China Halts High-Rise Work Over Safety

MONDAY, JULY 12, 2021

China’s National Development and Reform Commission announced last week that it is prohibiting the construction of some of the tallest high-rises among mounting safety concerns.

According to reports, the ban covers buildings that are taller than 500 meters (1,640 feet) and local authorities have also been instructed to limit towers that are taller than 250 meters.

The organization is citing quality problems and safety hazards linked to “loose oversight.” The ban follows an “in-principle” ban on new buildings over 500 meters last year.

According to Bloomberg, a 72-story tower in Shenzhen was closed in May for inspection following reports that the structure was “wobbling.”

Other Commission Orders

This order also comes on the heels of instruction dictating not the height of buildings, but the style of them. At the beginning of April, the Commission issued the “2021 New Urbanization and Key Tasks for Urban-Rural Integration Development” Notice.

Demanded by Chinese leader Xi Jinping, the Commission officially placed the construction of “ugly” and “weird” buildings under strict restriction.

The notice arrived in the first year of the “14th Five-Year Plan," a year of special importance in the process of my country's modernization drive.

Although the document doesn’t actually define what qualifies as “ugly” or “pleasing” to the eye, the notice follows Jinping's initial complaints about the “weird” buildings that first started popping up around 2014.

In the directive, the notice adds that local governments should construct buildings that are “suitable, economic, green and pleasing to the eye.”

Regarding the upbeat of strange buildings, the South China Morning Post attributes the rapid urbanization the country has undergone the past 40 years, highlighting numerous projects such as the “giant trousers” structure of the China Central Television headquarters in Beijing, to the half-Temple of Heaven, half-U.S. Capitol building in Hebei.

Other cited structures include the 2,000-seat Sunac Guangzhou Grand Theatre, The People’s Daily news service headquarters and the Guangxi Center of New Media in Nanning, Guangxi.


Tagged categories: AS; Asia Pacific; Condominiums/High-Rise Residential; Good Technical Practice; Government; Health and safety; Regulations; Safety

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