Thank you for your interest in the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat 2016 International Conference! We have compiled the resources below to serve as a “one-stop-shop” for sponsors, reporters, and publicists to find information they need about the Conference quickly. As always, if you don’t find what you’re looking for here, we’d be happy to answer your questions.

About the Conference

The theme of the 2016 Conference was “Cities to Megacities: Shaping Dense Vertical Urbanism.” There is perhaps nowhere on the planet that demonstrates the impact of urbanization as markedly as the cities of China’s Pearl River Delta – which surpassed Tokyo as the world’s largest single continual urban conurbation of 42 million in 2010, and is set to grow to potentially 120 million inhabitants by 2050. The results of the rapid and unprecedented urbanization in this area has produced an entirely new urban substance, one that has provided an unequaled opportunity to explore the impacts of tall buildings set within a network of ultra-connected, modern infrastructure.

With some of the lowest energy intensities on the planet and a population density of 6,700 people per square kilometer, Hong Kong demonstrates the real benefits of the high-rise condition with a plethora of connected transport options that effectively make the city one large “transit-oriented development.” Shenzhen has similarly invested in amazing levels of new infrastructure to support the iconic skyscrapers appearing across its skyline. Nearby, Guangzhou has also managed to embrace the iconic, the tall, and the connected, while retaining its historic buildings and colonial charm.

These teeming metropolises are effectively merging – physically, culturally, and economically – into one super-connected urban whole. Unsurprisingly, this has resulted in a host of challenges that must be addressed, including: pollution, energy production obstacles, quality of life issues, and a loss of heritage and identity amid unbridled redevelopment. These challenges, which are common around the globe yet magnified in this region due to its unique circumstances, should be seen as a litmus test for the great ideas of our time and a call to action for bold new paradigms in urban development.

The rich tapestry of the Pearl River Delta was therefore the ideal platform for a CTBUH conference exploring the real impact – both positive and negative – of density, vertical growth, and concentrated urban infrastructure, not only in China, but around the world. In an unprecedented first for a CTBUH conference, the event took place progressively across the three cities, beginning with two presentation days and a day of off-site programs in Shenzhen, before moving on to explore the industrial powerhouse, Guangzhou, then the premier urban laboratory that is Hong Kong. In addition to absorbing the very latest in best practice developments in both skyscraper and urban design from around the world, this conference directly embraced numerous tall buildings and urban spaces in the region that have become iconic in their own right, through off-site programs and social networking events.

View expanded synopsis of the Conference

Why These Cities and Theme?

CTBUH was thrilled to host our 2016 Conference in the Pearl River Delta, the largest single continual urban agglomeration in the world. Set to grow to 120 million inhabitants by 2050, the agglomeration is witnessing unprecedented urbanization, with cities rapidly expanding and merging to form a single Megacity. With so many exciting projects in development across the area, the Pearl River Delta was a clear choice for the event. Watch this short video to learn why!

Who’s Speaking?

We were very excited about the Conference program that we assembled for this event, featuring 270 distinguished speakers from an array of disciplines across the industry, including major developers around the world.

Who’s Attending?

Delegates from every corner of the international tall building industry, academic, and other leading professionals attended this Conference. Here is the list of registered Conference delegates:

Who’s Sponsoring?

Learn more about the sponsors, who provided invaluable support and help to make the Conference great!

Conference Logistics

The Shenzhen segment of the Conference was held in the Grand Hyatt Shenzhen, located in the Luohu District, from October 16-18, with the option of staying an additional day for off-site programs. After the conclusion of the Shenzhen Program, those delegates registered for the Guangzhou segment traveled to Guangzhou for the second segment of the Conference’s journey through the Pearl River Delta. Delegates stayed in the Four Seasons Hotel Guangzhou, which is located in the top third of the 103-story Guangzhou International Finance Center. On the morning of October 20, delegates continued on to the Hong Kong Program – the final destination of the 2016 Conference – which was held at the highest hotel in the world, the Ritz Carlton Hong Kong, located at the  top of the International Commerce Centre, also the city’s tallest building. The Conference came to a close on October 21.

Off-site Programs

Off-site programs took place in each of the three Conference cities, consisting of presentations by project team members and tours of completed and under-construction buildings, as well as of the greater urban contexts for these buildings. These were special opportunities for delegates to learn from professionals involved in the design, construction, and/or management of various notable buildings through discussions and physical tours of sites.

Past Conferences

CTBUH has conducted many successful conferences throughout its history, beginning with the first in 1971 held in Tokyo. Since then, CTBUH conferences have grown ever-larger and more frequent, as our international membership continues to grow. Learn more about some of the past CTBUH conferences.


The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat is the world’s leading resource for professionals focused on the inception, design, construction, and operation of tall buildings and future cities. Founded in 1969 and headquartered at Chicago’s historic Monroe Building, the CTBUH is a not-for-profit organization with an Asia Headquarters office at Tongji University, Shanghai, a Research Office at Iuav University, Venice, Italy; and a Research & Academic Office at the Illinois Institute of Technology Chicago. CTBUH facilitates the exchange of the latest knowledge available on tall buildings around the world through publications, research, events, working groups, web resources, and its extensive network of international representatives. The Council’s research department is spearheading the investigation of the next generation of tall buildings by aiding original research on sustainability and key development issues. The Council’s free database on tall buildings, The Skyscraper Center, is updated daily with detailed information, images, data, and news. The CTBUH also developed the international standards for measuring tall building height and is recognized as the arbiter for bestowing such designations as “The World’s Tallest Building.”

Conference Graphics

CTBUH Cities to Megacities Conference Banner in English (higher quality available upon request)

CTBUH Cities to Megacities Conference Banner in English (higher quality available upon request)

CTBUH Cities to Megacities Conference Banner in Chinese (higher quality available upon request)

CTBUH Cities to Megacities Conference Banner in Chinese (higher quality available upon request)

Cities to Megacities Conference Logo (Vector File)

Cities to Megacities Conference Logo (Vector File)

Press Photos

The following photos are available as high-resolution downloads, additional photos are available upon request.

Shenzhen Skyline (cc-by-SA) Xublake

Shenzhen Skyline (CC BY SA) Xublake

Guangzhou Skyline (cc-by-sa) Joe Sau

Guangzhou Skyline (CC-BY-SA) Joe Sau

Hong Kong Skyline (cc-by-sa) Pasu Au Yeung

Hong Kong Skyline (CC BY SA) Pasu Au Yeung

Guangzhou International Finance Center © CTBUH / Tansri Muliani

Guangzhou International Finance Center © CTBUH / Tansri Muliani

International Commerce Centre in Hong Kong (CC BY SA) WiNG

International Commerce Centre in Hong Kong (CC BY SA) WiNG