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Old August 16th, 2013, 09:57 PM   #1
MattSal
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Statistical Results of "Top 10 best world skyline" thread...

Hi everyone! There was recently a thread, "Top 10 best world skyline" that amassed 15 pages of people posting. I decided to take the information in this thread and create a statistical analysis of it!

The original thread:
http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=1533122

This was an effort to show SSC what their actual top 10 skylines were without the burden of a poll to limit choices. Thanks to jmbill for the original thread.

A couple notes about the procedure:
  • Each vote for a city was counted as just one vote in the appropriate rank (1-10) given by the original poster.
  • Ties were allowed and counted as one vote for each city mentioned in a tie at that rank (e.g. two cities tied for 6th both received a 6th place vote).
  • To increase accuracy, certain posts were discounted if they had a noticeable regional or typological bias (e.g. only listing Brazilian cities or medieval European skylines). I realize this might be a controversial decision, but this is SkyscraperCity, so I went with lists that rated skylines based on some metric of highrises/density/etc. with a worldwide scope of view.
  • Approximately 90 lists were processed, resulting in 914 votes cast and 46 cities receiving at least one vote.
  • I did not cast any votes myself.

A couple notes about the results, which are posted below:
  • RANK refers to the largest-to-smallest rank of the cities by their SCORE.
  • CITY is the name of the city. Skylines part of the same city/metro area were generally included under the same entry (e.g. Manila/Makati).
  • TALLY shows the number of votes cast for each city in each rank 1-10.
  • AVG is the average rank of all votes cast for each city.
  • TOTAL is the total number of votes of any rank cast for each city.
  • SCORE is the aggregate of the ranks, with 1st counting for 10 points, 2nd for 9 points, 3rd for 8 points, etc.
  • The COLOR of each line refers to its regional location. Blue represents the Americas, Yellow Europe, Red Asia, and Green the Middle East.

Without further ado, here are the results:


There are some really interesting trends to consider after looking at this! Here are a couple main notes I made:
  • Every single list polled had New York City ranked. Only 2 didn't rank Hong Kong.
  • NYC and Hong Kong are clearly the two frontrunners, with a more general Top 5 of NYC, HK, Shanghai, Chicago, and Dubai being fairly standard.
  • Certain cities, such as Toronto and Dubai, had votes across the board in many ranks, possibly showing some sort of controversy in ranking them?
  • There is a very sharp drop off in votes after about the top 20 cities, so that is possibly a more extensive consideration for Top Skylines.

So, based on this analysis and the voices of the SSC community in this fairly limited sample, the TOP 10 SKYLINES IN THE WORLD ARE:

1. New York City
2. Hong Kong
3. Shanghai
4. Chicago
5. Dubai
6. Singapore
7. Toronto
8. Tokyo
9. Kuala Lumpur
10. Sydney

I would love to do a similar analysis on a much larger sample size one day, or even a blind poll where you don't have the burden of seeing other people's choices.

Hope you enjoyed this! Any questions are more than welcome.
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Old August 16th, 2013, 10:26 PM   #2
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Interesting!
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Old August 16th, 2013, 10:37 PM   #3
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SSC has spoken..
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Old August 17th, 2013, 04:09 AM   #4
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good job....
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Old August 17th, 2013, 04:24 AM   #5
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I feel like US cities and especially European ones are overrated, while Asian ones are underrated.
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Old August 17th, 2013, 05:13 AM   #6
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^ +1 ; More anti-Jakarta propaganda evidence .

I want a remake of this again.
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Old August 17th, 2013, 02:10 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by L.A.F.2. View Post
I feel like US cities and especially European ones are overrated, while Asian ones are underrated.
the reason being, the search being in english. if chinese and other languages were also represented, the top rankings might not differ much, but the ones in the later places would differ quite significantly i assume. the problem being that how many results of which language etc makes it even more complicated though. so i think the results are good already, when keeping in mind that it is english-speaking-country centered
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Old August 18th, 2013, 10:26 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by L.A.F.2. View Post
I feel like US cities and especially European ones are overrated, while Asian ones are underrated.
So true.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KillerZavatar View Post
the reason being, the search being in english. if chinese and other languages were also represented, the top rankings might not differ much, but the ones in the later places would differ quite significantly i assume. the problem being that how many results of which language etc makes it even more complicated though. so i think the results are good already, when keeping in mind that it is english-speaking-country centered
It would be stable in top 5. Shenzhen and Guangzhou would shake up top 15 a bit (why are those 2 cities comparable to London or Moscow? or vice versa) and 20 and below would drastically change. However, I agree that once you keep in mind that the list is western-centric it is a fairly good assessment.

Last edited by saiho; August 18th, 2013 at 10:31 PM.
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Old August 19th, 2013, 05:41 PM   #9
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A few observations:
-London at 12, cue the angry posters from the 2025 thread (here's your next target!)
-Melbourne 16 vs Sydney 10, even though at this point most people who "know" Australian skylines would have Melbourne ranked ahead of Sydney (almost no contest)
-Guangzhou should probably be 6. It's always underrated by the uninitiated.
-Chongqing at 31? Behind Vancouver? This is a top 15 skyline folks.

I will say that the top 5 looks pretty fair. The rest of the list doesn't look awful but I agree with whoever said that Europe was a bit overrated here, and Asia (China in particular) underrated.
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Old August 19th, 2013, 05:49 PM   #10
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Very funny!
And yes, Asian cities are underrated, but because they get less atention in the media and in the forum because there are less forumers and photographers from there, and some go unnoticed when trying to think of cities with a top skyline.
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Old August 19th, 2013, 06:13 PM   #11
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I think Philly is VERY underrated.
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Old August 19th, 2013, 06:40 PM   #12
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OP here, I think it should be noted that beyond the Top 20 or so, the results are probably extremely inaccurate. This thread asked for people to list their TOP 10 skylines, so anything that was outside that range is subject to much greater variance in results.

For example, a ton of people might think Sao Paulo has a fantastic skyline, but very few think it is worthy of a spot in the Top 10. So it is actually possible that even though Sao Paulo is ranked 27th, it might actually end up as high as 13th or 14th if people were asked their Top 20 Skylines instead.

Hopefully that makes sense.

Last edited by MattSal; August 19th, 2013 at 06:48 PM.
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Old August 19th, 2013, 07:18 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MattSal View Post
OP here, I think it should be noted that beyond the Top 20 or so, the results are probably extremely inaccurate. This thread asked for people to list their TOP 10 skylines, so anything that was outside that range is subject to much greater variance in results.

For example, a ton of people might think Sao Paulo has a fantastic skyline, but very few think it is worthy of a spot in the Top 10. So it is actually possible that even though Sao Paulo is ranked 27th, it might actually end up as high as 13th or 14th if people were asked their Top 20 Skylines instead.

Hopefully that makes sense.
I know how it works. My point is that certain skylines that should be ranked higher aren't, because some people have never even heard of them. (Guangzhou! Guangzhou! Guangzhou!)

Sao Paulo is probably ranked correctly. It just doesn't have the height. Sao Paulo's tallest building would be (approximately) #140 in NYC, 60 in Tokyo, 65 in Chicago, 50 in Guangzhou, 45 in Bangkok... heck even my city (Boston) has 7 taller buildings. Can't be a top 10 world skyline when none of your buildings touch the sky.
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Old August 19th, 2013, 08:08 PM   #14
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Guangzhou - the new central axis is lined with supertalls, 10 built or u/c


http://bbs.home.news.cn



Shenzhen - China's richest city and bigger than HK, fast becoming the country's tallest city - 12 supertalls built or u/c, 25 proposed


www.szpichappy.com
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Old August 19th, 2013, 08:55 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TowerVerre:) View Post
My new Shenzhen Supertalls Video, based on z0rg's and Scion's List this time.
Supertalls Total: 66
Built: 3
Under Construction: 9
Site Preperation: 7
Approved: 2
Proposed: 45

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E7Jww2xtlMU
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Old August 19th, 2013, 09:05 PM   #16
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I think in the next 1-2 years, Guangzhou has a real shot at becoming China's best skyline, but within a couple years after that it will replaced at the top by Shenzhen.

Personally, I prefer Guangzhou right now because the cluster is much more centralized (not to mention more impressive). Eventually (especially after Ping An is done) Shenzhen's overwhelming amount of supertalls will be too hard to overlook.
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Old August 19th, 2013, 09:47 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the spliff fairy View Post
Guangzhou - the new central axis is lined with supertalls, 10 built or u/c


http://bbs.home.news.cn



Shenzhen - China's richest city and bigger than HK, fast becoming the country's tallest city - 12 supertalls built or u/c, 25 proposed


www.szpichappy.com
Wow those pics!!!
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Old August 19th, 2013, 09:51 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MattSal View Post
OP here, I think it should be noted that beyond the Top 20 or so, the results are probably extremely inaccurate. This thread asked for people to list their TOP 10 skylines, so anything that was outside that range is subject to much greater variance in results.

For example, a ton of people might think Sao Paulo has a fantastic skyline, but very few think it is worthy of a spot in the Top 10. So it is actually possible that even though Sao Paulo is ranked 27th, it might actually end up as high as 13th or 14th if people were asked their Top 20 Skylines instead.

Hopefully that makes sense.
What are the criteria though? I would vote not just on size and density but also build and aesthetic quality of the buildings that make up the skyline. So for me London, Paris and Frankfurt, for example, would always rank above São Paulo.
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Last edited by Fern; September 12th, 2013 at 06:39 PM.
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Old August 19th, 2013, 10:10 PM   #19
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whta a pity that there is no Shenzhen or Guangzhou in the top 10
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Old August 20th, 2013, 08:20 AM   #20
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That's an awful lot of work, but it's much appreciated. I've been hoping for a detailed and well thought out statistical analysis of the various SSC lists for a while. Well done.

Regarding over rated/under rated/regional bias. It's interesting to see how one's own list compares to how SSC people rate cities to see if you have a regional bias of your own. Looks like I over rate Calgary and Montreal as I have them both in the high 30s. I rank Toronto 6th or 7th and Vancouver around 28th so precisely where SSC people put them.

That said, there are some wildly bizarre placements on there. People seem to know which cities those are.
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