Towards Dynamic Vertical Urbanism

A novel conceptual approach to develop vertical city using construction robotics, open building principles, and prefabricated modular construction


  • Rongbo Hu Technical University of Munich
  • Wen Pan Technical University of Munich
  • Thomas Bock Technical University of Munich


Dynamic Vertical Urbanism, modularization, on-site construction factory, Process Information Modeling, Vertical City


Nowadays a great number of new developments are claimed in the name of “vertical city”, yet few represent this important characteristic. This paper aims to propose a novel vertical city framework, or in other words, dynamic vertical urbanism, featuring constant vertical urban transformation by applying the state-of-the-art construction technologies. First, successful and unsuccessful precedents of building complexes which inspire this novel concept will be analyzed. In addition, building technologies that are crucial for the implementation of this framework will be introduced. As a result, this vertical city concept has the ability to integrate five basic elements of a city: vertical and horizontal circulation systems as its paths, a flexible building envelope as its edges, variable mix-used functional blocks as its districts, sky bridges and roof gardens as its nodes, and the complex itself as a landmark. More importantly, it can change its size, form and function with the help of construction automation technologies, open building principles, and process information modeling. it can also responsively evolve in accordance with social, economic, and environmental shifts in a self-sufficient manner, meanwhile avoiding the risk of being homogeneous with surrounding buildings. Finally, the complex will perform as a series of interconnected components which act together to form a living organism that provides various functions such as corporate, residential, commercial, academic, medical, legal, and infrastructural. In conclusion, this paper will provide researchers, architects and urban designers with a valuable example for the future vertical city developments and beyond.