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on the road
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Skyscrapers are overrated IMO. Density is overrated either. You don't necessarily need dense place with 200m+ building to make a nice city. It depends on the country, region etc. The US, being the richest and more powerful country in the World, have one of the smallest share of population living in multifamily-multistory buildings in the OECD, for instance.
 

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Skyscraper are overrated IMO. Density is overrated either. You don't necessarily need dense place with 200m+ building to make a nice city. It depends on the country, region etc. The US, being the richest and more powerful country in the World, have one of the smallest share of population living in multifamily-multistory buildings in the OECD, for instance.
Yeah, you're on the wrong website.

Density either through mid-rise or high-rise are what make cities vibrant and liveable in my opinion (and in most others on this site). All of my favourite cities possess these characteristics along with good public transport and "green "policies.

As for the original question, well, skyscrapers are a status symbol for both the city and the companies within the city. If companies inhabit floors of a tall, glamorous building then obviously they have the wealth to do so, ergo they must be doing well financially. It's similar to getting a prestigious address in a European city centre where there is less high-rise development.
 

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on the road
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^^ Last time I checked, SSC is not an advocacy group or NGO website. I'm here most of infrastructure discussions and to find fellows who also oppose the totalitarian urbanism school of thought that has mantras like "we need to get people off their cars" and other b.s. But that is off-topic :)
 

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No developer builds skyscrapers "for fun" (with the possible exception of one city). Supply follows demand, and they are built as required. Central Business Districts exist for very good reasons, and no... you couldn't just spread out all of the CBD head offices into the wilderness or a far flung suburb. It boggles the mind that anyone could think they are just put up as glamorous status symbols.
 

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Journeyman
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True. Skyscrapers are built almost solely due to economics -- rents, land values, construction costs, risk (heavily tied to project duration), etc.

As for need or desirability, a significant percentage of the business, traveler, and residential world wants to be in the middle of everything. Businesses want to be within walking distance of each other and good transportation connections (including mass transit), tourists want to be amidst the best attractions, a fair number of people want to live in the busiest areas, etc. All of this is possible only at very high densities.

At my business for example (a large general contractor), being in the CBD means we can walk to half the architects, developers, and public agencies in the city, half our staff takes transit while a handful of others walk or bike, employees love the lunch options, etc.

When companies relocate in this city, they usually say why, either in the media or in the contractor RFP that it's my job to respond to. Year in and year out, there's a steady flow of companies moving into downtown from other parts of the city. Generally they point to one reason being the ability to recruit and retain employees better Downtown vs. elsewhere, and sometimes the synergies with other businesses or public agencies (law firms near courts and other law firms for example). An example is Russell Investments (known for its stock indexes) which is moving its HQ into Downtown this month.
 

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Sent from down-below. :P
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The larger a city gets, the harder it is to centralize office space. Infrastructure and commuting become unmanageable.

Highrise office buildings are only efficient in cities where detaches homes and strip malls are the norm, because those buildings aren't suitable for mixed use and there's nowhere else to put office space.
 

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dubstappin'
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What a preposterous notion; OF COURSE skyscrapers are not only reasonable but absolutely necessary EVERYWHERE.

If Earth does not resemble Coruscant, keep building!
And when Earth resembles Coruscant...keep building anyways!
 

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No developer builds skyscrapers "for fun" (with the possible exception of one city). Supply follows demand, and they are built as required. Central Business Districts exist for very good reasons, and no... you couldn't just spread out all of the CBD head offices into the wilderness or a far flung suburb. It boggles the mind that anyone could think they are just put up as glamorous status symbols.
It isn't just economics that drive skyscraper construction, many sociologists and other experts in the field back up my assertion that the status symbol afforded by a "good" address or prominent position within a large building is an important factor. Just go to google scholar and type in "Skyscrapers status symbol" and you'll find peer reviewed literature on the subject.

Also, some companies HAVE spread into far flung suburbs with campus style HQ's becoming popular. It can be done in a country/city with lax planning laws. ;)
 

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on the road
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^^ Lax panning laws don't mean company campuses will be built (or the other way around) instead of skyscrapers.
 

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It isn't just economics that drive skyscraper construction, many sociologists and other experts in the field back up my assertion that the status symbol afforded by a "good" address or prominent position within a large building is an important factor. Just go to google scholar and type in "Skyscrapers status symbol" and you'll find peer reviewed literature on the subject.

;)
Of course that is true... but I'd say that it is a fairly well known concept that people or corporations enjoy beautiful status symbols that will represent themselves or their company, and go beyond being strictly rudimentary or utilitarian. A corporation needs office space, but of course they want it to look good. Throughout history people gravitate toward beautiful homes, castles, cars, clothes etc... as they are able to afford them. People enjoy having a "good address"; many would rather have Belgravia as their address than Thamesmead. Nothing new there. The point is, the buildings are not just slapped up for fun; they represent usable office space (with, as I noted, the exception of one city where many buildings were built strictly as vanity projects). They can also be beautiful and not strictly utilitarian concrete behemoths, though, in the same way that a dress can either be glamorous on a woman, or simply be a couple of old potato sacks sewn together. A good example is the famous and beautiful tower in your avatar that was not entirely a utilitarian project. It could have been slapped up from a jumble of old mismatched bricks, with no thought to detail or shape. It had a use, but was also a status symbol at the same time. :)

What a preposterous notion; OF COURSE skyscrapers are not only reasonable but absolutely necessary EVERYWHERE.

If Earth does not resemble Coruscant, keep building!
And when Earth resembles Coruscant...keep building anyways!
"Skyscrapers" are obviously not required EVERYWHERE. There are many towns or small cities around the world that do not need them, hence they do not need them. A city that is mostly residential, or has a small business community and no head offices likely doesn't require any 100 storey buildings. That doesn't mean they are not required anywhere, however.
I would have thought that to be common sense. :yes:
 

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Journeyman
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Of course people want "good" office space and "good" places to live. Part of the economics argument is dependent on people paying varying amounts for different types of space.
 

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I think it has always been that way; people moved beyond being strictly utilitarian when they moved out of caves. I'm hoping that no group of intellectuals and social scientists spent a big
schwack of money on a study to come to that conclusion! :lol:
 

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Sent from down-below. :P
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Look at Rome. People overwhelmingly live in buildings that are also suited for office space. Retail occupies the ground floor of buildings that are suitable for office space.

Decentralized office space also allows for a better flow of traffic and allows people to live near their work without spending a fortune.

If a city is planned a certain way there is no NEED for skyscrapers...EVER.




Tokyo!..It has an insignifant skyline considering its size and business activity..
 

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^^ There really isn't any space there for a tall building to be built, is there? Most cities that have a lot of tall structures are newer cities that didn't have ancient structures in the downtown area. We can clearly see that Athens and Rome don't have tall towers, but it would be a bit simplistic to draw from that that they are not required, or wanted, anywhere in the world.


In a MAJOR world business centre like Manhattan for example, corporate Head Offices want to be close to one another. It makes it easier for interactions. They don't want to be sprawled out all over a massive city. Banks enjoy having all of their corporate towers jockeying for most prestigious address. Shallow? perhaps. Vain? quite likely, but it is reality. In a similar way, I like to live within walking distance my work, so I chose my living location where I am. I could have lived out by the airport, but chose not to.

By the way, Tokyo has a skyline, and does not look in any respect like Rome or Athens.


http://www.tropicalisland.de/japan/...Towers known as Tokyo Tocho 01 3008x2000.html


http://www.google.ca/imgres?imgurl=...YumnAef36nZCQ&esq=1&page=1&ved=1t:722,r:0,s:0

Maybe Reykjavik, the nerve centre of Iceland's economy, might have been a better example.
 

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Sent from down-below. :P
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^I wasn't trying to say that Tokyo didn't have a skyline. Rather I was trying to point out that Tokyo doesn't have skyline expected of the largest city in the world, and yet it's widely regarded as the most efficient city on earth.

If we look at Washington DC, they had every opportunity to build tall but chose not to. Is the city poorly planned? I would argue the contrary.



I do enjoy looking at gravity-defying man-made objects such skyscrapers. Although I prefer the ornamental kind because they don't disrupt the natural balance of a city.
 

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Well the reason Tokyo's skyline isn't as impressive is because it has several skylines, instead of just one single skyline.



^ This is just one of many Tokyo's skylines.

Look at this picture if you want to see how massive it really is *note the picture is huge and you will have to scroll to right side to see skyscrapers*

http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showpost.php?p=64284891&postcount=5046
 
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