The recently released Global Cities Skyscraper Index ranks Sydney seventh among the World’s leading cities for skyscrapers, says the Urban Taskforce. Urban Taskforce CEO Chris Johnson said, “The Skyscraper Index released by global property group Knight Frank lists the ranking of the world’s leading cities for skyscrapers with Sydney coming in at seventh ahead of cities like Shanghai, Chicago and Kuala Lumpur. “The index measures rents, yields, the number of skyscrapers and growth prospects for high rise towers. The number one city for skyscrapers is Hong Kong followed closely by New York then Tokyo, London, San Francisco, Singapore and Sydney. “The index clearly puts Sydney in the top league of global cities but to remain at this level will require strong government support for Sydney as a skyscraper city. “The Knight Frank report identifies two trends that are driving the skyscraper building boom in the world’s major cities. The first trend is a shift in the global economy towards city centres for knowledge jobs and the second is a strong trend towards people wanting to live close to their work in urban apartment towers. “The report points out that the top two cities in the Skyscraper Index, Hong Kong and New York, are on islands where land is constrained. Sydney is Australia’s most constrained CBD with the harbour and parklands limiting the area for high rise development. It is the cities with limited options to spread their CBDs that are driving the trend towards more skyscrapers and Sydney is certainly one of these cities.” The Urban Taskforce has demonstrated that the evolution of the Sydney Skyscraper has stopped at 235 metres over the last 30 years:
“To ensure that Sydney keeps its number seven ranking in the world Skyscraper Index it will be necessary to lift current height controls over the CBD. The current limit of 235 metres is well below the heights that skyscrapers can be built to in Brisbane and Melbourne. The NSW Government and the City of Sydney Council will need to review the CBD height controls and this will mean challenging the influence of federal aviation authorities.” Some of the other trends in the Global Cities Skyscrapers 2015 Report include new building technologies allowing the construction of skyscrapers to be more cost effective, a desire to limit costly ‘’urban sprawl’’ and effective precinct planning which encourages towers in CBD precincts to become lively hubs of culture and entertainment.