In its 2013 year in review, released Thursday, the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat made one point abundantly clear: Our cities are growing taller faster than ever before. Indeed, the Chicago-based authority on everything big and manmade found that 2013 was the second-most prolific year on record for new skyscrapers after 2011, suggesting that the slight slowdown of 2012 was merely a “blip” in an otherwise skyrocketing trend of building tall.
So just how fast are our cities growing skyward, and, more importantly, where is all of this growth taking place? Here are 25 facts that endeavor to explain the how, what, when and where of this increasingly flamboyant pageant of municipal virility.
Fact 1: Global construction crews completed a total of 73 buildings reaching 200 meters (656 feet) or greater in height over the course of 2013, making the year second only to 2011 when workers completed 81 such buildings.
Fact 2: The sum height of all 200-meter-plus buildings completed in 2013 was 17,662 meters (57,946 feet), making the year once again second only to 2011 when the sum height was 21,642 meters (71,004 feet).
Fact 3: Twelve of the 73 tall buildings completed in 2013, or 16 percent, entered the list of 100 tallest buildings in the world.
Fact 4: From 2000 to 2013, the total number of 200-meter-plus buildings in existence increased an astounding 318 percent from 261 to 830.
Fact 5: The globe saw nine new “supertalls” in 2013 for the fourth consecutive year, bringing the four-year total to 36 buildings that are more than 300 meters (984 feet) in height.
Fact 6: To put that last figure in perspective, half of the world’s “supertalls” were completed between 2010 and 2013.
Fact 7: Asia once again dominated the market with 53 structures that are more than 200 meters, or 74 percent of the world’s tallest buildings completed in 2013.
Fact 8: Asia now boasts 45 percent of the 100 tallest buildings in the world.
Fact 9: China was -- for the sixth year in a row -- the undisputed heavyweight of tall-building construction with 50 percent of the global total in 2013.
Fact 10: Thirty-seven buildings of 200 meters or greater rose in 22 different cities throughout China.
Fact 11: Shenzhen was the most active skyscraper city in China with four new additions to its skyline in 2013.
Fact 12: Changzhou had the tallest building in China with the 332-meter (1,089-foot) Modern Media Center.
Fact 13: Goyang, Korea, a city of 1.5 million just north of Seoul, debuted on the world skyscraper stage in a major way with eight 200-meter-plus buildings in 2013.
Fact 14: Goyang had the most new additions to its skyline of any single city last year.
Fact 15: Three of the five tallest buildings completed last year were in the United Arab Emirates.
Fact 16: The small, oil-rich UAE boasted the most new additions to its skyline of any nation outside of China with 10 new buildings of 200-plus meters in height.
Fact 17: For the first time since 1953, Europe had two of the 10 tallest buildings completed over the course of a year: the 306-meter (1,004-foot) Shard in London and the 339-meter (1,112-foot) Mercury City tower in Moscow.
Fact 18: Mercury City became the tallest building in Europe, though it ranks at No. 34 globally.
Fact 19: The small Central American nation of Panama continued its rapid growth with another two buildings over 200 meters in 2013.
Fact 20: Panama now has 19 skyscrapers over 200 meters, up from zero in 2008.
Fact 21: The United States saw a slew of new proposals in 2013 but completed just one building over 200 meters: 1717 Broadway in New York.
Fact 22: 1717 Broadway became North America’s tallest hotel, housing a Marriott Courtyard and a Residence Inn.
Fact 23: The tallest building completed in 2013 was the 355-meter (1,165-foot) JW Marriott Marquis Hotel Dubai Tower in the UAE.
Fact 24: The JW Marriott Marquis became the tallest hotel in the world.
Fact 25: The 307-meter (1007-foot) Cayan Tower in Dubai became the world’s tallest twisting tower.
Looking ahead: The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat expects between 65 and 90 buildings of 200 meters or more to be completed in 2014, including up to 13 supertalls, the tallest building in South America (the Torre Costanera in Santiago), the tallest building in North America (One World Trade Center in New York) and several “twisting” and “superslim” towers, two new global trends.
For more facts and figures, visit: http://www.ctbuh.org/
Mark Johanson is the travel editor at the International Business Times. He has traveled to and written about more than 30 nations and territories on every continent except...