BEIJING, Sept.13(Xinhuanet)--The Shanghai Municipal People's Congress will
modify the city's urban-planning regulations within the next month to limit the
number of tall buildings, said a member of the congress standing committee.
Guan Zhuangmin, who is also chairman of the congress' Urban Construction
and Environmental Protection Committee, said: "The excessive development of tall
buildings in downtown Shanghai worsens the city's image and goes against its
long-term goal of becoming a pleasant place in which to both live and work.''
Tall buildings have been mushrooming as a result of the renovation of old
urban areas, particularly in the last five years.
By the end of last year, there were 4,916 tall buildings (of eight floors
or more) in the city, according to the Shanghai Municipal Housing, Land and
Resources Bureau. Of those, around 2,800 had more than 18 floors.
By the end of June this year, another 2,000 buildings with more than 18
floors were either under construction or in the planning stage.
The congestion of tall buildings in the limited central area has had a
negative effect in the city, according to the Shanghai Municipal Urban Planning
Guan said an important task for the municipality for the rest of this year
is to control the number of tall buildings.
Many historical buildings in old urban areas have been demolished to make
room for modern tall buildings.
The concentration of tall buildings blocks the wind and the view and has
been shown to depress people.
"The case of Amoy Gardens in Hong Kong during the SARS outbreak has warned
us how vulnerable a place with a dense population is when faced with an epidemic
disease,'' Guan said.
In addition to weakening the city's capacity to fight fires, typhoons and
the heat, the excessive construction of tall buildings has also been identified
as having contributed 30 per cent to the city's subsidence since 1990.
The Lujiazui financial area along the Huangpu River in the district of
Pudong, which has a high concentration of skyscrapers, is sinking by between 12
and 15 millimetres a year and the trend does not seem to be slowing.(China