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The Rise of Vertical Cities and Tall Buildings: Lessons for Australia

Tall buildings have become an omni-present tool in increasing the urban population, but is Australia ready for the rise in vertical cities?

Gareth Robbins

Senior Managing Director - Property, Energy and Resources Ask me a question
Sydney Skyline, fisheye view

The world’s cities are facing rapid change. The number of mega cities with 10 million people or more will double to 41 by 2030. By this stage, over 70% of the earth’s population will be urbanised, bringing unprecedented challenges to delivering sustainable housing, work, education and health for everyone.

Australia is no exception. The country is projected to hit a population of 38 million people by mid-century, as Sydney and Melbourne both attract three million new residents, and Brisbane and Perth add another two million each. Cities are responding to this mass population increase by becoming denser, more vertical places. Just a decade ago, tall buildings above 200 metres were a rarity, but at the end of 2016 there were over 40 in Australia above that height, with many acting as either residential or multi-functional towers with myriad uses.

But, the challenge lies for both developers and cities themselves to ensure that tall buildings are commercially successful, seamlessly linked to mobility, integrated with the urban habitat and a catalyst for dynamic, resilient cities for the future.

The question remains for Australia as to whether it is ready for the rise and verticality of its cities, and the demands that come with it? Building at height is a highly specialised business requiring sophisticated skills and experience. It also demands a broader approach to the whole life cycle of a building, from the concerns of urban planning right through to the unique design, construction, procurement project and cost management issues that must be addressed to create value and a return on investment.

Arcadis and CallisonRTKL have developed a comprehensive understanding of how to create and deliver these soaring, iconic towers in complex urban centres. Applying global knowledge with local expertise, the whitepaper seeks to address seven of the most crucial issues facing tall building development, relevant for the Australian market.

Room with a view – the rise of vertical communities
Aiming high – delivering tall buildings
Rising above – vertical mobility arrives
Pushing the limits – the costs of building tall
Top to bottom – the horizontal impact of building tall
The high life – the rise of green ratings in tall buildings
High maintenance – managing tall buildings as assets

Questions about this article

Gareth Robbins

Senior Managing Director - Property, Energy and Resources Ask me a question

Arcadis White paper

The Rise of Vertical Cities and Tall Buildings: Lessons for Australia

Find out more from Arcadis and CallisonRTKL’s global experts.

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