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Thread: Is the mile tall 'Kingdom Tower' arrogant or well-planned?

  1. #1

    Is the mile tall 'Kingdom Tower' arrogant or well-planned?

    I recently wrote a piece displaying my thoughts on the Kingdom Tower (the mile-high mega skyscraper to be built in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia).

    I'm of the volition that it is an absolutely appalling waste of $30 billion and much more appropriate planning measures can be devised.

    (1) The surrounding area could become a ghost town:
    By creating a horizontal boulevard, there is no surface area for betterment to be absorbed into the local area. In fact, the opposite can occur, whereby the prestige and multi-faceted nature of the Kingdom Tower means that other developers will shy away from the area. Local businesses will fall by the wayside as the tower soaks up shoppers, businesses, tenants and tourists. If the $30 billion were to be spent creating an efficient, timely public transport axis in conjunction with lower density mixed-used developments of varying socio-economic stature, a much greater urban vitality would be enjoyed by all.

    (2) The project could prove financially unfeasible:
    If the Burj Khalifa is anything to go by, it is clear that such volatile mega-projects have the potential to backfire quite epically. The Abu Dhabi led bailout of the project meant that the prestige shifted away from Dubai and into the hands of an economic rival. The monetary risks for the Kingdom Tower are almost exactly 20 times as great.

    I am interested to see what you all think.


    This is the original article.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian The One's avatar
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    Ahh....yes.....

    Official announcement:

    "Welcome to the Kingdom Tower, if your journey today takes you higher than the 150th floor, you will be issued a slim fitting parachute in lieu of fire safety measures that proved too expensive to install during the construction of this building. Also, the water pressure above floor 350 is less than 1 psi."
    "The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness."
    John Kenneth Galbraith

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    I don't know a whole lot of the details of the project, but the little I've seen leads me to a three-word description.

    Tower
    of
    Babel

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    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    I've noticed that the Middle East really doesn't do high rise urbanism that well. So many of these new skyscrapers aren't placed within the context of an existing street grid, like those in New York, Chicago and Tokyo, but instead sited in a "tower in the park" like setting, like those along Sheikh Zayed Road in Dubai. I can't imagine the Kingdom Tower being any different.
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

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