We used to think that high rise buildings are offensive for nature. Buildings with a few storeys are better for environment and the users, for they are closer to the soil and vegetation. Is it really that way?

From a point of view, which finds ground in contemporary countries, growing is unstoppable. We need to make new built environments and there are two ways for that. First is satellite cities connected to the main center, which means high energy consumption for transportation. Second is high rise buildings located close to the transportation hubs in order to save energy spent for transportation. So cities have to grow vertically instead of horizontally.

But growing vertically, going up means getting away from soil and vegetation, which is nature people want/need to interact in their daily life. Carrying people up, you have to take nature with them i.e. natural ventilation, daylight, vegetation etc. Giant holes for air circulation, wide windows for letting daylight in and hardest of all, making vegetation grow on, around and between high towers. Same approaches for the city is needed, too. Green layout on roofs, climbing around buildings, hanging between them, wide green bridges crossing lanes and highways. All these are needed for preventing floods, reducing insulation costs, lessening the need for mechanical and electrical systems. Cities need to and will change shape.

That's all I get and sum up from YEM's guest, Ken Yeang's conference on Friday May 23, 2008.

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