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View Poll Results: ...
Bangkok, Thailand 290 16.22%
Chicago, USA 307 17.17%
Dubai, UAE 197 11.02%
Frankfurt am Main, Germany 122 6.82%
Guangzhou, China 85 4.75%
Hong Kong, China 371 20.75%
Jakarta, Indonesia 166 9.28%
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 243 13.59%
Los Angeles, USA 112 6.26%
Melbourne, Australia 137 7.66%
Metro Manila, Philippines 182 10.18%
Minneapolis, USA 66 3.69%
New York • Manhattan, USA 494 27.63%
Paris, France 124 6.94%
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 72 4.03%
San Francisco, USA 116 6.49%
Sao Paulo, USA 71 3.97%
Seattle, USA 132 7.38%
Shanghai, China 243 13.59%
Shenzhen, China 96 5.37%
Singapore CBD, Singapore 162 9.06%
Sydney, Australia 207 11.58%
Tokyo, Japan 158 8.84%
Toronto • City, Canada 208 11.63%
Vancouver, Canada 114 6.38%
Other (please specify) 186 10.40%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 1788. You may not vote on this poll

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Old April 12th, 2009, 02:18 PM   #61
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Manila at #19? Not bad. :p
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Old April 12th, 2009, 03:04 PM   #62
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Hey Nameless, thanks for the pics and your point of view.

After reading your argument, and re-reading mine, I've come to another conclusion. It seems that Toronto is moving from a position of scale to one of scale coupled with balance and glamour. Sydney seems to be coming from a position of balance and glamour while adding scale.

One correction I should make is that I wrote "On a qualitative basis, Sydney shouldn't rank higher, but this isn't a qualitative measure, is it?" That should have read quantitative, not qualitative. I've since corrected it. I tend to agree with you regarding the qualitative measure, but any gap that exists is rapidly closing. Consider the following.

Your comments regarding quality are valid up to a point. Even some Torontonians point to the dowdiness of too many towers in the central city. There are lots of first rate buildings, but the existence of a lot of others that miss the mark has blemished the overall appearance in some people's eyes. Some of the waterfront condo towers built in the 80s and apartment blocks like St. Jamestown come to mind. They are just not very sophisticated or beautiful.

From talking to Australians on SSC, it came to my attention that Melbourne used to suffer from a similar image problem, but went through a dramatic transformation over the last 20 years. The same thing started happening here about 6-7 years ago. The minimum standard that people tolerate has jumped noticeably as Toronto booms and continues to grow wealthier. An astonishing number of beautiful modern towers are being built and they are beginning to over shadow some of the less appealing developments. The proliferation has even led to what people call 'Toronto Style' that is being acknowledged in the design community. Toronto has evolved from taking architectural cues from elsewhere to the maturing of a locally nurtured design aesthetic. 'Toronto Style' has received accolades and a fair bit of recognition.

It may surprise you to learn that despite Toronto's position in the world today, Toronto's ascent has been very recent and rapid. There has always been wealth, power, and sophistication in the city, but it's only now that the city is coming of age. That is being reflected in the cultural and architectural renaissance that Toronto is now experiencing. The shift has been so quick and dramatic, that even Torontonians often find themselves stopping to catch themselves and re-assess their own perceptions of their city.

Regarding the 'Olympic effect'. There have been quite a few studies about the positive effects that the Olympics has had on global perceptions of Sydney. It has nothing to do with stadiums or infrastructure, but an immeasurable factor (lets call it goodwill) that leads people to be less objective. Positive and endearing feelings towards a place, coupled with fame, have scientifically measurable effects on people's perceptions. It's why we see so many 10's given to Paris and London in a skyline ranking. We're really giving them a 10 because of what a dynamite city each of them are rather than objectively making observations about their towers, spires, etc.

I've read a few studies that point to the powerful Sydney Olympic after glow, that unlike many other Olympic hosts before, shows little sign of letting up. It's not my intention to argue that Sydney is undeserving of its rank, but do agree that Sydney benefits from this phenomenon to a significant degree. I do tend to block out things like harbours, mountains, goodwill, etc. as much as possible when ranking a skyline. I don't consider it objective to include it, but that's my own stubborn fixation on strictly scientific criteria.

Having considered all this, it's only natural that Torontonians and Sydneysiders will look at the other and compare. Torontonians will invariably notice the lack of height and scale in Sydney. Sydneysiders will invariably notice a lack of visual balance and some bad architectural choices in Toronto. Both are valid observations, but it's just as important to dwell on the positives of each and acknowledge the steps each city is taking in their evolution and development.

Btw, those Sydney models are awesome!
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Last edited by isaidso; April 16th, 2009 at 03:10 AM.
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Old April 14th, 2009, 04:12 AM   #63
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Well said, Isaidso. It's good to know that you enjoyed those pics and models. You can find many more on the Ozscrapers section in the Continental Forums. But are there any links or sources that you can give me regarding people's perceptions on Sydney after the Olymics? Although I still disagree with your statement that the Olympics had a large impact on how people observe Sydney's *physical* appearance with their eyes, I'm hugely interested on the mental impact of that event to outsiders. Regarding Paris and London, well, the last olympics that both of these cities hosted was over half a century ago. London 1948, Paris 1924. Besides, the olympics wasn't such an important event back then. To me, people give Paris a 10 vote for being obviously beautiful and London for the sheer amount of buildings around. And London's at 25, so you can't say it's completely biased. In turn, Atlanta hosted the 96 games and Athens with 04, but I don't see them getting rediculously high votes. In fact, 33.52% of people voted <3.5 for Athens. The creator of the poll even wrote "the Olympic city of 2004" in the polling box so no one will forget that Athens hosted the 2004 games when they vote. Also, notice that Athens has a wall of beautiful mountains as the background. Yet, it still ranks lower than many cities which aren't gifted with an attractive setting.

Also, Here's an experiment. Cover up the Opera House and harbour:


image hosted on flickr

image hosted on flickr


Still impressive? It's fine to disagree with me but imo, yes. Do this to as many Sydney photos as you like. It's also good to note that there are shots of Sydney without the harbour and Opera house in view that many people find very impressive too. The banner of Sydney's skyline was a plausible example but don't take that as only one exception. There are many others too.

Although Sydney's skyline is smaller than Toronto's, I wouldn't state that it's lacking in scale. Refer to the first paragraph of my previous post. Oh, and it's not only Torontonians that notice that lack of height in Sydney, we do too. Our government enforced a foolish 235m height limit, blaming height for casting shadows over the city. Thankfully, we also do have quite a few 235m+ buildings built before that height limit was created. But perhaps it is Sydney's hilly terrain which contributes the most to Sydney's apparent lack of height as it sometimes imposes a shortening effect on buildings and hides a substancial number of our surburban skylines.

Last edited by nameless dude; April 16th, 2009 at 12:11 PM.
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Old April 14th, 2009, 04:20 AM   #64
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To play the Devil's Advocate, Sydney has its share of dreary 70's office towers as well. Neither Canada or Australia had as wealthy cities as, say, the USA and it showed in the architecture of the time. No offence to either city but it is true.
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Old April 14th, 2009, 05:08 AM   #65
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Taller, Better View Post
Neither Canada or Australia had as wealthy cities as, say, the USA and it showed in the architecture of the time.
You ought to be careful when making making generalizations such as these, they can be a tad bit stereotypical. Toronto was not as wealthy compared to what? Dallas, Atlanta, L.A?.. While you can make a fair argument about the size of their economies, cultural heritage, and regulatory policies on urban planning, I'm not entirely convinced that economic stagnation necessarily has to result in bad architecture or that either the two mentioned Australian or Canadian cities were that far behind to justify said differences in their aesthetic appearances. After all, many US cities got their share of ugly Miesian architecture too!

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IBM Plaza, Chicago, Illinois



TD Centre towers in Toronto.

Last edited by Major Deegan; April 14th, 2009 at 05:15 AM.
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Old April 14th, 2009, 05:16 AM   #66
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Okay let's not do the finger-pointing game...we all have boxy skyscrapers. Some more than others; and in your effort to point out his flaw of generalizing, you did yourself when insinuating that Atlanta or Dallas aren't wealthy city's.
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Old April 14th, 2009, 05:17 AM   #67
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Quote:
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and in your effort to point out his flaw of generalizing, you did yourself when insinuating that Atlanta or Dallas aren't wealthy city's.
erm.. No I didn't.
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Old April 14th, 2009, 06:26 AM   #68
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Major Deegan, I simply meant that Canada and Australia were not as wealthy nations as the USA in the 60's and the 70's. This is not careless stereotyping, this is a fact. I don't think it is too much of a stretch of the imagination to assume that the amount of money spent on head offices of our corporations and banks may have been less than that spent on the head offices of multinational corporations and banks in say, Chicago or New York. I was not drawing any further conclusions than that.
However, if you are saying the TD Centre in Toronto by Mies van der Rohe is "ugly Miesian architecture", then I respectfully disagree. Isaidso has already pointed out that the concept of beauty is relative. However, I also do not subscribe to the school of thought that International Style "boxes" are inherently "ugly".
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Last edited by Taller, Better; April 14th, 2009 at 07:05 AM.
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Old April 14th, 2009, 07:17 AM   #69
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No offense to anyone, but I honestly don't see Sydney at #4. Not saying that it doesn't have an excellent skyline, and it is one of the world's best, but the fact that none of it's skyscrapers are actually memorable or major really doesn't help it. If it wasn't for the harbor and the opera house, I wouldn't actually figure that the skyline was Sydney at first glance.
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Old April 18th, 2009, 11:52 AM   #70
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ALWAYS THE OPTIMIST



I'm gonna agree with you there Xusien. I think Melbourne wins the current top spot for Australia's best 'highrise skyline', but Sydney wins purely on aesthitics!

On another note: Glad to see Metro Manila (my home country) make it on the list. Alot of projects and taller scrapers are planned including one of the world's tallest observation towers!!
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Old April 19th, 2009, 03:12 PM   #71
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I am interested to know if the ranking will change IF we include the votings
for 9, 9.5 and 10 scores as we think 9 is outstanding enuff..
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Old April 19th, 2009, 03:32 PM   #72
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Vancouver should have placed a little higher IMO.



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Old April 21st, 2009, 10:42 PM   #73
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Vancouver is a very nice city. It should have placed higher since it really does have a gorgeous skyline. Maybe you could find a nice panorama of the downtown area that's a little bit more realistic looking to prove your point. :P
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Old April 22nd, 2009, 12:02 AM   #74
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It is definately and amazing skyline!

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flickr Sekkle

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flickr Northwest Lovers
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Old April 22nd, 2009, 09:35 AM   #75
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My gripe with Vancouver is that I think it needs some taller skyscrapers, and (like Sydney), no memorable skyscrapers of note. It seems as though the vast majority of it's high rises are glass condos. It looks nice with the mountainous background, but it seems to be missing something to me.

I'm going to probably sound a little odd here to some, but IMO I like Seattle's skyline better, although it can't match Vancouver when it comes to urbanity. Seattle has more distinctive skyscrapers, and that Space Needle, as well as the mountainous background just seems more distinctive.
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Old April 22nd, 2009, 05:27 PM   #76
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Quote:
Originally Posted by just4ivaylo View Post
Vancouver is a very nice city. It should have placed higher since it really does have a gorgeous skyline. Maybe you could find a nice panorama of the downtown area that's a little bit more realistic looking to prove your point. :P

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Old April 22nd, 2009, 11:57 PM   #77
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xusein View Post
although it can't match Vancouver when it comes to urbanity. .
Don't underestimate Seattle... it is a very cool city!
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Old April 23rd, 2009, 01:00 AM   #78
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I have always loved Vancouver's skyline. It just surprises me so much. One of the best in the world imo.
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Old April 23rd, 2009, 01:55 AM   #79
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Brisbane will soon be in the top 25 chart, as its skyline is changing and will have enormously changed in 4-5 years.
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Old April 23rd, 2009, 02:39 AM   #80
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Amazing shots! Yeah, Queensland's booming and within a couple of years, I'd say that we'd probably find Brisbane and the Gold Coast both at top 25. Perth will also do a lot better too.
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