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Creating Cities/Building Cities

Architecture and Urban Competitiveness

Peter K. Kresl and Daniele Ietri

For the past 150 years, architecture has been a significant tool in the hands of city planners and leaders. In Creating Cities/Building Cities, Peter Karl Kresl and Daniele Ietri illustrate how these planners and leaders have utilized architecture to achieve a variety of aims, influencing the situation, perception and competitiveness of their cities.
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Chapter 4: Establishing global city status – the world’s tallest building

Architecture and Urban Competitiveness

Peter K. Kresl and Daniele Ietri

Extract

Building the world’s tallest (for a few years) building has been a popular way for cities to gain international status. For Chicago the Sears Tower was a natural outgrowth of the city’s place in the structural development of the skyscraper since the 1880s and of the memory of Frank Lloyd Wright’s notion of the “Mile High Building.” For others, having the world’s tallest building said to the world “Look at us!” Or it established the city as a significant location in the world of corporate centers. This latter approach has been taken by several cities in Asia or the Middle East that previously lacked status or recognition throughout the world economy and its major actors and had to adopt the strategy of “catch-up.”

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