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The World’s Top Vertical Cities

The World’s Top Vertical Cities


Australian Design Review has compiled a list of  the world’s top vertical cities that exemplify the fusion of visionary design, architecture, and urban planning.

Vertical cities have emerged as architectural marvels and revolutionised the way we envision urban living. These towering structures redefine traditional concepts of space utilisation, sustainability, and community integration.

The Line in Saudi Arabia envisions a zero-gravity vertical city, free from cars, promoting walkability and ecological balance. Bosco Verticale in Milan showcases the integration of nature into vertical structures, fostering sustainable living and ecological harmony. Southbank by Beulah in Melbourne embraces the concept of a five-minute vertical city, enhancing accessibility and convenience for its residents. Meanwhile, Hudson Yards in New York City revitalises the urban fabric, bringing together residential, commercial, and cultural elements to create a dynamic vertical cityscape. 

Honeycomb NYC | The Vessel | Hudson Yard Clay Banks on Unsplash

Honeycomb NYC | The Vessel | Hudson Yard Clay Banks on Unsplash

Hudson Yards: Redefining New York City’s Skyline:

Hudson Yards is a transformative vertical city project situated in the heart of New York City, United States. Designed by various architects and developers, including Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates, Diller Scofidio + Renfro, and Thomas Heatherwick, this ambitious development has revitalised Manhattan’s West Side. Spanning over 28 acres, Hudson Yards features a mix of residential towers, office spaces, a shopping centre, art installations, and public spaces. The centrepiece of the project is the Vessel, an interactive, honeycomb-like structure designed by Thomas Heatherwick that serves as a unique landmark and a public gathering place. The verticality of Hudson Yards maximises land utilisation, creating a new urban experience within the city. The project boasts innovative sustainable features, such as a co-generation plant that provides efficient energy and waste management systems. With its striking architecture, vibrant cultural scene, and vast array of amenities, Hudson Yards has become a bustling hub that redefines the urban fabric of New York City.

Southbank by Beulah Photo credit: Photo Supplied by Beulah

Southbank by Beulah: Melbourne’s Visionary Vertical City:

Southbank by Beulah is a visionary vertical city project located in Melbourne, Australia. Designed by UNStudio and Cox Architecture, this development aims to transform Melbourne’s urban landscape. At its core are the twisting towers known as the Green Spine, which integrate residential, commercial, and public spaces. The project showcases a commitment to sustainability, innovation, and community-centric design. Southbank by Beulah is guided by a five-minute vertical city concept, emphasising the accessibility of essential amenities and services within a short walking distance. By promoting walkability and reducing the reliance on cars, this vertical city project enhances the livability and convenience of urban living in Melbourne.

Bosco Verticale: Milan’s Vertical Forest: – Credit by Babak Habibi on Unsplash

Bosco Verticale: Milan’s Vertical Forest:

Designed by Stefano Boeri, Bosco Verticale, or Vertical Forest, redefines sustainable living in urban environments. Located in Milan, Italy, this vertical city project comprises two residential towers adorned with cascading greenery, showcasing Milan’s commitment to ecological balance. The towers are densely planted with a variety of trees, shrubbery, and plants, creating a vertical forest that improves air quality, reduces noise pollution, and provides a habitat for birds and insects. Bosco Verticale exemplifies the integration of nature into urban spaces, bringing biodiversity and sustainable living to new heights. The project has garnered international acclaim for its innovative design and environmental consciousness.

The Line will run in a direct line from Neom mountains to the Red Sea  Credit: NEOM

The Line: A Zero-Gravity Vertical City in Saudi Arabia:

Saudi Arabia’s ambitious project, The Line, aims to create a futuristic vertical city without cars. Designed by the renowned architectural firm BIG (Bjarke Ingels Group), The Line seeks to revolutionise urban living by emphasising nature, walkability, and sustainability. Spanning 170 kilometres, this linear city will serve as a hub where communities can thrive, coexisting harmoniously with the surrounding natural landscape. The absence of cars will enhance the pedestrian experience, allowing residents to move freely, unencumbered by traffic. The Line envisions self-sustaining neighbourhoods equipped with cutting-edge technologies, ensuring convenience, connectivity, and eco-friendly practices.

However, despite the promotion material stating the positive impact of The Line, it must be noted that human rights abuses continue to cast a dark shadow over the futuristic city project. According to a report by Amnesty International, published on Dezeen in December 2022, grave violations against human rights persist within this highly anticipated development. The report highlights concerns surrounding forced evictions, arbitrary detentions, and restrictions on freedom of expression and assembly. Amnesty International’s investigation sheds light on the plight of local communities whose homes have been demolished to make way for The Line’s construction, with little regard for fair compensation or the rights of those affected. Furthermore, the report raises alarm over the arbitrary detention of individuals, particularly activists and dissidents, who dare to voice their dissenting opinions against the project.

Read about Australia’s first five minute vertical city in Australian Design Review STH BNK By Beulah 

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