Civic thread

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by HippoCrushEverything, Aug 5, 2017.

  1. Idol touched on one issue, which is that the river is not navigable. But more importantly, the river is the main source for drinking water for about two million people, and is also used for agriculture. The North Saskatchewan River, seen in that photo of Edmonton (as well as my new place of employ!) is about another two million. As it is now, both are essentially glacial melt, and building any property near, over, or under them is a major regulatory hurdle at multiple levels of government, which wasn't so much an issue in cities developed prior to the 20th century when we discovered the environment, or where there is already significant motor-vehicle traffic on the rivers themselves.

    With respect to railways, it has more to do with the favorable terms given to the Canadian Pacific Railway in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The development of Western Canada was an incredible undertaking; whereas all of built-up Eastern Canada has ready access not only to each other but to Europe and the world via the Saint Lawrence River and the Great Lakes system, access to the West was an industrial project. As such, the Canadian Pacific was given vast authority to secure land and rights to land, to police its own property, and to collect rent on abutting property, in order to pay for the tremendous cost of a transcontinental railway (through a harsher climate than the United States, with a much lower population to support it). The railway was the de facto government in much of Western Canada in its early development (a position they assumed from a different company, the Hudson's Bay Company, and not a government agent). Railway air-rights are to this day a huge issue in the urban development of Canada which the railways fiercely protect, as well as their land rights (the development of the Rail Lands on Toronto's lakefront is an excellent case study). Building a bridge or tunnel over or under railway land requires that railways consent, and often rent too. The handful of underpasses that cross the CPR mainline in downtown Calgary are on and under land leased from the Railway to the City via the Province.

    The benefits of collecting businesses in one location (eg: being able to send a bike messenger to collect a physical contract in 5 minutes) are tremendous, but fall off very rapidly. Rents meanwhile, fall off much more gradually. And so if a central business district is not going to be incredibly dense, you might as well just go to a campus-style pattern of development where rents are cheaper. I think that's a general trend in European cities, and all old cities really, to have a very large built-up area of medium density that still includes major offices and businesses, which dissipates the density in the central business district to a handful of financial interests that really benefit the most from physical distance. Part of that is age, since the modern skyscraper is a relatively new phenomena, and part of that is to do with the relatively flat river deltas of Europe being a fairly straightforward transportation problem.
    HippoCrushEverything likes this.
  2. Canadian National is a much newer enterprise than Canadian Pacific. I think CPR's mandate from the very beginning was the organized build-out of Western Canada, whereas Canadian National was more of a public-works project to consolidate bankrupted railways into a competative entity. CP not only built the first transcontinental railway in the country, but organized steamship lines and trans-continental and trans-Atlantic telegraph lines to find the people to settle the West, and this huge industrial network actually served them to make a profit during the First World War in service of the British war effort (and they were even a major financier of the war, lending the Allies the equivalent of billions of dollars), whereas Canadian National was founded by the federal government in the ashes of that war to collect together all the other railways that were bankrupted during that same war.
  3. transportation history is very interesting, I stand corrected
  4. Speaking of these, I remember when the Sears Tower used to be the tallest building in the world. Now it's ranked 16th, and won't be in the top-30 in a few years. Currently there exist 13 completed buildings over 450m tall (excluding antennae). 1 is situated in the US, 1 in South Korea, 1 in Saudi Arabia, 1 in Dubai, 1 in Malaysia and 8 in China.

    Next year they'll add six supertalls over 500m in height. Last year 128 buildings over 200m tall were completed in China. To add some perspective, more buildings over 200m tall were completed in the city of Shenzhen alone than in any country besides China (even UAE).

    Some recently completed/under construction examples:

    Guangzhou CTF (530m)


    Shenzhen Ping'An Center (600m)


    Goldin Finance 117, Tianjin (596m)


    Also under construction:

    Baoneng Shenyang Finance Center, 568m
    Greenland center Wuhan, 636m
    Greenland center Dalian, 518m
    China Zun, Beijing, 528m

    I find it somewhat amusing that although almost everyone knows the Willis (Sears) Tower, one WTC, Taipei 101, Burj Khalifa and such landmarks, there might exist an unknown building 100m taller than anything on the Western hemisphere, in a city that nobody has heard of, yet is more populous than any city in Europe. Even the 2nd tier joints that used to be rather ghettoish 10 years ago, are starting to sprout impressive skylines and infrastructure.
  5. why are they making super talls
    just bragging rights or is there a legit reason
  6. A lot of reasons. Largely these buildings are occupied (with a few major exceptions I'm sure someone will bring up), which means the buildings are going up due to demand and not centrally-planned dick waving. However, the rate at which they're going up might indicate that in addition to the large demand, the cost to build is being suppressed somehow. Like, for instance, years of uncharacteristically low interest rates (which affects both the cost of real estate development and the demand for floor space). Historically, very high rates of high-rise development are strongly correlated with a looming market correction, and it's actually geographically discriminating. This includes New York and Chicago in the 20s, the Middle East in the mid-2000s, and several other examples (Alberta this decade has seen the same thing on a smaller scale, for instance). And it's been shown that this is likely tied to artificially suppressed capital costs.

    China has a lot of room to grow before it hits Western standards of living and economic output, so there is a real chance that the Chinese government can manage this and slow things down in an orderly manner over several years while avoiding real damage. But capital is cheap, borrowing is cheap, and the RMB is undervalued on the global market. This isn't a death sentence; macro econ is not far from reading tarot cards. But it does mean the PRC should be cautious about their financial policy in the coming years.
  7. people from the west a notoriously short
    hence the tall buildings
  8. So are the black people in Israel jewish?
  9. The ones who aren't illegal, yeah. Jews went there in ancient times (exactly when and who is debatable), with terms like Aksum, Queen of Sheba and King Solomon involved. They've kept their traditions over the centuries and were eventually brought here (well, most of them) since the 70's. There's actually quite a bit of interesting history around it and around ancient Ethiopia in general, but I'm not one to give lessons.
  10. That's pretty cool

  11. Wild stuff. I've never heard of those cities before apart from Guangzhou.
  12. Companies and local governments want to invest their monies somewhere. In China, real estate is regarded as the only stable investment option. It's not that uncommon for middle class families to own multiple (often empty) apartments in major cities solely for investment purposes. Average housing prices in China tripled between 2005 and 2009, in some locations there has been a tenfold increase compared to the prices ten years ago. The country has a real estate bubble of ridiculous proportions.

    Construction is cheap and money is cheap; it's a good time to build. There are also very little legal constraints compared to Western countries. Many cities have regulations for the max. height of buildings, and citizens can delay the construction process by submitting ridiculous complaints. These aren't taken into account in China.

    The Chinese construction boom that has been going on since the 90's has left many real estate developers and local governments with immense wealth. For example, that Greenland Holdings ltd started in 1992 sort of as the parks&rec of Shanghai. Now it's one of the largest, if not the largest real estate developer in the world with a revenue of ~$67 bn USD. In addition to those supertalls in Dalian and Wuhan, and multiple smaller projects in China they are building this in your state:

    Metropolis Los Angeles,

    This in London:

    The Spire,


    This in Sydney:


    This in NYC:


    And this in Toronto:


    Centrally planned dick waving doesn't really exist as far as the CCP is concerned but the local governments like to wave theirs. The Shanghai Tower is an example of this with poor occupancy three years after its completion. The neighbouring privately owned supertalls, SWFC and Jin Mao are more or less fully occupied. Imo, the Shanghai Tower is pretty enough to justify its existence even if empty:


    Demographic reasons also exist. Central Guangzhou, Shenzhen or Shanghai have population densities comparable to those of Manhattan. When wealth is accumulated in those populations and they can eventually afford to have more than 3m2 of personal space, the options are build taller or gtfo.
  13. I like that NYC building complex. Looks cool.
  14. Montreal's all about brutalism and it sucks
  15. They're about to bring in 8,000 Chinese construction workers to speed things up over here.
  16. bring, like Dubai does, i.e. exploit and enslave? or good-faith bring?
  17. Well, there's a need to build more and there's a lack of workforce, and we do consider ourselves a somewhat enlightened country. But ultimetaly, we've been having trouble keeping construction workers alive lately. Motherfuckers keep falling off cranes and have heavy shit fall on their heads. Guess they needed some more disposable workers.
    ETB4U likes this.
  18. I see your country values workers adequatly.
  19. Construction accidents is one of the major issues/headlines here lately. They need to up the security standards, but it's hard when you're trying to cut costs and construction time (because bureaucracy is comlex and real estate is already expensive).
  20. An enlightened country would have workers satefy standards well established I beleive.
  21. An enlightened country would have bike paths that don't zap the cyclists.
    ETB4U likes this.
  22. You can't go around physics! You would know that if your country was as evolved as ours!
  23. Most of our cities were built by Arab construction workers (and for around a decade, Thai people) and I think people were secretly OK with them dying.
    xDRAN0x likes this.
  24. They are gonna start building this apartment building in Rotterdam. 215m, apparently one of the biggest in Europe.

  25. as a citizen of a truly enlightened country, the correct thing to do is with one side of your mouth ask them to come in and work for cheap to lower costs and with the other decry the cultural genocide they are bringing upon our country
    xDRAN0x likes this.

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