A High-Rise Future ?
Our cities are changing and not just in Eastern China or the Gulf States; on a recent visit to Milan, I turned a corner in one of the City’s older districts to be confronted by a towering utopia of shining glass and steel in the making. The decaying grandeur of old apartments, period closes and shady piazzas, which once echoed to the sound of children’s laughter and evening chatter, is being swept away in an instant to construct tomorrow’s citadels of Big Business.
Looking at this scene I couldn’t help thinking about the stone head monoliths of Easter Island where an earlier civilisation effectively wiped itself out through its own equally obsessive construction frenzy. These days however, it’s not the ancestors we are placating, but instead the corporate gods of wealth and power. Remarkably they even found space to put in a few trees; on the side of one of the skyscrapers and even before the upper floors were finally constructed. Can high-rise really mean a green sustainable future or is this merely a bit of “green washing” en route to “Mega City One” ?