China bans new skyscrapers over safety concerns

Decision was taken after a 72-storey tower in Shenzhen had to be evacuated in May

China prohibited the construction of the tallest skyscrapers on Tuesday to ensure safety following mounting concerns over the quality of some projects.

The ban covers buildings that are taller than 500 metres, the National Development and Reform Commission said.

Local authorities will also need to strictly limit the building of towers that are higher than 250 metres, Bloomberg reported.

The top economic planner said concerns about quality and safety, stemming from ineffective oversight, led to the decision.

A 72-storey tower in Shenzhen was closed in May for checks following reports of unexplained wobbling, feeding concern about the stability of one of the technology hub’s tallest buildings.

Construction of buildings higher than 100 metres will now be allowed subject to the city's size and its fire rescue capability, the commission said.

The authorities last year announced an in-principle ban on new buildings taller than 500 metres.

There are only 10 towers in the world exceeding that height, and five of them are in mainland China, according to the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat. The five buildings are Shanghai Tower (632 metres), Ping An International Finance Centre in Shenzhen (599 metres), CTF Finance Centre in Guangzhou (530 metres), Tianjin CTF Finance Centre (530 metres), and CITIC Tower in Beijing (528 metres).

The world's tallest building is Burj Khalifa in Dubai, standing at 828 metres.

Updated: July 7th 2021, 11:50 AM
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