"The [new residential towers] are stirring some populist fury and prompting an argument: Do we need more public oversight when it comes to the city’s stratospheric architecture? Are we selling off our skyline to the plutocrats? Or are those who occupy these spaces serving up much needed tax revenue to the city?" asks Kimmelman, the Times' architecture critic. "There are no simple answers. But I believe there may be ways to thread the needle — to encourage ambitious buildings and also to curb bad design. First, however we must be clear-eyed about the options."
"We fixate on real estate porn," he observes. "We need a healthier conversation about urban priorities."