There are exactly 1,478 skyscrapers more than 200 m in the world

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This is an increase of 141% over 2010, with a concentration in Asia, especially China, where are built the most towers in 20 years.

By Grégoire Allix Posted yesterday at 11h21, updated yesterday at 13h22

Time to Reading 2 min.

China Zun Tower in Beijing is 528 meters high. It is the tallest building completed in the world in 2018.
China Zun Tower in Beijing is 528 meters high. It is the tallest building completed in the world in 2018. CITIC Heye Investment

The number of skyscrapers completed in the year on the planet has stopped growing, but the momentum remains strong. In 2018, 143 towers of 200 meters or more have been delivered worldwide, according to the annual report published by Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH), based at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago . That's four less than in 2017. It's also the first decline after five years of uninterrupted growth.

Not sure that this pause is significant: the number of great laps delivered each year was only 25 on average in the 2000s. In a world of rapid urbanization, the race to the height remains lively despite the energy-consuming model of these laps giant, incompatible with the sobriety advocated by climate policies.

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Investors want to go even higher: 18 skyscrapers have exceeded 300 meters in 2018, a record. 16 buildings of the year joined the top 100, just two less than the record of 2011. Last year, 19 cities in the world completed the highest tower of their skyline, including 14 in Asia. And the average height of towers over 200 meters completed in the year reached 247 meters, a rising figure continues.

A 1,000-meter tower planned for 2021

China Resources Tower in Shenzhen, designed by architectural firm Kohn Pedersen Fox, is the 4th highest delivered in 2018.
China Resources Tower in Shenzhen, designed by architectural firm Kohn Pedersen Fox, is the fourth highest delivered in 2018. © Tim Griffith

There are now 1,478 towers more than 200 meters worldwide, a 141% increase over 2010, when the globe only displayed 614 such buildings. Not surprisingly, Asia dominates the ranking, with 109 laps delivered in the year, including 88 in China, a record for the country, which remains for more than twenty years the territory where grow the largest number of skyscrapers. The tallest building completed in 2018 is also China Zun Tower in Beijing, whose concave profile rises to 528 meters. The building becomes the fourth highest in China, the eighth in the world.

North America has 16 laps of more than 200 meters completed in the year, including 8 in New York, which is on par with Beijing. Miami, San Francisco and Philadelphia raised their skylines in 2018. And 13 laps were delivered to the Middle East, including 10 in Dubai. There are, finally, three tours in South America, one in Oceania and one in Europe: the Nurol Life Building … in Istanbul. Despite many projects and building sites in London, no tower of more than 200 meters has been delivered in 2018.

San Francisco's Salesforce Tower, 326 meters high, 14th highest skyscraper delivered in 2018.
San Francisco's Salesforce Tower, 326 meters high, 14th highest skyscraper delivered in 2018. Nathaniel Lindsey

In Grand Paris, it will be a few years before seeing the Defense reappear in the rankings: the 244 meters of The Link (future headquarters of Total) are expected in 2021, the Hékla and Sisters towers, respectively signed by Jean Nouvel and Christian de Portzamparc, will arrive in 2022, and the 320 meters of the hypothetical Hermitage Plaza Towers are announced for 2024.

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Can the trend continue in 2019? Given the projects already underway, the number of towers over 200 meters delivered this year could reach the record of 150 skyscrapers, including 30 more than 300 meters, according to CTBUH. In the longer term, the risks of trade war and the tightening of economic policy in China could slow down the construction of major towers. As the growing shortage of sand required for the manufacture of concrete and glass, whose skyscrapers are a frenetic consumption.

Meanwhile, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, delivered in 2010, still holds the record for the world's tallest skyscraper, at 828 meters. The Jeddah Tower in Saudi Arabia, which is expected to reach 1,000 meters, is expected to dethrone it by 2021.

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Grégoire Allix

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