The world's cities are in the midst of a skyscraper building boom and a recently-released report by Knight Frank addresses the question, why do we need these giant buildings? The analysis shows that skyscrapers are the optimum means of addressing major economic and geographic challenges facing cities today.
According to the report, skyscrapers are necessary for the following reasons:
- In order to accommodate economic and population growth a city can either move outwards or upwards. Moving outwards breaks up business clusters, and creates political problems, like allowing development on green fields around cities. This moves the pendulum of debate in favour of building upwards to provide more homes and business space.
- For companies today, staff retention is high up the agenda. Losing star fee-earners is damaging for business, and even the cost of replacing support staff can be higher than the rent paid on their workstations. Skyscrapers are one of several means firms have found to make the office an exciting place to be. Also, an inspirational office can encourage staff to interact and share knowledge, thus driving up productivity.
- As well as creating a better working environment, skyscrapers can make the city a better place to live. If more homes can be built near to work, commuting time are cut, which benefits social and family lives. When offices and homes are lifted above street level, the ground floors and basements of buildings are freed up for shops and leisure facilities. The spaces between tower clusters can be developed as parks and public areas; while skylines are enlivened with iconic architecture.
- Global real estate capital markets are seeing more activity from those who wish to deploy money in very large sums (above the $1 billion mark). The size of skyscrapers makes them attractive to such investors, and this will encourage a movement towards developing in scale.
Recent enthusiasm for skyscrapers reflects a shift in the global economy towards city centres, as automation in factories means that more humans do knowledge jobs in offices. Today's knowledge workers increasingly want to live near work, while firms want staff to feel inspired by their workplace. The skyscraper is successfully delivering the volume and type of homes and offices our cities require.
Title: Knight Frank Global Cities Skyscrapers 2015 Report
Date: April 2015
Published by: Knight Frank
Available from: Knight Frank website at <http://www.knightfrank.com/global-cities-index-2015/skyscrapers/>.
Note from Urbanalyst: The above summary is sourced directly from the document and/or accompanying documentation. Aside from minor editorial modifications, the information is presented as-is.