Skyscrapers are white elephants
Amid a widespread craze for skyscrapers among local governments, decision-makers should be clear-headed about the huge costs of these concrete behemoths. They are not only very expensive to build but also very costly to maintain. The craze stems from local governments' shortsighted vanity and blinded desire for a sense of superiority, says an article of Southern Metropolis Daily. Excerpts:
The highest building in Wuhan, capital of Hubei province, will rise 30 meters above the highest building in Shanghai to become the highest skyscraper in China. That is until Changsha, capital of Hunan province, realizes its plan to build a 220-storey building, 838 meters high, which will be 10 meters higher than the world's current highest building in Dubai.
Statistics show that more than 200 skyscrapers are being constructed in China, which means on average one skyscraper will be completed every five days over the next three years. Eighty percent of these buildings are located in the second-tier cities in the less developed inland of China.
Local governments play a crucial role in deciding the height of buildings, because they regard skyscrapers as symbols of prosperity and wealth.
Skyscrapers sprung up in Chicago and New York in the 1930s and were symbols of the industrial and financial power of these cities. Although we do not marvel at them to the same extent today, it does not seem to matter to local governments, who still worship tall buildings.
In fact, skyscrapers have a number of problems. It is very difficult for people in an emergency. And taking care of the building costs even more than its construction.
Local governments should be aware of these drawbacks before rushing pell-mell into constructing skyscrapers. There are many better ways to impress visitors besides having a skyline dominated by tall buildings.
(China Daily 07/17/2012 page9)