Authors: Khushboo Bansal, Harsh Varshneya and Philip Oldfield
The majority of the world’s population now live in urban areas. According to the United Nations almost 200,000 new people join the world’s urban population every day, meaning this will increase from around 3.3 billion to closer to six billion in 2050 . To accommodate this huge growth cities can either build out, or remain compact and build up. Many are choosing the latter, with the early twenty-first century seeing more tall buildings built than any other time in history. Increased tall building construction is resulting in more people living and working in high-rise, which in turn is driving the creation of social and communal spaces at height, often in the form of ‘skygardens’. The aim of the research is to explore and analyse the evolution of these social-communal spaces at height, from the theoretical visions of the early twentieth century, to the completed mega-projects of modern-day Asia. The examples completed recently have evolved considerably from those which were first envisioned over a hundred years ago, and from the first ‘streets in the sky’ which appeared in mid-twentieth century social-housing. This research explores the variety of ideas and built examples for skygardens and social-communal spaces at height, categorising them into five chronological generations based on factors impacting their design, operation and geographic location.
Keywords: Skygarden, Social Sustainability, Skyscraper, Tall Building, High-Rise, Community