The Unintended Message of the High-Rise Race

Throughout history, cities that built the tallest towers were the newbs and rubes of urbanization, proclaims land use attorney Bill Adams in this light hearted put-down of the architectural race for rarified air.

“'[A]ct like you’ve been there before,' not like a newcomer to the industrialized world," land use attorney Bill Adams challenges new city-state super powers. 

"It seems like every place in the world that has been simmering awhile with an inferiority complex rushes to build a super high rise when they get some money. 'That’ll show the world we’re no rubes, no country bumpkins!' they seem to scream."

"In the early part of the last century, it was the U.S., and particularly New York City symbolizing the U.S. throwing off the yolk of a small ex-colony of the British Empire and flexing its new gilded era muscle. . . .On the international scene, the march continued through the latter part of the last century into the new millenium: Kuala Lumpur, Taipei, Dubai, Shanghai, etc. . . ."

"[T]rue urbanism can be traced more to how a city treats its citizens on the street than those that dwell in the air, and arrive and leave by car. . ."

Full Story: Tall Towers: For Winners or Wannabes?

Comments

Book cover of the Guide to Graduate Planning Programs 4th Edition

Thinking about Grad School?

New! 4th Edition of the Planetizen Guide to Graduate Urban Planning Programs just released.
Starting at $24.95

Prepare for the AICP Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $209
Book cover of Contemporary Debates in Urban Planning

Contemporary Debates in Urban Planning

Featuring thought-provoking commentary and insights from some of the leading thinkers and practitioners in the field.
$18.95
DVD Cover of The Story of Sprawl

The Story of Sprawl

See how America changed shape in this collection of historic films that visually document how sprawl evolved.
$29.99 for 2-DVD SET