Data from the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) shows that 2020 could see a record number of skyscrapers built across the globe. CTBUH is the organisation responsible for officially measuring tall buildings around the world.  As part of this, they have classifications including supertall for those above 300 metres and megatall for those above 600 metres.

The data shows that there are likely to be between 17-30 completions of supertall buildings worldwide in 2020. None of those will be in London which has only one building that sneaks into this category being the Shard measuring in at 306 metres. 22 Bishopsgate which topped out last year comes in just under this mark at 278 metres. The tallest building in the World, currently the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, measures in at a whopping 828 metres and is one of only three megatall buildings in the world.  There are currently 170 supertall buildings worldwide.  

All of this begs the question as to whether we’re missing a trick in London?  The first panel discussion in our Building Up series focussed on the challenges faced by developers seeking to achieve height in London.  Audience polling on the night revealed that the developers in the audience were unclear on the planning and legal framework, particularly rights of light, around tall buildings (view the full results here). Other factors include protected viewing corridors and heritage issues. Not much appears to have changed in the past two years and it seems that serious consideration must be given to these issues if London is to develop the necessary building to stock to ensure it remains amongst the leading cities of the world.