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Old August 11th, 2007, 06:48 AM   #1
hkskyline
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Skyscrapers Lead to High Anxiety - Hong Kong Study

Skyscrapers lead to high anxiety
13 May 2007
South China Morning Post



Flats on the upper floors of the city's skyscrapers are prized for their views and social status, but there is a downside: occupants may have a range of high-rise anxieties such as worries about the lifts or fires, a study reveals.

The University of Hong Kong's Centre of Urban Planning and Environmental Management surveyed 900 households at random to find out how occupants felt or would feel about living near the top of super-tall blocks. Those surveyed did not necessarily live in tall buildings or on high floors. The study found some people feared that family members could fall from a window or that the tower could collapse.

Anthony Yeh Gar-on, the centre's chair professor, said Hongkongers only consider a building "tall" if it is 30 storeys and "very tall" if 50 storeys or more. A similar study in Singapore found people there think a tower is tall if 25 storeys and very tall at 40 and above.

"In Singapore, there are not many tall buildings and 40 storeys is considered super-tall. In Hong Kong, 40-storey buildings are everywhere. The concept of super-tall is taller than that. People walking on the street in Hong Kong may not know they are surrounded by super-tall buildings because all blocks appear equally tall and they seldom look up."

The study found Hongkongers put lifts as their top concern, with 28.6 per cent worried about a breakdown, crime and time spent riding in them.

A quarter of respondents worried about the fire risk - although official data shows the number of fires in flats has gradually dropped from 2,815 cases in 2001 to 1,727 last year.

About 3 per cent feared a building collapse and 2.1 per cent were worried about the building's height.

But Professor Yeh said the respondents, in general, liked living in very tall buildings because of the prestige. Limited land and a growing population prompted Hong Kong and other Asian cities to resort to high-rise living, he said, but high-density urban development was not necessarily undesirable if planned and managed.

"With more regulations on horizontal distance between buildings to avoid a wall-like effect, the tall building design could be a solution to solve the shortage of land in Hong Kong," he said.
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Old August 11th, 2007, 07:20 AM   #2
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Hardly anxiety, but certainly, the prospect is raised once in a while, especially in families with smlal children.

It becomes a prospect of daily life, and hardly a constant nuisance.

It'd be interesting to ask what people in suburbs (America) think of as "tall" and "supertall"
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Old August 13th, 2007, 09:03 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gladisimo View Post
Hardly anxiety, but certainly, the prospect is raised once in a while, especially in families with smlal children.

It becomes a prospect of daily life, and hardly a constant nuisance.

It'd be interesting to ask what people in suburbs (America) think of as "tall" and "supertall"
I think those living in the US would prefer supertalls within downtown areas or central business districts. I can't imagine a supertall sprouting in a US suburb.

But in the US alone, there are several supertalls and high-rise condos being planned like those in San Francisco or Chicago.
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Old August 13th, 2007, 09:05 AM   #4
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Even in Hong Kong, supertall residentials are not common in the suburbs. The really tall ones are being built in the core areas such as Kowloon south of Boundary Street.
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Old August 13th, 2007, 09:30 AM   #5
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Even in Hong Kong, supertall residentials are not common in the suburbs. The really tall ones are being built in the core areas such as Kowloon south of Boundary Street.
Supertalls aren't common but there are new towns in HK that have residentials over 40 stories such as the ones in Tung Chung.
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Old August 13th, 2007, 09:40 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by WANCH View Post
Supertalls aren't common but there are new towns in HK that have residentials over 40 stories such as the ones in Tung Chung.
They're not supertalls considering the blocks in West Kowloon top 60 stories, while the newer redevelopments (skyscraper walls) popping up south of Boundary Street easily reach above 55.
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Old August 14th, 2007, 09:09 AM   #7
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Skyscrapers is already part of HK life. I was born and raised in one. I work in one and still live in one.
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Old August 14th, 2007, 09:35 AM   #8
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I don't think the problem is with skyscrapers only, but rather the congested environment and lack of personal space in Hong Kong's urban cityscape, which leads to enormous stress levels as there are few outlets of relief.
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Old August 14th, 2007, 10:23 AM   #9
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If you're a little pussy and you're scared of stupid shit like elevators failing or whatever... then live in a lower level!
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Old August 14th, 2007, 11:41 AM   #10
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If you're a little pussy and you're scared of stupid shit like elevators failing or whatever... then live in a lower level!
More of if you're scared of earthquakes
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Old August 14th, 2007, 11:41 AM   #11
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I don't think the problem is with skyscrapers only, but rather the congested environment and lack of personal space in Hong Kong's urban cityscape, which leads to enormous stress levels as there are few outlets of relief.
Thats the main problem in HK. That's why alot of HKers like to go to country parks of travel just to escape the city's claustrophobic environment.
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Old August 14th, 2007, 11:43 AM   #12
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Quote:
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Thats the main problem in HK. That's why alot of HKers like to go to country parks of travel just to escape the city's claustrophobic environment.
Actually, people also escape by going to the cheaper vacation spots in the Pearl River Delta, and also abroad. Hence, during the holiday breaks, the border checkpoints are bursting with people. It's not unusual to see people flying to Taiwan or Shanghai for a long weekend these days.
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Old August 14th, 2007, 11:44 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by hkskyline View Post
Actually, people also escape by going to the cheaper vacation spots in the Pearl River Delta, and also abroad. Hence, during the holiday breaks, the border checkpoints are bursting with people. It's not unusual to see people flying to Taiwan or Shanghai for a long weekend these days.
Shanghai and Taipei would be surprising since these cities as are dense as HK
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Old August 14th, 2007, 11:55 AM   #14
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Shanghai and Taipei would be surprising since these cities as are dense as HK
Wrong. Taipei is actually a very lowrise city considering the earthquake risk. They don't have that many tall buildings to start and they're far more spaced out.

Same for Shanghai as well. They have a lot of tall buildings but they're spaced out fairly well with plenty of green spaces. Pudong actually has very manageable density, with plenty of new blocks less than 30 stories high.

People there wouldn't be fitting a family of 4 into 500 square feet with 75% usable area.
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Old August 15th, 2007, 07:44 PM   #15
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Skyscrapers Lead to Great Pleasure and Excitement - Skyscrapercity Study

Most people in this study don't live in high floors, so it's quite obvious how they'll feel.
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Old August 18th, 2007, 10:20 AM   #16
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In terms of office construction, it's popular at the moment to build shorter buildings with massive floorplates here because it's been shown that workers are more comfortable with a more open spaces and doing away with cubicles and so on.

That's why the new ANZ Headquarters will have pretty much the largest amount of office space in Australia even though it is only 11 floors high, even though the space is equivalent to the 250m tall Rialto.
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