Why India Doesn’t Build Skyscrapers

Travel over to a bustling city in Asia and you’ll notice that many of them have something in common: They. build. big.

Massive skyscrapers tower over city centres – largely a product of economic growth and the demand for space in the congested areas.

Then there’s India. The country is home to some of the most highly populated cities in the world and has the second highest GDP on the continent after China.

But its buildings don’t really reflect these numbers. It has some skyscrapers, but they’re mostly in Mumbai – there are fewer and they’re shorter on average as compared to neighboring Asian cities.

This city sits on a peninsula where land is both scarce and expensive. Normally such constraints force developers to build upwards – think New York or Hong Kong. And yet, Mumbai is still far behind the skyscraper game.

So if India’s population and wealth are so high, why does it build so low?

Well, it all has to do with a little known rule holding the country back from going big and managing density.