Monday, July 23, 2007


Dubai is touting that it is building the tallest building on earth. It was Taiwan a short time ago that claimed the tallest building and before that, Kuala Lumpur. It's all pretty silly, but lest we forget, the US engaged in that race for years with the Empire State Building, the Sears Tower and former World Trade Towers. There is publicity value in making such claims, if not much practicality. We know now in the US that the higher one resides in a building, the less chance of getting out of the building.

What is it that drives men to build tall towers? It is hubris but also a visible demonstration of power. It states that "I CAN do this." Countries like this kind of statement because it says to the world that they have arrived as commercial powers. A country has to have stability and commercial potential to keep such towers occupied and profitable.

It is interesting that there doesn't seem to be a desire in the US to engage in the edifice race any longer. The destruction of the World Trade Towers is still too raw in memory. Besides, Americans seemed to have matured enough to realize that maintaining tall towers is a huge task in itself, and there isn't much need for them. The new publicity tool now appears to be the "green" building that powers, heats and cools itself. That is a record worth pursuing.


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