Dubai’s transformation from a fishing village to a global real estate hub has been nothing short of remarkable. From having the world’s tallest building to man-made islands in the shape of a world map, the U.A.E.’s most populous city has never shied away from ambitious construction projects.
Today’s motion graphic video, from Knight Frank, is a unique overview of Dubai’s half-century long growth spurt.
Ambition into Action
Dubai’s ruler, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, summed up the ambition of his people in a quote:
Dubai will never settle for anything less than first place.
Indeed, the city’s economic growth has been nearly unparalleled over the past two decades. Unlike neighboring emirates, Dubai had a modest supply of oil and knew that diversifying their economy would be vital for future success.
As oil production leveled off in the early 1990s, the tourism industry ramped up. In 2002, reforms allowed foreigners to own real estate and that industry boomed overnight. Today, oil accounts for a minuscule 1% of Dubai’s GDP.
As the Middle East begins looking toward a post-oil economy, Dubai’s success provides an obvious example for other cities in the region to mimic.
Sky High Ambition
In addition to quirky attractions like the 250,000 sqft indoor ski hill, the desert city boasts a number of record-setting projects:
- World’s tallest building – Burj Khalifa
- World’s tallest hotel – JW Marriott Marquis Hotel
- World’s largest shopping center – Dubai Mall
- World’s largest indoor theme park – IMG Worlds of Adventure
- World’s Busiest Airport (International Travelers) – Dubai International Airport
- World’s longest fully automated metro network – Dubai Metro
Though Dubai is full of blockbuster development projects, the city’s urban form is perhaps best known for one specific attribute: height. For a city of only 3.0 million people, Dubai has a remarkable number of skyscrapers. In fact, the city trails only New York and Shanghai for the number of buildings taller than 150m (492ft).
For context, during the period of 2007–2014 Dubai essentially kept pace with high-rise development in the United States as a whole. (Dubai’s population is 0.9% the size of the United States.)
The B Word
Just as Dubai was hitting its stride, the global financial crisis blew in and choked the pipeline of money flowing into the growing city. In 2009, headlines around the world proclaimed that Dubai’s real estate bubble had finally burst.
Though the financial crisis was a setback, the city’s development industry has recovered admirably. Going into 2017, there were 11,600 active projects worth over $800 billion. As well, Expo 2020 is expected to add fuel to the twin engines of Dubai’s economy: real estate development and tourism.
With the U.A.E. set to further relax foreign ownership roles, the city’s economic prospects remain as sunny as its weather forecast.
The Hydrogen City: How Hydrogen Can Help to Achieve Zero Emissions
Cities are drivers of growth and prosperity, but also the main contributors of pollution. Can hydrogen fuel the growth of cities with clean power?
In the modern context, cities create somewhat of a paradox.
While cities are the main drivers for improving the lives of people and entire nations, they also tend to be the main contributors of pollution and CO2 emissions.
How can we encourage this growth, while also making city energy use sustainable?
Resolving the Paradox
Today’s infographic comes to us from the Canadian Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association and it outlines hydrogen technology as a sustainable fuel for keeping urban economic engines running effectively for the future.
The Urban Economic Engine
Today, more than half of the world’s population lives in cities, and according to U.N. estimates, that number will grow to 6.7 billion by 2050 – or about 68% of the global population.
Simultaneously, it is projected that developing economies such as India, Nigeria, Indonesia, Brazil, China, Malaysia, Kenya, Egypt, Turkey, and South Africa will drive global growth.
Development leads to urbanization which leads to increased economic activity:
The difficulty in this will be achieving a balance between growth and sustainability.
Currently, cities consume over two-thirds of the world’s energy and account for more than 70% of global CO2 emissions to produce 80% of global GDP.
Further, it’s projected by the McKinsey Global Institute that the economic output of the 600 largest cities and urban regions globally could grow $30 trillion by the year 2050, comprising for two-thirds of all economic growth.
With this growth will come increased demand for energy and C02 emissions.
The Hydrogen Fueled City
Hydrogen, along with fuel cell technology, may provide a flexible energy solution that could replace the many ways fossils fuels are used today for heat, power, and transportation.
When used, it creates water vapor and oxygen, instead of harmful smog in congested urban areas.
According to the Hydrogen Council, by 2050, hydrogen could each year generate:
- 1,500 TWh of electricity
- 10% of the heat and power required by households
- Power for a fleet of 400 million cars
The infrastructure requirements for hydrogen make it easy to distribute at scale. Meanwhile, for heat and power, low concentrations of hydrogen can be blended into natural gas networks with ease.
Hydrogen can play a role in improving the resilience of renewable energy sources such as wind and solar, by being an energy carrier. By taking surplus electricity to generate hydrogen through electrolysis, energy can be stored for later use.
In short, hydrogen has the potential to provide the clean energy needed to keep cities running and growing while working towards zero emissions.
The 100 Tallest Buildings in New York City
This visualization plots out the tallest buildings in New York City, as well as a few in the pipeline that will change the Big Apple’s skyline forever.
The 100 Tallest Buildings in New York City
If you go to the Big Apple, the city’s signature skyline can make quite an impression.
The fact is, New York City has over 6,000 high-rise buildings in total, 274 of which are skyscrapers standing over 492 ft (150 m) tall. It’s an impressive portfolio of real estate, putting NYC as the number two destination globally for such towers, only behind Hong Kong.
But while some of the buildings have dominated the skyline seemingly forever, it’s also a landscape that is changing fast. New projects coming online will be among the city’s tallest, and they will dramatically alter any view of Midtown of Lower Manhattan for future onlookers.
A List of NYC’s Tallest Buildings
Today’s infographic comes to us from Liberty Cruise, and it shows the tallest buildings in New York City.
Here are the individual profiles of the current top ten:
|Rank||Building Name||Height||Completion Date|
|#1||One World Trade Center||1,776 feet (541 m)||2014|
|#2||432 Park Avenue||1,396 feet (426 m)||2015|
|#3||30 Hudson Yards||1,268 feet (387 m)||2019|
|#4||Empire State Building||1,250 feet (381 m)||1931|
|#5||Bank of America Tower||1,200 feet (366 m)||2009|
|#6||3 World Trade Center||1,079 feet (329 m)||2018|
|#7||53W53||1,050 feet (320 m)||2018|
|#8||Chrysler Building||1,046 feet (319 m)||1930|
|#9||The New York Times Building||1,046 feet (319 m)||2007|
|#10||35 Hudson Yards||1,009 feet (308 m)||2018|
Two of the biggest skyscrapers, the Chrysler Building and the Empire State Building, were erected during the Great Depression and still crack the top ten list today.
The Chrysler Building was actually the first skyscraper ever to be built at a height exceeding 1,000 feet. Meanwhile, the Empire State building, which was finished one year later, was the “world’s tallest building” for nearly 40 years.
However, as you can see, the rest of the buildings on the top ten list are more recent builds. It’s a testament to how fast the skyline of New York City has changed even in the last decade.
Towers in the Pipeline
But that’s not all, because the skyscraper boom in NYC hasn’t ended yet. The following megatowers are closing in on completion, and will displace many at the top of the current list:
111 West 57th Street
This building is set to be operational in mid-2019, and it’s already very noticeable on the NYC skyline. With a height of 1,428 feet (435 m), it will be the “skinniest” skyscraper in the world when completed, with a width-to-height ratio of 1:23.
Central Park Tower
This building, which was designed by the same people who did the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, will be the tallest building in the country by roof-height when done in 2020. It will clock in at 1,550 feet (472 m), making it the most sky-high residential building in the world.
45 Broad Street
With a height of 1,200 feet (366 m), this new building in Lower Manhattan is expected to be completed by 2021. If it were finished today, it would tie the Bank of America Tower for the fifth spot on a list of tallest buildings in the city.
This massive building will be the fourth tallest in the city when completed in 2021. Standing at 1,401 feet (427 m), it will have a highly anticipated observation deck set 1,000 feet above the ground.
Want to visualize more data about the Big Apple?
Check out this animation, which shows the population pulse of a Manhattan workday.
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