Fahimeh Abdi  
Master of Geography and Urban Planning, University of Tabriz, Iran  
ABSTRACT: Nowadays, increasing population and land prices have made high-rise  
construction or the vertical growth and development of cities to become inevitable. The benefits  
of vertical urban growth include preserving arable land to supply and feed the growing  
Original Article  
population, reducing environmental degradation due to reduced natural land construction,  
reducing urban traffic and energy consumption, and reducing air pollution resulting from  
horizontal urban development. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the effects of high-  
PII: S238315531900003-8  
rise building on environment quality and sustainable urban development using a descriptive-  
analytical research method. The research process has concluded that high-rise buildings can  
meet the needs of the community based on feasibility studies and design and construction based  
on appropriate scientific and technical and managerial principles and in accordance with the  
advanced technologies required for such buildings, such that all the principles and criteria of  
high-rise building are met.  
Received: 27 Aug. 2019  
Accepted: 21 Nov. 2019  
Published: 15 Dec. 2019  
Corresponding author:  
E-mail: abdi.fahimeh@yahoo.com  
KEYWORDS: High-rise construction, Sustainable development, Sustainability, Environmental  
other hand, has put forward the “high-rise  
construction” and the “compact city” model for  
sustainable urban growth in developed and  
developing countries. Sustainable Urban  
High-rise construction is  
a phenomenon that  
emerged in the world from the late 19th and early  
20th centuries, and the first steps in the  
constructions of skyscrapers were taken around  
years 1880 to 1900 in Chicago. With the increasing  
population worldwide and the growing demand for  
housing, human beings have tried to meet this need  
in many ways. Among these practices is the tendency  
Development emphasizes the role of high-leveling in  
"coordinating the functions of residence, labor,  
meeting essentials and leisure", as well as optimizing  
the use of urban land. But as the high-rise  
development continued in the 70th to 50th decades,  
and with the rise of tall towers built in various cities  
around the world, political reactions took place to  
control vertical growth. These tensions were mostly  
due to the problems of high-rise construction that  
plagued the cities. This issue led to efforts to address  
the shortcomings and to adopt lawful policies for the  
high-rise construction process to move towards  
sustainable urban development [1]. High-rise  
construction has been able to address many urban  
issues such as land scarcity, housing scarcity, etc. on  
one hand, but on the other hand it has caused other  
problems and irregularities. Western countries have  
tried to take advantage of high-rise construction and  
to control the arising issues and problems under  
applicable laws and regulations. In this regard, our  
cities are now witnessing the growth and  
development of high-rise buildings while there is no  
proper recognition of the importance of the issue  
and no controlling laws and regulations are  
available. The year 1950 can be considered as the  
beginning of the high-rise construction movement in  
towards towers. This can be considered  
fundamental phenomenon in the current urbani-  
zation. Today's demands especially population and  
urbanization growth, have pushed authorities to  
promote urban growth, to construct high-rise  
buildings, or, in other words, vertical urban growth.  
Today, many urban plans are based on increasing  
the density and construction of high-rise buildings  
and focusing on mixed-use, as much as possible, to  
reduce the occupancy level of buildings to optimally  
utilize urban land, so that a proper relationship can  
be achieved between 'residential, labor, leisure and  
travel' functions at the city level and to establish a  
suitable living environment for today and future  
generations [1]. The rapid growth of the urban  
population and consequently the need for housing  
on one hand and preventing the unnecessary  
expansion of cities for optimal use of urban land and  
the resolution of problems, land, space, land use,  
environmental issues, urban transport, etc. on the  
Abdi F (2019). Understanding the impact of high-rise  
buildings on environmental quality and sustainable  
urban development. J. Art Arch. Stud., 8 (2): 13-18.  
Journal of Art and Architecture Studies  
ISSN 2383-1553  
J. Art Arch. Stud. 8(2): 13-18, Dec 15, 2019  
Abdi, 2019  
Iran. With the outbreak of the Islamic Revolution, sectional in terms of time criterion and extensive in  
high-rise construction was ceased for almost five terms of depth criterion. In this type of research, in  
years. During these years the construction of these order to describe the case study, information is  
types of buildings was limited to the completion of collected from the sample at a certain time period.  
unfinished residential complexes. In recent years, Also, with regard to the subject under study, this  
the high-rise construction procedure has grown research is an applied study, the results of which will  
dramatically in Iran [2]. A thorough and rooted be used immediately to solve problems.  
examination of this issue and the problems caused  
by the incompatibility of this technology with the  
social conditions of Iranian can be investigated. In development theory  
particular, due to the variety of issues related to In the second half of the eighteenth century,  
high-rise construction, it is necessary to consider the based on the technical, economic, and social changes  
different technical and social dimensions, despite brought about by the industrial revolution in  
their positive and constructive interaction, based on Western Europe, these developments led to the  
sustainable development indicators.  
emergence of contemporary urbanization in the  
Due to its status as the first metropolis in the nineteenth century, as well as the rapid expansion of  
country, construction in Tehran has always been a cities. These fundamental changes and develop-  
center of attention. In recent years, there has been a ments were fully consistent with the expansion of  
significant increase in the construction of higher the industry [3].  
than 4-storey buildings. The growing trend of  
population in Tehran, together with the constraint of  
urban land with increasing housing demand, on one  
Population growth is such that 80% to 90% of the  
hand, and rising prices of land susceptible to urban world's population is expected to urbanize in the  
development, on the other hand, have led to the early 21st century, and there are two general forms  
development of high-rise construction in recent of development to accommodate the explosive  
years in Tehran.  
population growth in cities:  
Population density in Tehran as well as its unique  
building density have led to the selection of this  
metropolis and analysis of the positive and negative  
- Development of existing cities  
- Formation of new cities  
One of the possible methods to accommodate  
effects of high-rise construction. Considering these urban population is to expand the available cities - to  
cases and other problems facing this metropolis, the eliminate the disturbance and disorder that prevails  
need to study and plan for issues such as in large urban communities - and to create a city or  
environmental problems, pollution, housing issues, metropolitan community that is free from all the  
etc., and provision of appropriate solutions is disadvantages and shortcomings of existing cities  
- Expanding the extended formation of cities  
Research questions  
(expanding on the horizon)  
1. What are the favorable and unfavorable effects  
- Expanding the vertical formation of cities  
of high-rise construction in terms of environmental (extension in height).  
quality indicators?  
2. What are the social, economic, environmental  
The necessity to investigate the quality of  
and physical dimensions of the creation and living environment in high-rise residential  
development of high-rise buildings with regard to complexes  
sustainable development indicators?  
The residential environment in high-rise  
3. What are the factors affecting high-rise complexes is not limited to the space inside  
construction and its role on urban environment residential units, but rather includes the spaces  
between the buildings and the lobbies and the  
between corridors within them, exterior areas of the building  
environmental quality indicators and sustainable and pedestrian access around the complex. The  
development principles in high-rise construction?  
potential adverse consequences of the high density  
of these complexes makes it necessary to address the  
issue of quality in these residential environments,  
Research methodology  
The present research is a qualitative study. The which, although not necessarily leading to  
research method is exploratory. This survey is cross- deterioration in the quality of life, specific problems  
J Art Arch Stud. 8(2): 13-18, 2019  
and complexities which can cause physical and social  
The recent model presented in the area of quality  
abnormalities. The aggregate of these anomalies, of life is the Ching model which discusses different  
which manifest in the social dimension in various aspects of "desirable life". The basis of this model is  
forms of sedition, sabotage, crime, and in the based on four ethical theories: pleasure, dialectical  
physical dimension through phenomena such as insight, humanism, and formalism. According to the  
graffiti and actions such as dumping garbage in diagram provided by Mitchell, the elements and  
corridors, elevators, and lobbies, lead to an inclusive components of quality of life and their constituent  
sense of insecurity. The living environment plays an variables include:  
important role in the gradual deterioration and in  
- Health: The overall health of any community  
some cases the eventual demolition of these that is the product of the physical and mental health  
residential complexes [3].  
of individuals and their members.  
- Security: An understanding of security is shaped  
Relation of high-rise buildings with urban by the safe, secure environment of the individual, the  
environment economic security of the individual, and the  
The design of high-rise buildings should have the existence of a regular and orderly life.  
least negative impact on the neighborhood. These  
- Individual growth: Enjoying the opportunity to  
negative effects include shading, visibility and entertain, the opportunity to spend leisure time  
privacy and the creation of wind tunnels [4]. appropriately and the process of education and  
Therefore, the height and volume of the building learning, all make the ideal achievement of  
should be proportional to the neighborhood. The individual growth and transformation possible.  
main nodes and intersections are desirable locations  
to place high-rise buildings [5].  
- Social Development: The realization of the goal  
of growth and development in any society depends  
on factors such as the quality of citizens' political  
residential participation,  
interactions, and the structure of the community in  
A high-quality residential environment induces a question.  
sense of well-being and satisfaction for residents  
Physical environment: In relation to physical  
through physical, social or symbolic features. Such environment components, attention to variables  
an environment guarantees the quality of life and a such as visual perception and landscape quality,  
major support for economic, social and cultural climate, pollution and environmental noise is  
activities. The concept of "quality of life" is strongly required [8].  
rooted in health consideration. In the Newman  
In a culture with high density of life, inadequate  
model, health is considered a viable indicator, while size of living spaces affects many aspects of quality of  
in other models the quality of the environment is life, which directly affect quality of life and justice,  
discussed as a determinant of health. Bloom's model and is limited to choosing better settlement for the  
of health is defined as the result of genetic factors, deprived people. Inadequate living space or crowded  
the nature and manner of health conservation, settlement is strongly criticized as having a negative  
behavior / lifestyle and quality of physical and socio- impact on health, social relationship, privacy, and  
cultural environment.  
education, so per capita living space is important in  
Residential health and well-being are a vital assessing the quality of life and sustainability of any  
component of quality of life and social sustainability. neighborhood. Given the relationship between  
Past research has shown the adverse effects of dense density, amount of living space, and quality of life, it  
population. In the case of developing countries, the is important to consider the impact of neighborhood  
effects of high density on health and well-being are density on living space dimensions. High density  
far greater and more detrimental than those settlement is often associated with the small size of a  
encountered in crowded settlements, with poorly housing or garden or outdoor space. Small home size  
maintained and inadequate infrastructure [6].  
can have negative effects on quality of life. Within a  
Two broad areas of concern related to respiratory culture of high-density habitation, inadequate size of  
and stressful diseases are those that arise from air living space affects many aspects of quality of life,  
pollution in high density areas (due to activity levels which directly affects justice in society, and is  
and number of vehicles) and mental illnesses which limited to choosing better homes for the deprived.  
are often associated with overcrowding in high Inadequate living space or settlement density is  
density neighborhoods.  
strongly criticized as having a negative impact on  
Abdi, 2019  
health, social relationships, privacy, and education play an important role in the environment. Most of  
[9], therefore, per capita is important in assessing the changes that high-rise buildings cause to the  
quality of life, home satisfaction, and sustainability environment are related to wind and sunlight.  
of any neighborhood. Considering the relationship Adjacent complex buildings are limited by sunlight  
between density, amount of living space, and quality as they shade the lower floors of tall buildings as well  
of life, the impact of neighborhood density on living as short buildings.  
space dimension should be investigated.  
2. What are the social, economic, environmental  
and physical dimensions of the creation and  
development of high-rise buildings with regard to  
Analysis of questions  
1. What are the favorable and unfavorable effects sustainable development indicators?  
of high-rise construction in terms of environmental  
quality indicators?  
Until now, various researchers have criticized the  
abnormal and negative social, cultural and  
Today, high-rise buildings are the phenomena psychological effects of high-rise buildings. Since  
faced by that the world, especially large cities. High- social, cultural and psychological impacts of living  
rise construction causes new problems for land use and working in high-rise residential complexes are  
due to its negative environmental impacts, including of great importance, and social interactions and  
increased population density, environmental psychological impacts are much wider, this has led  
pollution, reduced access to fresh air and sunlight. to criticism of high-rise construction in residential  
But due to population growth and land scarcity, buildings. In fact, the study of residential buildings  
high-rise construction cannot be avoided. Therefore, is important because housing has an important place  
for high-rise construction, consideration must be in socio-cultural and psychological categories, such  
given to geographical location factors, technical that housing is the most important provider of  
regulations, immunization, green space, wind civilization and home is the best preserver of social  
direction, distance to other buildings, design in culture. Housing is one of the key factors in the  
terms of visibility and city appearance [10]. This balance and sustainability of the human community  
study shows that due to changes in wind and wind and protects the family and relationship between its  
direction and also the density of high-rise buildings members. That is why adequate housing, like other  
as a source of pollution, air pollution is increased in human needs, is a basic human right. Lack of  
large metropolitan areas. Therefore, to reduce the attention to the role of housing in urban family  
negative impacts of high-rise construction on social relations, without any doubt, makes it  
environmental pollution, fans should be considered impossible to enjoy high social behaviors and high  
in the design of high-rise buildings. Unfortunately, human values [12]. In the past, all residents of a  
the failure of the construction in environmental neighborhood in Iran were interested in the  
protection and the lack of control over the rules in surrounding issues and there was some degree of  
the construction process causes environmental coherence and relative social control. While the  
pollution, especially air pollution. Re-evaluating the social, cultural, economic and political developments  
rules, along with tighter controls, can improve the of society in recent decades have been replaced with  
quality of air in large cities with the use of green some kind of indifference, lack of housing and  
space on the ground and on the roofs of buildings inadequate quality and lack of attention to its role in  
[11]. This study shows that the average concentration social relationships are associated with increased  
of carbon gas rises from the lowest levels of the rates of delinquency, divorce and social breakdown.  
building to the 2nd to 3rd floors, but gradually Therefore, paying attention to the importance and  
decreases in the upper floors through an irregular role of housing from social dimensions is effective in  
process. This is probably due to the higher wind the cultural and psychological development of  
speeds in the upper part of the building. Higher society [14]. This is especially important when living  
wind speeds reduce pollution severity. Although at high altitudes causes a change in the human  
increasing altitude increases the distance from major environment, followed by a change in living culture.  
sources of pollution (cars), the volume of pollution is Therefore, the construction of high-rise buildings,  
not related to the distance from sources of pollution. regardless of the cultural issues of the community,  
Rather, it depends on factors such as local winds and cannot be a suitable solution to the housing  
the turbulent flow around the building, which causes problem. Although residential areas have witnessed  
pollution to accumulate in one part of the building the introduction and expansion of foreign and  
and disperse to the other part of the building. High- mostly western patterns and methods over the past  
rise buildings have special effects on the climate and century, it seems necessary to recognize the  
J Art Arch Stud. 8(2): 13-18, 2019  
problems created and find solutions to co-ordinate integrated planning to optimize energy consumption  
high-rise buildings specific to Iranian society in and reduce resource consumption as well as reduce  
order to improve and promote living conditions [14]. environmental pollution and prevent reaching rural  
Therefore, to understand the social, cultural and areas around cities [17]. Some of the undesirable  
psychological aspects of high-rise buildings, the consequences of large and low-density cities in terms  
impacts of these buildings on residents should be of sustainability can be described as follows:  
examined in the following areas to determine the  
amount of increase in density and capacity of high- agricultural land for housing and roads;  
rise construction in residential areas:  
Residential high-rise construction  
neighborhood relations  
Residential high-rise construction and family  
f constructed lands resulting in  
and increased surface water flow, gasoline consumption  
and other wastes;  
by reducing the use of public transport,  
Residential high-rise construction, ethical and pedestrianism and cycling;  
educational issues  
n and  
Residential high-rise construction & Mental single-family residential units through their lower  
Issues design efficiency than compact housing forms  
Residential high-rise construction & Security 4. What is the relationship between  
Residential high-rise construction and social environmental quality indicators and sustainable  
classes and groups  
development principles in high-rise construction?  
In sustainable urban development, the quality of  
human life is centered on urban space, so that the  
Residential high-rise construction and property  
Residential high-rise construction & Partnership  
indigenous identity [15]  
and continuity of citizens' lives is enhanced by social  
prosperity and does not harm the sustainability of  
In general, what follows is that apartment life is the urban environment. Attention to communication  
not suitable for all social groups and classes. Of is the strength of sustainable development theory  
course, the issue needs to be scrutinized more which can lead to sustained development [18].  
carefully, but overall, it can be concluded that high-  
There are many physical factors involved in  
rise living is more suitable for middle-class people moving to a sustainable city. However, mere physical  
than poor urban strata who often have a rural changes without the backing of economic and  
culture. Also, in a high-rise building, due to very ecological developments will not sustain cities. For a  
close proximity, if residents have also a similar closer look, in this study, the impacts of building  
culture, better relationships and greater resident density factor on the level of human needs and  
satisfaction will be formed.  
environmental quality in high-rise buildings were  
3. What are the factors affecting high-rise specifically investigated. Since building density does  
construction and its role on urban environment not necessarily affect all aspects of human needs and  
all aspects of urban quality of life, only the indicators  
Irregular development at the urban level is one of of urban quality of life where emphasized that vary  
the dangers that always threaten the sustainability of with urban density variations in general and  
the environment and consequently the sustainability building congestion in particular.  
of buildings. The low population density of a city  
that is generally inconsistent with the requirements CONCLUSION  
of a sustainable city is usually formed in the suburbs  
and has been challenged and criticized by social and The need for a high-rise construction strategy is  
environmental sustainability experts [16]. High-rise increasingly apparent, given the growing population  
construction can be considered as an approach to and land constraints in the present. High-rise  
prevent this problem. In other words, the pattern of buildings, being the product of technological  
the city leads to functionalism by high-rise advancement, can cause various environmental  
construction, and the optimal use of land becomes contaminations and abnormalities, including visual  
feasible from this perspective. Beyond social disturbances, if they are not adequately controlled  
benefits, the dense urban pattern can also have and monitored, due to adverse environmental  
important environmental benefits. Concentrated impacts associated with high population and  
cities can be designed through a coherent and building densities. Issues such as increased rentals  
Abdi, 2019  
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in the area, lack of coordination and balance  
between available density and infrastructure  
capacity, inadequate ride and pedestrian access,  
inadequate transportation, traffic, lack of urban  
parking and noise pollution and visual effects  
complications due to unmanageable density and  
overcrowding of high rise buildings, especially in  
residential areas, can play a role as specific  
environmental signs and characteristics in conflict  
with the real needs of the people in their value  
hierarchy, resulting in a sense of inability to control  
the living space and therefore lack of a comfortable,  
relaxed and satisfying experience in urban life. It can  
be stated that high-rise buildings can meet the needs  
of the community when they are built based on  
feasibility studies and scientific, technical, and  
management design, and in accordance with the  
advanced technologies required for such buildings,  
such that all the high-rise construction criteria and  
principles are met.  
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Competing interests  
The author declares that they have no competing  
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