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Sydney

Posted by Jae on August 8, 2011

source: http://www.thedphoto.com/inspiration-fix/50-beautiful-skyline-photos/

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Tokyo – the World’s Largest City

Posted by Jae on August 8, 2011

http://www.thedphoto.com/inspiration-fix/50-beautiful-skyline-photos/

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Toronto – Home of the Blue Jays

Posted by Jae on August 8, 2011

Excellent shots I’ve found on the web.  Giving them more exposure for the photographer because these deserve it!

http://www.thedphoto.com/inspiration-fix/50-beautiful-skyline-photos/

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New York (City) – America’s First City

Posted by Jae on February 20, 2010

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Chicago – America’s Second City

Posted by Jae on February 20, 2010

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Songdo International City (송도국제도시) – South Korea’s Masterpiece

Posted by Jae on January 1, 2010

Songdo City Under Construction

Songdo International City is a global business center being developed on 1,500 acres (6 km²) of reclaimed land along Incheon’s waterfront, 65 km west of Seoul, South Korea and connected to Incheon/Seoul International Airport by a 12.3 km highway bridge, called Incheon Bridge.  The Songdo International Business District (IBD) will include a convention center, international school, museum, ecotarium, cultural center, Jack Nicklaus Golf Course, Northeast Asia Trade Tower (NEATT), First World Towers, and Central Park.  (The Incheon Towers is part of another parcel within New Songdo City, which may officially become the world’s tallest twin towers!) State-of-the-art schools, hospitals, apartments, office buildings and high-end cultural amenities are to be built in the city. Architectural hallmarks from around the world, including New York’s Central Park and Venice’s canals, are to be incorporated into the city. English is planned to be the lingua franca. This 10-year development project is estimated to cost in excess of $40 billion, making it the largest private development project ever undertaken anywhere in the history of the world! The project aspires to make the city and South Korea the preeminent business hub of Asia! When completed in 2015, the city’s infrastructure will be a test bed for new technologies, and the city itself will exemplify a digital way of life. It will be one of the world’s first cities in which all information systems – residential, medical, business – are linked.

Sheraton is due to open a new 319-bedroom hotel, golfing legend Jack Nicklaus is overseeing the construction of an 18-hole 7,300-yard championship course; and the US tech multinational Cisco Systems signed a multibillion-dollar deal to provide network technologies to the new city.  Most components of the city, from the 470,000 square foot international school to Songdo’s $155m Convention Center, which opened October 2008, are state of the art. The school, affiliated with the prestigious US-based Milton Academy, has facilities to rival globally-renown universities.

By its completion date in 2015, New Songdo City is to be a free economic zone with 80,000 apartments, 50 million square feet of office space and 10 million square feet of retail.

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Chicago – the 2nd City, my home (an update)

Posted by Jae on October 31, 2009

Chicago, center of a 9.5 million metropolitan area and home to the second busiest airport in the world (O`Hare International Airport), is the birthplace of the skyscraper. Chicago has the fourth largest gross metropolitan product in the world (behind Tokyo, New York City, and Los Angeles).  Chicago is home to 17 Fortune Global 500 companies, McCormick Place (the world’s 3rd largest convention center), the world’s largest urban health care district, and almost all the major USA health-care related organizations.  No other city on earth can match the splendor and possibilities of Chicago with the cost of living of ChicagoOverall, Chicago was ranked as the 8th greatest city in the world!

When Chicago built its first steel high-rise in 1885 (Home Insurance Building), it was not the tallest structure in the world (42 m later expanded to 55 m then demolished in 1931) but the first example of a new form of engineering that would change nearly every city on earth. Today, Chicago has 20 buildings over 200 m tall (three of which are among the top 20 tallest buildings in the world, including the tallest in North America- the Willis Tower). In addition, the Willis Tower has the most floors of any completed building in the world, and stands as the world’s tallest completed skyscraper when measuring to pinnacle height; rising 527 m with the addition of its western antenna (official height is 442 m.) In addition, Chicago has the distinction of being the only city in the world with more than one completed building containing at least 100 floors. Chicago is the site of 91 completed skyscrapers that stand at least 152 m in height, with 16 more under construction. At the end of 2008, there were 1,074 completed high-rises in the city, second in the country behind New York City.

Chicago has three buildings under construction that are planned to exceed 304.8 m (1000 feet) in height: the 610 m Chicago Spire, the recently completed 415 m Trump International Hotel & Tower, and the 319 m Waterview Tower. The 150-story Chicago Spire, upon its completion in 2012 (although this is questionable since construction is now suspended indefinitely… *sad face*), would become the tallest skyscraper (tallest structure as well since it will surpass the CN Tower in Toronto) in the Western Hemisphere. The tower would also stand as the second tallest all-residential skyscraper in the world (tallest will be the under construction 618 m Pentominium in Dubai), surpassing the 323 m Q1 in Gold Coast, Australia. There are also several buildings proposed for construction in the city, the largest being the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel and Residence Tower, which would rise 386 m and 107 floors. As of June 2008, there were 160 high-rise buildings under construction, approved for construction, and proposed for construction in Chicago. Chicago is definitely a member of the “Big 4” skylines of the world; some even put it at number one (which would be hard to argue against!)

DSC00420

Current Chicago Skyline

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Hong Kong Skyline (香港) – World’s Greatest Skyline

Posted by Jae on July 31, 2009

Hong Kong, officially the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, is a largely self-governing territory of the People’s Republic of China, facing Shenzhen to the north and the South China Sea to the east, west and south. Hong Kong is a global metropolitan and international financial center, and has a highly developed capitalist economy.  Beginning as a trading port, Hong Kong became a crown colony of the United Kingdom in 1842, reclassified as a British dependent territory in 1983, and remained so until the transfer of its sovereignty to the People’s Republic of China (PRC) in 1997. Under the “one country, two systems” policy, Hong Kong enjoys a high degree  of autonomy in all areas with the exception of foreign affairs and defense, which are the responsibility of the PRC Government. As part of this arrangement, Hong Kong continues to maintain its own currency, legal system, political system, immigration control, rule of the road and other aspects that concern its way of life, many of which are distinct from those of mainland China. Renowned for its expansive skyline and natural setting, its identity as a cosmopolitan center where the East meets the West is reflected in its cuisine, cinema, music and traditions. The city’s population is 95% Chinese (speaking almost exclusively Cantonese but English is a second official language with Mandarin being the most prominent “unofficial” language) and with a population of 7 million people but land area of 1,108 km2, creates one of the most densely populated areas in the world.

Hong Kong is one of the world’s leading financial centers. Its highly capitalist economy has been ranked the freest in the world by the Index of Economic Freedom for 15 consecutive years! The currency used in Hong Kong is the Hong Kong dollar.  The territory has little arable land and few natural resources, so it must import most of its food and raw materials. Hong Kong is the world’s eleventh largest trading entity (this is when the single city is compared to countries around the world), with the total value of imports and exports exceeding its gross domestic product. Much of Hong Kong’s exports consist of re-exports, which are products made outside of the territory, especially in mainland China, and distributed via Hong Kong. Currently, Hong Kong’s economy is dominated by the service sector, which accounts for over 90% of its GDP, while industry now constitutes just 9%. Hong Kong’s largest export markets are mainland China, the United States, and Japan.

Hong Kong

Hong Kong

Hong Kong has a highly developed transportation network with over 90% of daily travels are on public transport, making it the highest percentage in the world. A tramway system, serving the city since 1904, covers the northern parts of Hong Kong Island and is the only tram system in the world run exclusively with double deckers. The Star Ferry service operates four lines across Victoria Harbor and has been in operation for over 120 years, providing a panoramic view of Hong Kong’s skyline. It is considered one of the city’s most treasured cultural icons and has been rated as one of the most picturesque ferry crossings in the world. Hong Kong’s steep, hilly terrain calls for some unusual ways of getting up and down the slopes. The Peak Tram, the first public transport system in Hong Kong, has provided vertical rail transport between Central and Victoria Peak since 1888 by steeply ascending the side of a mountain. In Central and Western district, there is an extensive system of escalators and moving pavements, including the longest outdoor covered escalator system in the world, the Mid-Levels escalator. Hong Kong Harbor is one of the largest and buisest ports in the world (only rivaled by nearby Singapore, Mainland China’s greatest city Shanghai, and Incheon- a suburb of Seoul.)  Hong Kong International Airport is a leading air passenger gateway and logistics hub in Asia (consistently ranked as one of the greatest airports in the world with Singapore International and Incheon-Seoul International) and one of the world’s busiest airports in terms of international passenger and cargo movement.  Overall, Hong Kong was ranked as the 5th greatest city on earth!

Daytime Skyline

Daytime Skyline

Hong Kong has six completed skyscrapers taller than 300 m, (while Chicago has five and Dubai and New York City both have four.)  Hong Kong has a whopping 43 buildings over 200 m tall (2nd most, behind New York City’s 50), 30 of which were built in the year 2000 or later! Hong Kong has a known amount of 228 buildings with known height figures greater than 150 m, the tallest of which is the 415 m 2 International Financial Centre, my favorite modern skyscraper in the world! [There are a great number of completed buildings ranging from 50 to 63 stories tall that do not have exact height figures given by the owners of the building nor emporis.com. It is possible but not definite that some of these skyscrapers are taller than 150 m; thus, it can only be stated that there are at least 228 buildings that are at least 150 m high which is greater than any city on earth! Chicago has 91 and New York City has 192.  Most speculate that Hong Kong’s number of true skyscrapers (continuously habitable buildings of at least 150 m in height) is well over 300.]  By the end of 2008, Hong Kong had the most completed high-rise buildings in the world with 7627 (practically equally New York City, Chicago, and Shanghai combined!!!)

Contrary to common belief, Hong Kong’s skyline shows a large selection of distinct sky-reaching towers, rather than block-style apartments (most of the South American “skylines” are just a large quantity of short blocks.)  Every night, many skyscrapers on both sides of Victoria Harbor light up in a synchronized show called A Symphony of Lights, named by the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest permanent light and sound festival in the world (this show is coupled with amazing fireworks that seem to blow up within the skyscrapers on holidays, the best being Christmas, Western New Year (Solar Calendar), and the Chinese New Year (Lunar Calendar!)  I would consider my life complete after I view the Hong Kong New Year Show.)

The high density and tall skyline of Hong Kong’s urban area is due to a lack of available space, with the average distance from the harbor front to the steep hills of Hong Kong Island at 1.3 km. This lack of space causing demand for dense, high-rise offices and housing, has resulted in 36 of the world’s 100 tallest residential buildings being in Hong Kong, and more people living or working above the 14th floor than anywhere else on Earth, making it the world’s most vertical city!

As of June 2008, there are 288 high-rises under construction (including Hong Kong’s new king the 484 m International Commerce Centre– probably will be the world’s third tallest skyscraper by roof height trailing the Burj Dubai and the Shanghai Tower), approved for construction, and proposed for construction in Hong Kong!  It is without a doubt that Hong Kong’s skyline is the BEST IN THE WORLD (my personal favorite) and LEADER of the “Big 4” skylines of the world, with the surrounding mountains and Victoria Harbor (and not to mention that Shenzhen’s amazing skyline is so nearby) complementing it to create the most awesome example of man and God working together!  Long live the Champion of the Skyline!!!

The World's Greatest Skyline

The World's Greatest Skyline

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Aerial View of Chicago

Posted by Jae on July 29, 2009

Chicago

Chicago

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Tokyo Skyline (東京) – World’s Largest Population, World’s Largest Economy, & Capital of the Eastern World

Posted by Jae on May 23, 2009

Tokyo

Tokyo

The prefecture of Tokyo is the center of the Greater Tokyo Area, the world’s most populous metropolitan area with 35 million people (more than 3 times the population of Chicagoland, almost twice the population of the New York City metropolitan area, and a larger population than the entire country of Canada!) and the world’s largest metropolitan economy with a GDP of US$1.191 trillion!  Tokyo is one of the three world financial “command centers”, along with New York City and London. As of 2008, 47 of the companies listed on the Global 500 are present in Tokyo (only behind New York City), almost twice that of the third-placed city (Paris.) Tokyo is a major international finance center, houses the headquarters of several of the world’s largest investment banks and insurance companies, and serves as a hub for Japan’s transportation, publishing, and broadcasting industries. The Tokyo Stock Exchange is Japan’s largest stock exchange, and second largest in the world by market capitalization.

Tokyo, as the center of the Greater Tokyo Area, has the world’s most extensive mass transit system in the world. Public transportation within Tokyo is dominated by an extensive network of clean and efficient trains and subways run by a variety of operators, with buses, monorails and trams playing a secondary feeder role.  Within Ōta, one of the 23 special wards, Tokyo International Airport (“Haneda”) offers mainly domestic flights. Outside Tokyo, Narita International Airport, in Chiba Prefecture, is the major gateway for international travelers. Rail is the primary mode of transportation in Tokyo, which has the most extensive urban railway network in the world and an equally extensive network of surface lines.

Night shot

Night shot

Cuisine in Tokyo is internationally acclaimed. In November 2007, Michelin released their guide for fine dining in Tokyo, garnering 191 stars in total, or about twice as many as its nearest competitor, Paris. Eight establishments were awarded the maximum of three stars (Paris has 10), 25 received two stars, and 117 earned one star. Of the eight top-rated restaurants, three offer traditional Japanese fine dining, two are sushi houses and three serve French cuisine.

Sports in Tokyo are diverse. Tokyo is home to two professional baseball clubs, the Yomiuri Giants (Tokyo Dome) and Yakult Swallows (Meiji-Jingu Stadium) . The Japan Sumo Association is also headquartered in Tokyo at the Ryōgoku Kokugikan sumo arena where three official sumo tournaments are held annually (in January, May, and September). Football (soccer) clubs in Tokyo include F.C. Tokyo and Tokyo Verdy, both of which play at Ajinomoto Stadium in Chōfu. Tokyo hosted the 1964 Summer Olympics and is bidding for the 2016 Summer Olympics. With a number of world-class sports venues, Tokyo often hosts national and international sporting events such as tennis tournaments, swim meets, marathons, American football exhibition games, and martial arts.  Annually on the last Saturday of July, an enormous fireworks display over the Sumida River attracts over a million viewers. Overall, Tokyo was ranked as the 4th greatest city on earth (in my opinion it should be number 2– no I am not Japanese)!

Tokyo's Imperial Palace Panorama

Tokyo's Imperial Palace Panorama

Tokyo‘s skyline has a number of unique characteristics (2643 completed high-rise buildings) that set it apart from other big city skylines, among them 18 structures at over 200 m tall (including the Tokyo Tower which changes colors every night.) But because of the density and vast size of the city, every corner appears to have its own skyline. With the height restrictions and the required red lights that flash atop all mid to tall sized buildings, they make the city look spectacular at night. Tokyo is filled with neon lighting and unique, contemporary architecture, and like New York City, is also often portrayed in movies for its aesthetic and eye-catching cityscape.

The tallest structure in Tokyo is the Tokyo Tower, a lattice tower that rises 333 m in Minato and was completed in 1958. It also stands as the tallest structure in Japan and the tallest free-standing steel structure in the world. The tallest skyscraper in Tokyo is the 248 m Midtown Tower, which was recently completed in 2007.  Tokyo is a fine example of “nature meets technology” with Mt. Fuji in the background of one of the most technologically advanced cities on earth like Seoul and Singapore.  My 2nd most impressive city overall is home to my 6th favorite skyline (darn plate tectonics causing a “natural” height restriction.)

Tokyo Skyline

Tokyo Skyline

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