If our experience with “iconic towers” in Penang is any indication, then look out for what could happen with other towers in the pipeline.
Thanks to a reader for bringing these to my attention:
Sad-looking Komtar: Why has its viewing gallery become a store?
And here’s a blocked fire-escape
Cardboard on the windows of the keris-shaped Menara Umno (supposed to be another architectural masterpiece). Innovative way to reduce heat and cut air-con emissions, eh?
So if we have more “iconic towers”, do you really think our habits will improve?
While on the subject of high-rise towers, a reader wrote this from England:
England’s problems are in the areas where there is high unemployment due to collapsed industries, steel shipbuilding, coal – where entire towns were employed in one industry. Also areas where many immigrant communities have settled – and worked hard to look after their families… It’s also in the areas were decent housing (albeit ramshackle) have been replaced with emotionless high-rise towers, set in dry hard landscapes – enough to send anyone around the bend.
All sounds rather too familiar? Give Malaysia 20 years and you’ll see the same – unless there is some very sound social management.
I was once talking to (someone in Malaysia) and described the social problems created by high-rise buildings.
“Oh, not in Asia,” he said.
Want to bet? The (consequences could be) worse in Asia where family and social connections are so very important and high-rise buildings will destroy them.