Vertical Urbanism and Three Dimensional Planning Illustrated Through the Shanghai Tower Case Story

Xiaomei Lee
Principal, Managing Director
Gensler, Shanghai

With rapid urbanization occurring all over the world, cities are growing denser and taller. Vertical urbanism is the wave of the future. How do we build cities in a vertical dimension that are place-based and people-focused? A study of the 125-story Shanghai Tower showcases the trend of vertical urbanism at its finest.

Connectivity is critical as cities transform into megacities, and designers should look for opportunities to connect tall buildings to mass transit and adjacent buildings through underground tunnels and sky bridges. A balance of mixed uses, openness and inclusivity are important elements to provide high quality of life and a viable urban environment. Three-dimensional planning is critical to the development of livable vertical cities, with a need for amenities and public spaces placed vertically throughout tall towers—not only at ground level. As cities grow, it’s important to preserve local heritage with an authentic reflection of culture

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