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

building block set

NEW! Build the world you want to see

Irresistible block set for adults when placed on a coffee table or desk, and great fun for kids.
$25
Red necktie with map of Boston

For dads and grads: tie one on to celebrate your city!

Choose from over 20 styles imprinted with detailed city or transit maps.
$44.95

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 $245

Stay thirsty, urbanists

These sturdy water bottles are eco-friendly and perfect for urbanists on the go.
$19.00