The world’s largest airport, the world’s tallest building, and now…

The world’s tallest ferris wheel!

Shanghai plans to build the world’s tallest ferris wheel with a diameter of 170 metres, the state newspaper Shanghai Daily reported Thursday.

The wheel, to be completed by 2008, would best the current record holder, the London Eye, which rises 135 metres above Britain’s capital, the paper said. Adding to its height, the Shanghai wheel would be built atop a 50-metre entertainment complex housing a theatre and other attractions, the paper said. A revolving restaurant will be attached to its support pillars, 130 metres up, it said.

The wheel is the latest mega-project planned for Shanghai, which is already building one of the world’s tallest buildings and the world’s longest suspension bridge.

As I said in an earlier post, I see Shanghai’s dash to build the biggest and longest and tallest and greatest what-have-you to be more a sign of insecurity than progress. And priced at $12 a ride (which lasts 30 minutes), it will surely not be a ferris wheel for the common man. Construction costs are estimated at $314 million.

The Discussion: 9 Comments

Confucius says: “He who climbs the highest falls the hardest.”

May 12, 2005 @ 12:31 pm | Comment

I quite agree this is an insecurity/ ego thing. As a construction professional, I just don’t see this kind of project making any financial sense. $/12 per ride is expensive even for American or European standards. There are just too many examples of these ego-boosting projects that go belly up. Milenium Dome in London went bankrupt; Petrona Towers in Kuala Lumpur are half empty; Taipei 101 can’t atrract tenants. The list goes on and on.
By the way, anyone knows the ridership on the Meglev train now? I try to search, but came up nothing.

May 12, 2005 @ 7:38 pm | Comment

A big ferris wheel, um err.

I don’t wan’t to put a dampenedr on things too much but

A) Shanghai has so much smog that you would be lucky to be able to see the other side of the carriage let alone much of Shanghai itself for half of the year.

B) Doens’t Shanghai get hit by tropical storms every so often. build a tall open structure in a city without hurican force winds YES, build it in one that gets battered every so often NO.

I can just see the pictures now, hurrican bob hits shanghai, shanghai ferris wheel becomes worlds largest frizbee, now located somewhere in Xinjiang

May 12, 2005 @ 11:03 pm | Comment

Yes, I tend associate the ‘biggest/tallest etc projects in SH with acute insecurity or maybe a desparate attempt to turn the city into something it’s obvously not.

Anyway, the project is really beyond comprehension as, as ACB mentions above, SH is prone to typhoon-strength winds in the summer coming in from the Pacific. Look at the last two years for example, SH cops most of the typhoons which either hit or just miss Taiwan.

US$314 million? Ha ha.

May 13, 2005 @ 4:58 am | Comment

I can’t help but thnk about how the regime is charging, what, 80 RMB to go to the Forbidden City. When a government is catering to the wealthy and neglecting its most vulnerable (in my example, preventing the average Chinese from even being able to visit their own heritage as they watch rich Yanks swagger past the gates), that’s fascism. And blocking the BBC from the internet.

May 13, 2005 @ 5:07 am | Comment

By the way…
Whoever posted that previous comment about the Millenium Dome going bankrupt (it was undoubtedly a white elephant if ever there was one) I think the unnamed poster is being a tad selective in ignoring the London Eye, which is such a success that, even though it was scheduled to have lasted only a year, has been so lucrative as to be a permanent feature on the Thames. No hurricanes threaten it, and it offers a lovely, historic view (and I bet will feature in the next Bond film) but it may be washed away with the results of global warming….

May 13, 2005 @ 5:11 am | Comment

Unless, of course, plastic-eating space aliens decide to use it as a transmitter instead.

[that’s a Doctor Who reference, btw.]

May 13, 2005 @ 12:25 pm | Comment

It’s not just typhoons, though. Shanghai is sinking thanks to all the groundwater being pumped out from underneath it. And I’ve read that the sheer weight of the buildings is just making the problem worse. So maybe it won’t be because of the smog that the views from the ferris wheel won’t be so good. Maybe the view will be the mud the wheel sinks into.

May 13, 2005 @ 10:43 pm | Comment

Hey, Chris, you just hit the nail on the head.

Shanghai isn’t trying to build the worlds tallest ferris wheel, it is trying to build the worlds only largest underground ferris wheel.

Then again, London is sinking too because of the extraction of ground water, and because of the weight of buildings (One of the Brit’s admirals, Nelson I think), ordered that he not be burried in the normal place for heroes because it would be underground before people forgot who he was.

Maybe they should spend that money on storm drains and public housing instead.

May 14, 2005 @ 5:52 am | Comment

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