their American counterparts, which are typically constructed for corporate headquarters, the report said.
Several Chinese cities, such as Haikou, Kunming, Nanning and Dongguan, have plans to build skyscrapers despite it being unlikely that they will be able to support them, the report noted.
The port city of Fangchenggang in Guangxi plans to build a 528-meter skyscraper, higher than the country’s tallest building, even though its population is less than 1 million. Seventeen skyscrapers have been planned in Guiyang, the provincial capital of Guizhou, whose gross domestic product only recently surpassed 100 billion yuan (US$15.81 billion).
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