Edge Debate 67: Skyscrapers vs the Planet

Wednesday, February 11th, 2015 | Debates

new-london-towers-2Can Tall Buildings be a Sustainable Solution for our Cities?

There has been much debate recently about the impact of tall buildings in London since the AJ and the Observer newspaper launched their Skyline campaign in March 2014, but so far little mention has been made of the sustainability issues.

• What are the energy implications of the construction and use of tall buildings?
• Are they economically sustainable?
• What are the social consequences?
• What will be the long-term legacy for our cities?

This debate explored these issues with particular regard to the residential sector. These include:
• the projected lifecycle of tall buildings,
• their whole-life carbon footprint,
• the opportunities for using renewable energy,
• how much they cost to build, maintain, repair and retrofit,
• the social consequences for those who occupy them and experience their impact in the city.

Host & Introduction:
• Nicky Gavron AM, Chair London Assembly’s Housing and Planning Committee

• Pam Alexander, Chair - Design Council Cabe & Chair Covent Garden Market Authority

• Professor David Fisk, Imperial College London
• Simon Sturgis, Sturgis Carbon Profiling
• Lynne Sullivan, SustainableBYdesign
• Dr Claire Das Bhaumik, Inkling LLP
• Simon Allford, AHMM
• Steve McKechnie, Arup

Venue: London’s Living Room, City Hall, The Queen’s Walk, London SE1 2AA


Edge Debate 67: Invitation sheet
Lynne Sullivan’s presentation
Simon Sturgis’s presentation
Steve Mckechnie’s presentation
Claire Das Baumik’s presentation


Ike Ijeh’s article on the debate in Building 25th February 2015
Chris Twinn’s article on the debate in the Architect’s Journal - 6th March 2015

Further reading:

Walking among Giants, Julie Futcher & Gerald Mills - CIBSE Journal Feb 2015

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