Chinese City To Chop Off Tops of Buildings For Heritage Status

01/13/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Unesco World Heritage status, that coveted prize of global cultural tourism, has become a popular pursuit for Chinese officials. So too, of course, is the compulsion to build tall buildings, in an attempt to one-up other municipalities in China and around the world.

But in Hangzhou, China's "most beautiful city" (a title claimed by a few cities in China), the two impulses are clashing. To achieve heritage status, the local government intends to lob off the tops of a few skyscrapers.

From the BBC:

The top floors of several high-rises in the Chinese city of Hangzhou are to be lobbed off to help the city's bid for world heritage status, officials say.

Two exclusive hotels, a TV tower and a number of other buildings around the beautiful West Lake area will all be made shorter, the developer said....

"We have hired foreign firms to draft detailed plans of how to reduce the height of the Shangri-La, whose owners will be compensated," Mr Wang was quoted by the China Daily newspaper as saying.

He went on to say that the main tower of the Huabei hotel and a television tower were also among the buildings that needed to be made shorter.

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