Archive for cities

No losing city in this year’s bid for 2024 Summer Olympic Games

Posted in Explosive News and Results with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 12, 2017 by vincentloy

The voting for the host city of 2024 Summer Olympic Games will take place on this coming September. Only two cities are remaining in the bid; Paris and Los Angeles. In an extraordinary International Olympic Committee Session held yesterday, the committee approved a decision to award the games to both cities, one in 2024 and another one in 2028.

So, there wouldn’t be any losing city in this year’s bid for the games. If a city receives lesser number of votes in the voting, it will still host the games, but that would be the next edition (4 years later) than originally intended. That’s certainly good news for both Paris and Los Angeles. I have to admit both cities are more than capable to host this world’s largest international multi-sport event.

Which city do you think will get the 2024 games? My personal choice would be Paris. If I’m not mistaken, Paris has submitted bid a number of times in the last few editions of the games but lost every time. I remembered the city lost to London for 2012 games by only a few votes. The last time that Paris has hosted the games was in 1924. If Paris win the right to host 2024 games, it will be coincidentally marking 100th anniversary since the last Olympics in the city. I also like the simplicity of its logo showing the number ’24’ that also designed to resemble their iconic Eiffel Tower.

Check out their bidding’s presentation clips below:

Paris 2024

Los Angeles 2024

So my choice is Paris 2024 and Los Angeles 2028. This means that those cities which intend to bid for 2028 games has to drop out their plan and bid for 2032 games instead. I think this move will make the bidding for 2032 games to be more intense and exciting as more cities are expected to join the race by then. A joint bid by Malaysia and Singapore is explored and is possible for the 2032 games’ bid. I would love to see that but I think our chance is pretty low. It will be hard to resolve on many issues when more than one country is involved in a single games. Malaysia and Singapore have not even hosted Asian Games before (although Malaysia has hosted Commonwealth Games and Singapore has hosted Youth Olympic Games). I can only elaborate further on our chance if the joint bid is confirmed, and that is long way to go.

New Year 2017 Fireworks!

Posted in Explosive News and Results with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 1, 2017 by vincentloy

Didn’t get to watch any new year fireworks live yesterday in KL since I’m at home with family on 12am last night. Well, I do not have the urge to watch the fireworks here in Malaysia eventhough I enjoy doing so because the displays here are simply too plain and boring every year.

So, I have to look up on new year fireworks display from other major cities across the world that were much more exciting to watch! YouTube is the best place for me to do so today after all cities across the globe has already celebrated the occasion from one time zone to another.

The best fireworks display goes to Sydney, Australia as usual. It is one of the largest new year’s fireworks display and its 12-minutes show was really overwhelming and beautiful. View of the massive fireworks shooting up from the Sydney Harbour and the iconic Harbour Bridge impressed me every year.

Here below are the other new year 2017 fireworks display in other cities that look great too:

London, UK – from the London Eye ferris wheel. Amazing and is always the second best.

Hong Kong, China – I like the idea of fireworks shooting from some buildings in the city but that only happened in the 10-seconds countdown to 2017 and not in the entire show which would make it much better.

Dubai, UAE – from the world’s tallest building, Burj Khalifa and its surrounding. I’m impressed by the LED projection screen all over the facade of Burj Khalifa during the fireworks show.

Taipei, Taiwan – from Taipei 101, former world’s tallest building. Taipei 101 is the only stand-alone tall building in the city and so shooting fireworks from the tower itself in all angles is possible. And that is what makes their fireworks show every year spectacular. The inclusion of dramatic play of light of the building during the show is also great.

These fireworks shows above are way much better than our pyrotechnic show in KLCC. We couldn’t deliver intense and interesting display every year. It’s always the same one spot and same one style. It would be much better if our city presents a unified show by shooting fireworks from some major buildings in the city with the iconic Petronas Twin Towers and KL Tower as the main highlights.

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – from the KLCC Park with the iconic Petronas Twin Towers as the backdrop.

That’s it. Happy New Year 2017 to everyone once again! Have a great year ahead!

(All videos in this post are from YouTube)

World’s Ten Tallest Cities (as of March 2016)

Posted in Architectural Territory with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 13, 2016 by vincentloy

It has been a long time since I last posted something about skyscrapers, a topic I’m particularly interested in the field of architecture. Today, I have a desire to compile a list of the world’s ten tallest cities. This list is determined by adding the top ten tallest buildings (not including mast / tower) of each cities and then divide the figure by 10 to get the average height of the ten tallest buildings in that particular city analysed. The ten cities with the highest score will then get into this list.

Well, there are quite a number of similar ranking to check on which cities are ‘taller’ out there by different people with different methodology (like the list of Emporis or Ultrapolis Project). This ranking is hence subjective, but the cities mentioned  are usually within the top too when ranked anywhere else too in terms of ‘tallness’. Now, let’s take a look at my list:

1.Dubai

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  • Country: United Arab Emirates.
  • Score: 411.2.
  • Tallest: Burj Khalifa (828m), Also the tallest in the world.
  • 10th tallest: Rose Tower (333m).

2. Shanghai

Shanghai_Pudong_sk_3258196b

  • Country: China.
  • Score: 356.1.
  • Tallest: Shanghai Tower (632m).
  • 10th tallest: Bocom Financial Towers (265m).

3. Hong Kong

Hong-kong-skyline-from-victoria-peak

  • Country: China.
  • Score: 342.6.
  • Tallest: International Commerce Centre (484m).
  • 10th tallest: The Cullinan I (270m).

4. New York City

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  • Country: United States of America.
  • Score: 338.1.
  • Tallest: One World Trade Center (541m).
  • 10th tallest: Citigroup Center (279m).

5. Chicago

Chicago-Skyline-Sunrise-Red

  • Country: United States of America.
  • Score: 324.7.
  • Tallest: Willis Tower (442m).
  • 10th tallest: Aqua Tower (262m).

6. Guangzhou

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  • Country: China.
  • Score: 320.5.
  • Tallest: Guangzhou International Finance Center (438m).
  • 10th tallest: Bank of Guangzhou Tower (268m).

7. Shenzhen

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  • Country: China.
  • Score: 310.7.
  • Tallest: KK 100 Tower (442m).
  • 10th tallest: East Pacific Center Tower B (261m).

8. Abu Dhabi

3dp_baeinternship_AbuDhabi_Skyline-1024x437

  • Country: United Arab Emirates.
  • Score: 300.2.
  • Tallest: Burj Mohammed Bin Rashid (382m).
  • 10th tallest: Regent Emirates Pearl (255m).

9. Kuala Lumpur

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  • Country: Malaysia.
  • Score: 288.1.
  • Tallest: Petronas Tower 1 (452m), with Tower 2, they are the world’s tallest twin buildings.
  • 10th tallest: Maxis Tower (212m).

10. Moscow

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  • Country: Russia.
  • Score: 283.3.
  • Tallest: OKO Apartment Tower (352m).
  • 10th tallest: Zapad Tower (242m).

The data above is correct as of March 2016 and only covered buildings that are completed/built (topped out buildings or the ones still under construction are not included in the calculation).

China conquered the list by having 4 of their cities in this top 10 ranking. That’s nearly half of the list. This list cemented China’s position as a leading nation in building supertall skyscrapers in their multiple mega cities. Dubai, United Arab Emirates topped the list as expected as the city is home to many supertall skyscrapers including the current world’s tallest building as well as man-made structure overall, the mighty Burj Khalifa. It is the only city in the world with all ten of its tallest buildings over 300 metres height respectively. The country’s capital, Abu Dhabi also managed to join Dubai in this list. The other country with two cities in this list is United States; New York City and Chicago (both are the birthplaces of modern skyscrapers). My country, Malaysia’s capital, Kuala Lumpur also managed to join the list at 9th position, while Moscow ended the list at 10th place.

(Images in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web)

 

Happy New Year 2016!

Posted in Interesting Encounters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 1, 2016 by vincentloy

Happy New Year! Goodbye 2015 and welcome 2016! It’s a wonderful new year!

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There is nothing more important on this first blog post of the year than to wish everyone a wonderful new year from the bottom of my heart! It’s the first day of the year, and so it’s holiday for everyone no matter where you are. Happy Holiday to everyone too, and enjoy this coming weekend break too. Nice…it’s a 3 days of continuous break again! First thing first, have you changed your calendar yet? Your 2015 calendar should be in dustbin already, and your 2016 calendar should be placed nicely in front of you now.

One of the best thing for me to do for new year’s celebration is to watch new year fireworks display in major cities across the world. I love fireworks! Eventhough it’s polluting the air but it is a must-thing for a countdown event like this very happening new year celebration. If there is no fireworks (no loud noise, no beautiful colourful display on the sky), then there is no feel or excitement to mark a new year. Thanks to some people from around the world who were very quick on uploading clips of them recording fireworks display from their respective places for the new year celebration last night that enabled me to watch them this morning already. And here are some of the clips:

London, United Kingdom – from London Eye ferris wheel with shots of iconic Big Ben tower.

Sydney, Australia – from Harbour Bridge with shots of iconic Sydney Opera House.

Hong Kong, China – from the water body as well as from several buildings out of the picturesque city skyline.

Taipei, Taiwan – from Taipei 101, former world’s tallest building.

Dubai, United Arab Emirates – from Burj Khalifa, current world’s tallest building.

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – from KLCC Park, in front of the Petronas Twin Towers, current world’s tallest twin buildings.

Beautiful fireworks, aren’t they? If you find the clips are too long (since the shows are that long), you can skip to the ending part where the climax would be when massive fireworks were put on to end it with loudest bang! These fireworks displays are so much better than the one from my own city, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. We have beautiful landmarks like Petronas Twin Towers and KL Tower, but our pyrotechnics are very poor in style and scale. I recommend for example, for the fireworks at KLCC, they should not only be released out from the park at the ground level but also from the twin towers itself. Then, it would be so much more nicer just like how Taipei 101 or Burj Khalifa did it in all these years. It’s much more beautiful if fireworks came out from tall buildings and I’m sure Petronas Twin Towers can certainly do that too. I also suggest to have a synchronized fireworks display from several buildings in the city region just like Hong Kong or even we can be better than that too. Right now, we have one spot over here shooting out fireworks in a few minutes and then another spot few kilometres away doing the same. Why not combine them and put that into one mega-scale fireworks show of the city to celebrate the new year? Look at how the other cities did that and I’m certain that KL can do that too. On the other hand, my blog’s header of the month would be also none other than a spectacular image of fireworks display too.

January 2016 Blog Header

Anyway, let’s forget about that. All the fireworks had already been released last night and it’s now a bright sunny morning on the first day of the year. We have for a moment thought of some major things that have happened to the world and to us personally in the past year, and now we shall look ahead and start setting goals for 2016 instead since this new year had already arrived. My goals would be to stay healthy and fit for the year, study hard and smart for my Master beginning this February at Australia, and also something else that I have not thought of right now just yet.

Happy-New-Year-2016-HD-Wallpapers-8-1024x576

Happy New Year once again! Let’s wish for a great and a wonderful year ahead for everyone!

(Images in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web while the videos are from Youtube)

128th IOC Session in Kuala Lumpur; Beijing chosen to host 2022 Winter Olympics and Lausanne for 2020 Winter Youth Olympics.

Posted in Explosive News and Results with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 31, 2015 by vincentloy

The 128th International Olympic Committee (IOC) Session is currently on-going at Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from 30th July to 3rd August 2015. Eventhough my country did not get to host any Olympic Games yet, but I’m already glad that we got to host an IOC Session this year, an important agenda in Olympic calendar. The IOC Session is where the meeting of all the members of the International Olympic Committee takes place, and is also the event when host cities for future games will be selected.

128th-ioc-session-logo

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Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia defeated Lima, Peru to be the host of the 128th IOC Session. It’s a great start to introduce the country to the Olympic body before seriously planning for bids in future games. Recently, Prince Imran, the chairman of the session’s organizing committee, chairman of Malaysia’s National Olympic Council and also the President of Commonwealth Games Federation, suggested a joint bid with Singapore to host the prestigious Summer Olympic Games in 2028 or 2032. Joint bid proposal is made possible after the Olympic Agenda 2020 recently introduced by the President of IOC, Thomas Bach. He also mentioned that the committee would be glad if the games can be held for the first time in South East Asian region.

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Malaysia’s Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak whom also officiated the opening of the IOC Session yesterday agreed and strongly supports the joint bid proposal. On the other hand, Singapore finds the concept interesting and may give it a try together soon. So, let us wait and see. Since either of these two countries can’t host the games on their own, a joint-hosting job will be a great solution. I would love to bring Olympic Games to Malaysia (and Singapore together) in 2028 or 2032. Malaysia had previously hosted 1998 Commonwealth Games while Singapore had hosted 2010 Youth Olympic Games. When both join hands, it will be easily a successful bid. However, there would be many new details and conflicts on this proposed collaboration, and let’s hope it all works out.

Back to the on-going IOC Session in Kuala Lumpur. Today is the day when the voting is conducted to choose the host city for 2020 Winter Youth Olympic Games and the bigger 2022 Winter Olympic Games. The results are as follow; Lausanne, Switzerland defeated Brasov, Romania to be the host city for 2020 Winter Youth Olympic Games. This Winter Youth Olympic Games is very new in Olympic history as it had just started in 2012 with Innsbruck 2012, and then second edition coming soon in Lillehammer 2016. Beijing, China defeated Almaty, Kazakhstan to be the host city for 2022 Winter Olympic Games. Beijing will be the only city to host both Summer and Winter Olympic Games in history. Wonderful. Congratulations to both Lausanne and Beijing. We look forward to the games in your city in near future!

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topelement

(Images in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web)

10 Skylines of the World: Then vs. Now.

Posted in Wonders and Places with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 7, 2015 by vincentloy

A skyline is the horizon that a city’s overall structure, human intervention in a non-urban setting, or nature, creates. Or in easier words, skyline marks an outline of land and buildings defined against the sky. City skylines serve as a kind of fingerprint as no two skylines are alike. The speed and magnitude of a change in the skyline is representative of how rapid a city has changed through a a century or more.

w27_Skylines_New_York_(gallery)

Recently, I came across an article entitled ’20 Skylines Of The World: Then Vs Now’ by Nadia Anuar (original source: http://www.hongkiat.com/blog/world-skylines-then-now/) which is very much similar to my post’s title here but with the numbers reduced to 10 instead of 20. Why? I cancelled out the other 10 cities of which the change in their skyline are not that massive and interesting. Here are the top 10 skylines in comparison of their past and the present looks with some stunning images of these cities: (Please be reminded that this is not the ranking for the best skylines but is just to show comparison of the skylines of these 10 cities that may take your breath away).

This list also depends on availability of old pictures of the cities.

New York City, United States (Year 1876 vs. 1932 vs. 1988 vs. 2013)

nyc

New York City, despite being known as an old city with many traditional-looking skyscrapers, still looks great with addition of more modern buildings in present days. The tragic 911 event had drastically changed the skyline of the city, but now the city welcomes the recently completed One World Trade Center as the city’s new tallest.

Shanghai, China (Year 1990s vs. 2010s)

shanghai

Many massive cities in China are growing at a rate no one can ever imagine. Shanghai is one of them. Pictures above shows the flat (trees-filled) land of the Pudong area by the river which is now transformed dramatically into a cluster of awesome skyscrapers. Not seen in the picture above is the nearly completed Shanghai Tower, the city’s new tallest.

Hong Kong, China (Year 1920s vs. 2000s)

hong kong

Hong Kong is always ranked the first in the best skylines ranking in the world by many polls. I agree with that. And the changes as seen in the pictures above tell it all. The buildings are beautiful, the lighting are beautiful…what else can I say?

Doha, Qatar (Year 1977 vs. 2010s)

doha

An Arab city not as popular as Dubai (seen below) but still manages to inspire us with the drastic changes on its cityscape. Many tall buildings are rising very quickly in Doha.

Dubai, United Arab Emirates (Year 1990s vs. 2010s)

dubai

Dubai is home of the current tallest man-made structure on Earth, Burj Khalifa (not seen in the pictures above…too bad). Without that, the city still looks seriously amazing with its transformation in a lightning speed. It’s a city with hundreds of buildings rising from a desert out of nowhere and you couldn’t be more awed than this.

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (Year 1990s vs 2010s)

kuala lumpur

I’m glad that my city, KL is in this list. My city has wonderful transformation in its city skyline too, mostly thanks to the iconic Petronas Twin Towers (world’s tallest twin buildings) and the KL Tower. Too bad, the image of the city (representing 2010s) is not the most recent one. It’s more dense with many new buildings on the right side of the picture actually.

Toronto, Canada (Year 1930s vs. 2010s)

toronto

Simply beautiful with those lights reflected onto the water and also the iconic CN Tower.

Tokyo, Japan (Year 1945 vs. 2011)

tokyo

Seriously a very dense city right now.

Panama City, Panama (Year 1930s vs. 2010s)

panama

The development of the city skyline is looking good.

Fortaleza, Brazil (Year 1970s vs. 2011)

fortaleza

I have never heard of this city before but right after looking at the pictures above, the changes in the skyline are very obvious.

How I hope I can have more amazing cities included in this list for the comparison like Chicago (US), Guangzhou (China), Shenzhen (China), Seoul (South Korea), etc. Some cities from the original source are not included here because I find the pictures are not good enough to present the changes in skylines over time.

(Images in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web)

 

Is your city truly a global city? Check out the list below to find out.

Posted in Wonders and Places with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 29, 2015 by vincentloy

A global city, also called world city or sometimes alpha city or world center, is a city generally considered to be an important node in the global economic system. The concept comes from geography and urban studies and rests on the idea that globalization can be understood as largely created, facilitated, and enacted in strategic geographic locales according to a hierarchy of importance to the operation of the global system of finance and trade. Basically, a global city is a well-known international city with great urban surrounding and a major commercial hub with high economy that impacts not only its country but also the world.

‘Global city’ is different with ‘Mega city’ as the latter defines a city that houses very massive population and is not necessarily a global economic point. Global city status is considered to be beneficial and desired, and because of this, many groups have tried to classify and rank which cities are seen as world cities or non-world cities. The following are the criterias used mainly by those groups out there in classifying cities around the world in global city ranking;

  • A variety of international financial services, notably in finance, insurance, real estate, banking, accountancy, and marketing.
  • Headquarters of several multinational corporations.
  • The existence of financial headquarters, a stock exchange and major financial institutions.
  • Domination of the trade and economy of a large surrounding area.
  • Major manufacturing centres with port and container facilities.
  • Considerable decision-making power on a daily basis and at a global level.
  • Centres of new ideas and innovation in business, economics, culture and politics.
  • Centres of media and communications for global networks.
  • Dominance of the national region with great international significance.
  • High percentage of residents employed in the services sector and information sector.
  • High-quality educational institutions, including renowned universities, international student attendance and research facilities.
  • Multi-functional infrastructure offering some of the best legal, medical and entertainment facilities in the country.

In 2012, Globalization and World Cities Research Network (GaWC) updated a list that identifies three levels of global cities and several sub-ranks and the list is published in 2014. The categories / levels in the list are:

  • Alpha++ cities are London and New York City, which are vastly more integrated with the global economy than all other cities.
  • Alpha+ cities complement London and New York City by filling advanced service niches for the global economy.
  • Alpha and Alpha- cities are cities that link major economic regions into the world economy.
  • Beta level cities are cities that link moderate economic regions into the world economy.
  • Gamma level cities are cities that link smaller economic regions into the world economy.
  • Sufficiency level cities are cities that have a sufficient degree of services so as not to be obviously dependent on world cities.

So, here’s below is the list. Did your city made it to the alpha? (Click on the image below to view clearly on the list of cities listed:

world2012t

 

I’m quite excited that my city, Kuala Lumpur (KL) made it to the alpha level and that is considered very good. KL is no doubt a major economic centre in the region besides than the nearby Singapore (which is better of course). We are even ahead of Seoul (I guess Seoul will most probably overtaken us in the future ranking very soon), Jakarta, Bangkok, Taipei, and Melbourne. A recent view of the KL city below (amazing photograph):

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(Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/126700026@N02/, from skyscrapercity.com)

 

However, KL still needs to improve on a lot of things (public transport, facilities, etc) and need to attract more investors, business partners and companies to come in to enhance its role as a commercial powerhouse in Asia. There are three other Malaysian cities listed in the ranking too (under the Sufficiency category only) and they are Penang, Johor Bahru and Labuan. There are many other lists like Global Cities Index by American journal ‘Foreign Policy’, Global Economic Power Index from ‘The Atlantic’, Global Power City Index by Tokyo’s Institute for Urban Strategies, City Wealth Report by London’s estate agent, Global City Competitiveness Index by ‘The Economist Group’, etc out there and KL didn’t really perform that well in those list. KL has to work hard to improve in these kind of crucial rankings. If not, we will be outpaced by other emerging cities quickly.

Information sources:

1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_city

2. http://www.lboro.ac.uk/gawc/gawcworlds.html & http://www.lboro.ac.uk/gawc/world2012t.html