Efficient vertical mobility is a critical component of tall building development and construction. This paper investigates recent advances in elevator technology and examines their impact on tall building development. It maps out, organizes, and collates complex and scattered information on multiple aspects of elevator design, and presents them in an accessible and non-technical discourse. Importantly, the paper contextualizes recent technological innovations by examining their implementations in recent major projects including One World Trade Center in New York; Shanghai Tower in Shanghai; Burj Khalifa in Dubai; Kingdom Tower in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia; and the green retrofit project of the Empire State Building in New York. Further, the paper discusses future vertical transportation models including a vertical subway concept, a space lift, and electromagnetic levitation technology. As these new technological advancements in elevator design empower architects to create new forms and shapes of large-scale, mixed-use developments, this paper concludes by highlighting the need for interdisciplinary research in incorporating elevators in skyscrapers.
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