Living high and green

Most civilizations of note have attempted to immortalise themselves in the tall structures they left behind. Through their pyramids and obelisks, mountaintop temples, clock towers and cathedrals, men throughout the ages have sought to make their mark by constructing prodigious monuments to themselves and their cultures.

At times planners, politicians, and well meaning citizens have tried to suppress tall buildings or limit their height. Developers have frequently found themselves wrangling with community groups over the height of their projects. Yet the trend worldwide is towards bigger and higher. Cities of the world continue to compete for the highest office structures. In India, the majority of such buildings are seen in the commercial capital Mumbai. Talks are on about a proposed 320 metres high India International Trade Center here that will have 72 floors. Hyderabad is also constructing the APIIC tower with a 100 floors. The structure is likely to be completed by 2010. Bangalore's tallest building 'Aquila Heights' is of 32 floors. Noida has got the government's go-ahead to build a skyscraper with 135 floors. This is targeted to be higher than the current tallest building on the planet - Taiwan's Taipei. The building is scheduled to open by 2013. Dubai's 2,300 foot high Burj Dubai is also in the race to become the world's tallest building.

Apart from the spectacular views they offer, tall buildings make too much sense from an economic point of view to not be around. In countries like India, where population becomes a major problem and due to which living space for all is a big issue, high rise seems to be the only logical solution. There are many other benefits are as well of living in high-rise buildings such as lesser air and noise pollution, gated well secured community living; so we can have more social life, more security.

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