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VERTICAL URBANISM

"I am particularly interested in the public role all (tall) buildings play, I believe we architects should try to go beyond our basic obligations to the public, and our opportunities to do so are many! Cesar Pelli

ABSTRACT- The population of the planet is increasing at an alarming rate. Every year, the global population rises by 89 million people, meaning more homes and facilities are needed worldwide every day. Unfortunately, there is only so much land on which to build them. Urbanization has been a phenomenon for thousands of years, but it has traditionally been accompanied by horizontal urbanisation - the process of where a city spreads outwards across the ground, increasing the overall surface area of the city itself. A 2014 UN report estimates that the number of people living in urban areas will increase from 54% to 66% by 2050. With this growing pressure on housing, energy and infrastructure, governments around the world have been looking at ways to improve urbanisation for all. The solution?

Proposing a New Urbanism The modern skyscraper is a building type that is being continuously created all over the world; it defines our cities and creates the dense urbanity of the modern city. The number of these towers being constructed is staggering and exponential, fulfilling a rapidly increasing need for space. The skyscraper, however, is still buried in a real-estate production cycle demanding profits and leaving public functions to the city and the street. Skyscrapers are designed with efficiency and profitability as their primary driving forces. With global increases in population, urbanity, and density, the skyscraper must respond to a changing type of efficiency. Compounding these issues are dense modern cities that consist of a high proportion of high rises and towers stacking more people vertically and relying on the street to provide all functions of community while simultaneously distancing people from street life. This creates environments that are oversaturated and neglect the human scale, both within the skyscraper and on the street. Instead of simply stacking programs, the skyscraper should rely on stacking of urbanity: intensification of program, function, and use that becomes a continuously active vertical multi-use neighborhood. The proposed solution is for urbanity to work inside the skyscraper as an internalized system that acts as an extension of street and city life by creating diverse and active realms within the skyscraper. By defining which urban typologies can be interpreted vertically, the skyscraper and city can become more dense and efficient without sacrificing the benefits of the urban realm. Ken Yeang, a Malaysian born architect who is a major figure in ecological and sustainable design, especially in the fields of master planning and skyscrapers, proposed the concept of reinterpreting urban typologies into the vertical realm: “…The making of this approach is a built milieu that is more physically and socially comprehensive; a high rise built environment that is more humane and more habitable; a built environment that should be a replication of, and there possible significantly improve on the ideal and pleasurable life that we currently enjoy, and have always enjoyed, at the ground plane.” The thesis is organized around three concepts: 1)compact vertical city, 2)vertical placemaking, 3)modulation of the skyscraper. Each concept is built around the interpretation of urban models into a vertical system, and when combined create a theoretical body of knowledge that is then applied and tested in a design concept. A city that can be considered as a sophisticated organism is constantly changing throughout its lifecycle, as a result of economic shifts, demographic change, and environmental pressures. Nowadays, megacities are facing unprecedented issues such as overpopulation, land shortage, lack of adequate infrastructures, and environmental challenges during the process of uncontrollable urban sprawl. Meanwhile, a considerable number of new developments claim themselves in the title of “Vertical City”, yet very few have represented the essence of a city. The definition of the vertical city cannot be solely judged by its height, usage or investment return, but has to demonstrate the capability of adaption in response to urban transformation.vertical city that is adaptable, integrated, and interactive as an alternative response to the survival of megacities. Case study of existing building systems related to high-density urbanism will be conducted, an innovative prototype of the vertical city, or in other words Vertical Dynamic Urbanism (VDU), will be comprehensively developed in the context of megacities, in which structural strategy, construction future extension concept, work coordination sequence, the inner transit system, and dynamic lifecycle management will be further discussed. From a different perspective the Urban migration, whereby populations flock to urban centers looking for work, leaves cities short on affordable housing, transport links and can either lead to inner-city poverty or urban sprawl. High-rise mixed-use development offers solutions to both problems by maximizing the number of people that can live and work on a scarce, fixed amount of available land. Increasing demands for urban spaces pushed the environment to grow vertical and compact. So the necessity of mixed-use developments integrating plants and bio-climatic design principles has come up. This thesis explores the design issues and goals in high-rise mixed-use development. The designing and planning of high-rise mixed-use development involve consideration of all prevailing conditions. The various functional needs, efficiency, economy, energy conservation, aesthetics, technology, fire and life safety solution, vertical transportation, human comforts and maintenance practices, provision of future growth are some of the main factors to be incorporated in the design.