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25 Cities With the Most Impressive Skyline (Part 2)

Continued from Part 1

Jakarta, Indonesia

Located on the northwest coast of Java, Jakarta is Indonesia’s economic, cultural and political center. It is the most populous city in Indonesia and in Southeast Asia, and is the twelfth-largest city in the world. The official metropolitan area, known as Jabodetabekjur, is the second largest in the world, yet the city's suburbs still continue beyond it.

Based on Brooking Institute survey about growth, in 2011 Jakarta ranked 17th among the world's 200 largest cities, a significant jump from 2007 when Jakarta ranked 171st. Jakarta has seen more rapid growth than Kuala Lumpur, Beijing and Bangkok.


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San Francisco, USA

San Francisco, California, is the site of over 410 high-rises, 44 of which stand taller than 400 feet (122 m). Many of San Francisco's tallest buildings, particularly its office skyscrapers, were completed in a massive building boom that occurred from the late 1960s until the late 1980s. This boom was dubbed a "Manhattanization wave" by residents of the city, and led to local legislation passed that set in some of the strictest building height limit requirements in the country. As a result skyscraper construction slowed down during the 1990s, but construction of taller buildings has resumed recently as the building height requirements have been relaxed and overlooked in light of recent economic activity. The city is currently going through a second boom, with 34 buildings over 400 feet (122 m) proposed, approved, or under construction in the city. San Francisco boasts 21 skyscrapers that rise at least 492 feet (150 m) in height.


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Panama City, Panama

Panama City has the most prominent skyline in Central America. Panama's old quarter features many architectural styles, from Spanish colonial buildings to French and Antillean townhouses built during the construction of the Panama Canal. The more modern areas of the city have many high-rise buildings, which together form a very dense skyline. There are currently more than 110 high-rise projects being constructed, with 127 high-rise buildings already built. The city holds the 40th place in the world by highrise buildings count.


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Chongqing, China

Chongqing is one of the largest cities in China and one of the rapidly growing. The city sits on the hillside tops of two converging rivers. Sadly because of the industrial economy of the region, despite being geographically lovely, it is also extremely dirty and polluted. The bay area where the tallest buildings are situated looks like a cross between Manhattan and san Francisco minus some of the organization and style. The architectural modernity is not to be overlooked, there are plenty of shiny office and condo towers amidst the grey skies. All eleven of their skyscrapers that tower over 200 meters were built after 2004.


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Miami, USA

The U.S. city of Miami, Florida is the site of 295 high-rises, 59 of which stand taller than 400 feet (120 m). Miami's history of high rises began with the 1912 completion of the six story Burdine's Department Store, although the Freedom Tower, built in 1925, is Miami's best known early skyscraper, and remains an icon of the city. From the Mid 1990s through the late 2000s, Miami went through the largest building boom in the city's history. In what was dubbed a "Manhattanization wave", there were nearly 60 structures proposed, approved or under construction in the city that were planned to rise over 492 feet (150 m) in height.

The boom, however, ended abruptly in 2008 when the real estate market crashed and the late-2000s recession began. As of May 2011, the construction of many skyscrapers has been suspended, and many proposed high-rise projects in the city have been canceled or delayed. Nevertheless, before the year 2000 the city became one of largest skylines in the United States.


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Houston, USA

The history of skyscrapers in Houston began with the 1904 completion of the Lomas & Nettleton Building; this 8-story structure is often regarded as the first skyscraper in the city. Houston went through a small building boom in the early 1920s, and then experienced a much larger boom lasting from 1963 to the late 1980s. During this time 38 of the city's 45 tallest buildings were constructed, including the JPMorgan Chase Tower, the Wells Fargo Bank Plaza and the Williams Tower. As of 2009, the skyline of Houston is ranked 13th in the world and fourth in the United States, behind New York City, Chicago, and Los Angeles, with 443 completed high-rises.


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Sydney, Australia

Spanned by the monumental Harbour Bridge, and the Opera House that sits on the shoreline like a white flower, Sydney has one of the most recognizable skylines in the world. Sydney is famous for its harbour, often referred to as the most beautiful natural harbour in the world.

Sydney has various heritage listed buildings, including Sydney Town Hall, The Queen Victoria Building, Parliament House, and the Australian Museum. There is no architecture style that entirely characterizes the whole of Sydney. Sydney originally had a 46 m (151 ft) height limit that was enforced until 1957, which saw a construction boom for skyscrapers and buildings. Current height restrictions limit future buildings to the height of 235 metres, in part due to the close proximity of Sydney Airport.


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Los Angeles, USA

Skyscrapers are difficult and expensive to construct in Los Angeles due to the city's high danger of earthquakes and position near the San Andreas fault line. Nevertheless, a number of successful and iconic skyscrapers dot the downtown Los Angeles skyline. The history of skyscrapers in Los Angeles began with the 1903 completion of the Braly Building, which is often regarded as the first high-rise in the city; it rises 13 floors and 151 feet (46 m) in height. The building, originally constructed as a commercial structure, has since been renovated into a residential tower and is now known as the "Continental Building". Los Angeles went through a large building boom that lasted from the early 1960s to the early 1990s, during which time the city saw the completion of 30 of its 32 tallest buildings, including the U.S. Bank Tower, Aon Tower, and Two California Plaza. The city is the site of 25 skyscrapers at least 492 feet (150 m) in height, more than any other city in the Pacific coast region. As of July 2011, there are 505 completed high-rises in the city.


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los angeles skyline at dusk. view of century city

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Melbourne, Australia

The Melbourne skyline is broken up into 2 distinct skylines, the eastern and western. Both have significant clusters of tall modern buildings, dominated by 5 of the 10 tallest towers in the country, each on average 50 storeys in height, many with spires, and the largest in the southern hemisphere - the sleek glassy Rialto Towers.

Melbourne’s Central Business District (CBD) boomed in the 1950s and 1960s. Its first skyscraper, ICI House, was completed in 1958. In the lead up to the 1956 Olympic Games the removal of verandahs further contributed to the physical change occurring in the CBD. Building works that altered the City’s skyline and character in the 1980s and 1990s included the redevelopment of the Melbourne City Baths, State Library of Victoria, the old Queen Victoria Hospital site and the Queen Victoria Market. The installation of light towers at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in Yarra Park in 1985 and the construction of the National Tennis Centre in Melbourne Park (formerly Flinders Park) saw major alterations to the landscape.


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Sao Paulo, Brazil

The city of Sao Paulo, the Brazil's largest city, has an impressive skyline. With 5,644 buildings, it is considered to have the 3rd-greatest concentration of buildings in the world, behind only New York City and Hong Kong. Within the city and its metropolitan area, there are 193 buildings taller than 100 meters, mostly concentrated in the downtown along the Paulista Avenue and in the neighborhood of Brooklin. At one time, the city was home to the tallest building in Latin America, the Martinelli Building, which opened in 1929 at a height of 130 meters. Today, São Paulo is a city of low buildings, which rarely reach more than 80 meters and are mostly residential in nature. Some municipal laws limit the construction of large skyscrapers for reasons relating to vehicular or human traffic. For that reason, once a neighborhood is fully occupied by skyscrapers, the city's financial center moves to somewhere else. That's why the tallest skyscrapers are located in three different regions.

Skyline de Sao Paulo visto do alto do Edifício Copan, Centro [Sao Paulo skyline viewed from Copan Building, downtown]

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Shenzhen, China

Shenzhen's vertical growth began in 1979, at a time when the tallest building in the city was five stories tall. In the next decade, 300 skyscrapers were erected in the city, including the International Foreign Trade Center, the city's first skyscraper taller than 150 m (492 ft) and also the tallest building in mainland China upon its opening in 1985. As Shenzhen's highrise construction boom progressed into the 1990s, the skyscrapers erected in the city became taller. In a ten year span between 1996 and 2006, 18 buildings taller than 200 m (656 ft) were completed, including Shun Hing Square, the city's first building to exceed 300 m (984 ft) in height.

The tallest developments currently under construction in Shenzhen are the 648 m (2,126 ft) Pingan International Finance Centre which is projected to become the second tallest building in the world surpassed only by the Burj Khalifa and the 100 story 439 m (1,440 ft)) Kingkey Finance Tower. Shenzhen's highrise building boom shows no signs of slowing down, as shown by numerous proposals for skyscrapers taller than 150 m (492 ft).


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Guangzhou, China

Guangzhou is a historical and cultural city that is over 2,000 years old. However the skyline is very modern. Named "the City of Flowers,” as each of its spectacular skyscrapers is surrounded by grand green spaces and flower beds. It currently contains 9 structures at over 200 metres tall and there are plenty of other high-rises, each displaying a design that stands out in its own respect. The 391 metre, 80-floor, CITIC Plaza which appears transparent against the (unusually) clear blue sky is a aesthetically pleasing structure. The Guangzhou TV Tower now complete and is taller than the CN Tower in Toronto, standing at 618 meters. The interestingly shaped Guangzhou West Tower is a grand 438 meters. This city is considered the 8th tallest in the world. Unfortunately, smog is a persistent problem here, so getting a clear look at the skyline can be a challenge.

Guangzhou skyline, featuring the Canton Tower and the Guangzhou

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Seoul, South Korea

Seoul's long history gives it a fascinating landscape as historical structures are juxtaposed alongside new skyscrapers. Major modern landmarks within the city include the Korea Finance Building, North Seoul Tower, the World Trade Center, the 63 Building, Tower Palace, a six-skyscraper residence and the Namsan Tower on top of the Namsan hill, which is considered an iconic image of the city of Seoul and can be seen from almost anywhere in the city. This along with various high-rise office buildings, such as the Seoul Star Tower and Jongno Tower, dominate the city's skyline. These skyscrapers have been constructed in part due to Seoul's high density, but also due to its global and modern world image. Seoul continues to add modern structures to its skyline with the planned addition of a 640-meter business center in Sangam Digital Media City district and a 523-meter Lotte World 2 Tower.

Seoul Skyline

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Article based on ranking by Egbert Gramsbergen and Paul Kazmierczak, Luigi Di Serio and Wikipedia, and my own good judgment.

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