Escalators: Politicians’ New Tools?

Quartz at Work brought our attention to a short video it describes as, essentially, “a statement on how long it takes, and how much work is involved, in women’s advancement within an organization.” The creator, the office of the Mayor of London, promoted that “many of the reactions filmed were genuine reactions and not scripted,” yet conceded “a small cast of actors playing real people.”

Do you think this is this a good use of escalators to illustrate a political point, or did it only upset a lot of ladies in a hurry?

Going Down: The Tallest Buildings Ever Demolished

This is a portion of an infographic that explains the CTBUH’s TBIN report, “Tallest Demolished Buildings,” which is available in the “CTBUH Journal, 2018 Issue II.”

Here at ELEVATOR WORLD, we think a lot about new skyscrapers going up. After all, it was the invention of the elevator that made anything much taller than three or four floors feasible as a place to live or work. Plus, every time a tall building is announced, it means more work for the elevator industry, so of course it’s of interest.

The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) naturally thinks about new skyscraper construction, as well, but in a new “Tall Buildings in Numbers” (TBIN) research study, the organization has identified the 100 tallest buildings ever to be purposely demolished. The resulting report examines these structures, as well as some of the reasons for bringing them down. The study also confirms that, if plans proceed as reported, 270 Park Avenue in New York City (NYC) will become the tallest building ever conventionally demolished, as well as the first building over 200 m in height to be peacefully razed.

Currently, the tallest building ever conventionally demolished is the Singer Building in NYC, which stood at 187 m and 41 stories tall until 1968, when it was torn down to make way for One Liberty Plaza. In fact, the study shows that the majority of the world’s 100 tallest demolished buildings were torn down to make way for new skyscrapers. Land constraints in dense cities and the potential for greater financial return than the current building offers can factor heavily in the decision to demolish a high-rise building, the report notes.

“In many cases, it does make sense to tear down and replace a high rise, especially if it’s outlived its practical usage,” said CTBUH Executive Director Antony Wood. “However, there are currently more than 1,300 buildings of over 200 m in height around the globe, and counting. Considering the tallest demolished building to date was only 187 m tall, there’s really no precedent for tearing down 200-m-plus towers. We should perhaps thus be thinking of tall buildings as perpetual entities with lifecycles potentially exceeding 100 or 200 years, while designing them in such a way that they can be creatively adapted for potential future uses.”

According to the study, the average lifespan of the 100 tallest demolished buildings is only 41 years. North American cities account for 53 percent of the buildings, and more than a quarter of the 100 tallest demolished buildings were built between 1890 and 1920. At 24%, nearly as many of these high rises were built in the 1970s.

The full report is in the CTBUH Journal, 2018 Issue II.

More Chinese Metros: “Stand on Escalators”

Guangzhou’s metro has become the latest in China to establish anew policy of asking riders to stand on both sides of its escalators, reported today. No longer enforcing a “walk left, stand right” rule, staff will now be tasked with making sure riders stay in place, as the Guangzhou Metro stated that if people want to walk, they can use the stairs. The metro hasn’t replied to commenters mentioning a lack of stairs at some locations, though.

The South China Morning Post reported earlier in the year that Nanjing Metro started the trend in the country, mainly because “severe damage” was occurring to the right sides of escalators when most people stood there. However, the Beijing Metro believed only proper maintenance was needed to eradicate that problem.

This news brings up several questions. A few I have are: Is standing on one side really harmful to the equipment? Which is the right way to ride? Will such a change spread to other countries? How will enforcement of such rules take place?