A majority (68 percent) of city dwellers around the world see tall buildings as an essential part of the modern cityscape, according to a recent study. Sixty-three percent think that landmark buildings are important to a city’s image and the same number believe that building upwards is a sustainable way to develop urban areas. Asians and Middle Easterners view high-rises even more positively than Europeans and Americans.
KONE, one of the global leaders in elevator and escalator industry, conducted an international survey in March-April 2013 mapping out the opinions of over 4,000 city dwellers aged 18 to 59. Respondents came from eight major metropolises around the world: Chicago, Dubai, London, Moscow, Mumbai, Paris, Shanghai, and Singapore.
In general, Singaporeans (53%) and Parisians (47%) are the most eager to live on the highest floors, and men are slightly more enthusiastic than women about living and working in high-rises. The view (88%) and avoidance of traffic noise (60%) are the top two reasons urbanites cite for choosing to live on a high floor of a tall building.
Tall buildings are seen to improve a city’s image, and they are also widely believed to have a positive impact on businesses. For example, half (50%) of the surveyed young adults aged 18 to 29 think that having an office in a tall building reflects positively on a company’s image. Over half of the respondents from Shanghai (65%) and Mumbai (54%) share this opinion.
As for working in tall buildings, three out of four respondents (76%) appreciate easy access to services such as shops and public transport. People from Shanghai (79%) and Dubai (71%) in particular also value the close proximity to business partners.
One in three elevator users is an “easy rider”
Elevator users in cities value the quick availability of an elevator more than any other technical elevator feature. Over half (54%) of all of those surveyed want elevators to arrive immediately without needing to be called. Once inside the elevator, however, most (65%) appreciate a moment to relax. A soothing and relaxing environment for calm reflection is seen as the best enhancement to the elevator experience.
In comparison to other urbanites, people from Moscow (51%) in particular enjoy the opportunity to groom themselves as they ride, while people from Shanghai (43%) think natural elements like flowers make elevator trips more pleasant.
When polled on their feelings about elevators, the “easy rider” emerged as the most common (31%) user type. This is someone who has no special demands and is content as long as elevators work. The second most widespread profile is the “safety-conscious” rider (28%) – someone who has high demands regarding safety and expects elevators to be comfortable and clean.
“At KONE, we constantly strive for deeper insight into the demands of the people who use our solutions every day,” says Giuseppe Bilardello, Senior Vice President of KONE Technology and R&D. “Conducting surveys on a regular basis is one of the ways we collect valuable data that can assist us in product development.”
KONE’s objective is to offer solutions that meet the needs of present day and future building users in a rapidly urbanizing world. Urbanization is the most important global megatrend currently impacting the elevator and escalator industry and is expected to drive demand for years to come. The increasing concentration of people in urban areas heightens the need to build upwards and raises the importance of solutions that enable people to move smoothly and efficiently from place to place.
Image courtesy of KONE