China bans construction of skyscrapers for public safety

China bans construction of skyscrapers for public safety

China has banned construction of skyscrapers that are taller than 500 meters (1,640 feet) following mounting concerns about public safety over the standard of some projects. Beijing’s premier economic planning body, the National Development and Reform Commission, said during a notice Tuesday, reported Bloomberg.

The top economic planner has also directed local authorities to strictly limit construction of towers taller than 250 metres, citing quality concerns and public safety hazards in some projects stemming from a scarcity of proper oversight. Construction of buildings exceeding 100 metres will need to be at par with the hearth rescue capability and therefore the scale of the town where the buildings are going to be built.

“It’s primarily for safety”, said Qiao Shitong, an associate law professor at the University of Hong Kong told Bloomberg, adding that skyscrapers “are more like signature projects for mayors and not necessarily efficient”, Only 10 buildings within the world are over 500 metres and half them are located in China .

These new directives come after the near 300-metre-high (980 ft) Shenzhen Electronics Group Plaza, one among China's tallest skyscrapers, was evacuated on May 18 after it began to shake. Videos shot by bystanders and shared by local media on Weibo shows the mammoth tower shaking on its foundation as many terrified pedestrians ran helter-skelter fearing a collapse.

Building collapses aren't rare in China, where lax construction standards and rapid urbanisation cause constructions being thrown up hurriedly . Just last year Chinese authorities had banned construction of buildings taller than 500 meters in cities like Beijing, and urged urban planners to construct buildings which “highlight Chinese characteristics" rather than modelling them after world landmarks.

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