The recent (Sydney) leg of the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) 2017 international conference covered a wide range of industry issues over the two-day program, which culminated in the plenary session on the evening of 31 October.

The overarching theme of CTBUH 2017 is ‘Connecting the City: People, Density & Infrastructure’, a theme underpinned by the main keynote, delivered by Philip Vivian, design director of architectural firm Bates Smart. 

While the CTBUH 2017 conference presenters examined issues far beyond tall buildings, the main debate was angled towards how skyscrapers can become “connectors” in the city, and as such, the talks embraced a range of built environment disciplines from urban planning to cost consulting, architectural design to vertical transportation, real estate development as well as a number of engineering concepts.

These concepts were presented by a number of local and international speakers such as Copenhagen’s Kim Nielsen, founder and principal of 3XN, who looked at the relationship between humans and our vertical built environment rise with his presentation, Quay Quarter Tower; Humanizing the High Rise.

Nielsen’s presentation dovetailed neatly with Foster+ Partners Gerard Evenden’s Circular Quay office tower talk.

The sustainability of tall buildings was also covered in-depth by Make founder Ken Shuttleworth, while a talk by CEO of the City of Sydney Monica Barone on the Sustainable Sydney 2030 Plan tied in to the concepts presented by earlier speakers.

A range of sub-themes that highlighted the breadth of issues that influence the building and maintenance of our growing list of tall buildings were also looked at by the speakers and included future-oriented urban response to mass urbanisation; climate change; environmental degradation; technical innovations, the Internet of Things, connecting multiple layers of the city, office wellness, air quality and wind noise minimisation in tall buildings.

According to the organisers, across the three geographic venues - Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, 1200 delegates from 44 countries and 450 companies from around the globe will end up convening in order to listen to 246 experts presenting topics ranging from transit-oriented development to the future of the work place.

The CTBUH 2017 conference will conclude in Brisbane on November 3.