Though cities have evolved for over tens of thousands of years, it is the past 140 years where we witness the birth and, in several ways, the rebirth of the tall building now complete. What was historically an anomaly of the urban experience has now become something else entirely. We have now observed a radical density increase across most global cities and with that, an increase and interest in the tall building.
To illustrate this, NYC has seen 60% growth in the number of tall towers completed in the past 30 years (1991-2021) with around 627 new tall buildings. Based on these historic patterns, we can speculate that the share of tall towers may increase by 1,286 by the year 2050 in New York City alone (Fig. 01). This trajectory can also be seen across other global cities, including Shenzhen, Mumbai and Lagos (Fig. 02).