Skyline of Tomorrow

Dubai-tastic superlatives and apocalyptic fears aside, the buildings standing today—monumental though some of them are—pale in comparison to what’s coming. Apart from the supertall buildings and stylish designs by superstars, there are a sig­nificant number of projects by local and regional architects, along with innovative, social, and sustainable work like David Fisher’s twirling tower, which will have floors that rotate independently and use wind turbines to power itself. In September the United Arab Emirates launched a green ratings system, LEED Emirates, modeled after the U.S. Green Building Council’s standards and focused on water conservation, energy efficiency, and sustainable site development—an indication that the country’s massive investment in design and construction will produce more than just pretty buildings.

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