China to get a new skyscraper every five days for next three years
Research prompts Financial Times to question whether boom means bust is on the way
China will top out a new skyscaper every five days for the next three years, according to new research.
The 2011 China Skyscraper City List, compiled by Motian City, a website for enthusiasts in the country, also points out that China and Taiwan already boast five of the world’s top 10 tallest buildings.
Rapid urbanisation in the country and the resulting boom in construction means that China currently has more than 200 buildings over 500ft (152m) tall under construction – equivalent to the total number of existing skyscrapers in the United States.
China will have 800 buildings above this height by the end of 2016, the research claimed.
But Motian City’s research warns that there is a growing danger of white elephants being created as local authorities try to outdo each other. It warned that cities including Haikou, Kunming, Nanning and Dongguan were planning tall buildings without the necessary level of demand.
The Financial Times in London, meanwhile, noted economist Andrew Lawrence’s theory that the building of exceptionally tall buildings often foreshadowed major economic downturns.
The paper quoted Xianfang Ren, an economist with IHS Global Insight in Beijing.
She said: “Skyscrapers, which are extremely capital-intensive and steel-intensive, are also manifestations of potential pitfalls with the Chinese economy.”
However, she added that Beijing had made efforts to stave off a property bubble and shift the economy away from an investment-heavy growth model.