Sustainable High-Rise in Dutch cities

What is sustainable? And, could high-rise be sustainable at all?

Defining categories of sustainability identifies positive attributes in types of buildings, it is a relative system, there is no absolute value. We ask ourselves if high-rise is a type reflecting our dream of the metropolis or is there an economic necessity.

The choice whether to use high-rise for densification or not, depends on the existing urban tissue and a city’s cultural climate ready to absorb high-rise. In The Netherlands we have the luxury of building something for every need, we increase floor space to make cities emptier. As long as we do not develop proper high-rise knowledge and a broad culture of developing building and using high-rise we will not be able to address any real densification issues.

(text by Kees Kaan that has been published in the Book H. Meyer and D. Zandbelt, High-Rise and the Sustainable City Techne Press, 2012)

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