As the world's population grows, the biggest challenge for city planners and real estate developers is to create housing that is affordable, sustainable and uses land sparingly. In cities like New York, London and Tokyo, land scarcity means that developers have to build "up". But skyscrapers cost billions of dollars to construct, and they can take years to finish.
Broad Sustainable Construction (BSC), a company that specializes in developing skyscrapers made form pre-fabricated, mass produced units, announced recently that it has broken ground on Sky City, a 2,750-foot tower that will be the tallest in the world when it is finished. It will be located in the Chinese city of Changsha, in Hunan Province. What is most remarkable is that BSC claims it will complete construction by December, and that the building will be earthquake safe, energy efficient and cost half as much to build as it would using traditional methods.
Treehugger, an environmental news site, reports that Sky City will have 220 stories, containing 4,450 apartments that will be able to fit 30,000 people. Occupants will use 1/100th of the land used by the average Chinese citizen, and space will be set aside for a school, hospital, offices and hotel rooms. By putting these institutions in one place, the hope is to reduce citizens' energy consumption, as they'll be able to take elevators instead of cars to get to work and school.
If the project is successful, it could have an enormous effect on urban development not just in China, but worldwide.
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