Tall Buildings Week: Pavements in the sky?

Tall Buildings Week consists a series of articles and blog posts focused on the draft Tall Buildings Policy put forward by the City of Cape Town, which will “provide guidance during the early phases of the design and planning process for tall buildings in Cape Town”. The draft policy is available for perusal from 1 March 2012 at the City’s 24 Sub-Council offices, municipal libraries and Planning District Offices; as well as here.

Edition 17 of Monocle’s Urbanist podcast dealt with the topic of Skyscrapers, convenient given our series on Tall Buildings. In it Dr Anthony Wood, Executive Director of the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) talked about the future of skyscrapers and so called ‘vertical cities’. Traditional and wide-spread thought is that sustainable skyscrapers have three main sections or components in the building:

  1. hotel space
  2. office space
  3. residential space.

Anthony disagrees on this point and thinks that we’re not near enough to having sustainable vertical cities that are vibrant enough. His PhD, entitled ‘Pavements in the Sky’, was a project on the use of sky-bridges between tall skyscrapers. He envisions the future with bridges between tall buildings for pedestrians, mass transit systems and other uses. This makes sense for cities such as New York that still has problems coping with the demand for public transport.

So will our future contain sky trains and pavements 200 meters up in the sky transporting people and goods between the ever taller buildings being built today?

I would recommend listening to this podcast, as it contains some interesting thoughts on skyscrapers that go up 1000m and ones that contain a whole informal settlement in Venezuela.

Check it our here: Skyscrapers – The Urbanist Monocle magazine

About Rouen Smit

Future actuary working at a company based in Cape Town. Love open water swimming. Love taking public transport and feeling the city. The Future’s Bright