Skyline Blog

About Skyscrapers

The World’s Most Booming Cities

Posted by Jae on January 6, 2009

Skylines  High-Rise Bldgs1

Ankara 416 (Sheraton Hotel 143m)

Atlanta 217 (Bank of America Plaza 312m)

Balneário Camboriú 247 (Residencial Renaissance Torre A/B 111m)

Bangkok 747 (Baiyoke Tower II 304m)

Beijing 895 (China World Trade Center Tower III 330m)

Belo Horizonte 360 (Edificio Acaiaca 120m)

Benidorm 382 (Gran Hotel Bali 186m)

Bogotá 312 (Torre Colpatria 192m)

Boston 228 (Hancock Place 241m)

Brisbane 230 (Aurora 207m)

Buenos Aires 1,660 (Torre Espacial 208m)

Busan 84 (SK HUB Sky 1/2 182m)

Cairo 139 (Cairo Tower 187m)

Caracas 1,109 (Parque Central Torre Este/Oeste 221m)

Calgary 231 (Petro-Canada Centre – West Tower 215m)

Campinas 918 (Mirante 90m)

Chengdu 135 (Minxing Financial Tower 159m)

Chicago 1,089 (Sears Tower 442m)

Chongqing 526 (Chongqing World Trade Center 283m)

Curitiba 817 (Evolution Corporate 137m)

Dalian 136 (Dalian Futures Square 1 243m)

Dallas 238 (Bank of America Plaza 281m)

Denver 190 (Republic Plaza 218m)

Detroit 171 (Detroit Marriott 221m)

Dubai 390 (Almas Tower 363m)

Fortaleza 523 (Torre Santos Dumont 96m)

Frankfurt 276 (Commerzbank Tower 259m)

Glasgow 208 (Science Centre Tower 125m)

Gold Coast City 273 (Q1 Tower 323m)

Guangzhou 479 (CITIC Plaza 391m)

Guiyang 54 (Lan Bo Wan East Tower/West Tower 110m)

Hangzhou 128 (Hangzhou No.2 Telecom Hub 248m)

Harbin 118 (Jingwei 360 100m)

Hong Kong 7,627 (Two International Financial Centre 415m)

Honolulu 434 (First Hawaiian Center 131m)

Houston 337 (JPMorgan Chase Tower 305m)

Istanbul 2,119 (Sapphire 261m)

Jakarta 381 (Wisma 46 250m)

Jinan 93 (Hotel Sofitel Silver Plaza Jinan 186m)

Kaohsiung 43 (Tuntex Sky Tower 348m)

Kobe 113 (Shin-Kobe Oriental City 158m)

Kuala Lumpur 538 (Petronas Tower 1/2 452m)

Kyiv 1,480 (Parus 120m)

Las Vegas 115 (The Palazzo 196m)

London 1,400 (One Canada Square 235m)

Londrina 413 (Torre de Malaga 120m)

Los Angeles 469 (US Bank Tower 310m)

Macau 557 (Grand Lisboa 258m)

Madrid 1,175 (Torre Caja Madrid 250m)

Makati 136 (PBCOM Tower 259m)

Melbourne 519 (Eureka Tower 297m)

Mexico City 1,133 (Torre Mayor 225m)

Miami2 533 (Four Seasons Hotel & Tower 240m)

Minneapolis 187 (IDS Tower 241m)

Minsk 785 (Ulitsa Alibegova 10 56m)

Montréal 448 (Le 1000 de la Gauchetière 205m)

Moscow 2,025 (Naberezhnaya Tower C 268m)

Mumbai 912 (The Imperial I/II 210m)

Nanjing 76 (Nanjing Greenland Financial Center 450m)

New York City 5,606 (Empire State Building 381m)

Osaka 1,117 (Osaka World Trade Center 252m)

Panama City 170 (Ocean Two 236m)

Paris 465 (Tour Montparnasse 210m)

Penang Island 158 (Menara KOMTAR 232m)

Philadelphia 322 (Comcast Center 297m)

Pittsburgh 130 (U.S. Steel Tower 256m)

Qingdao 96 (Bank of China Mansion 241m)

Recife 975 (Freguesia de Casa Forte 131m)

Rio de Janeiro 2,439 (Rio Sul Center 163m)

Rotterdam 280 (Gebouw Delftse Poort 1 151m)

Salvador 541 (Terrazzo Imperiale 125m)

San Francisco 368 (Transamerica Pyramid 260m)

Santiago 1,032 (Edificio Corporativo CTC 143m)

Santos 597 (Clube XV Pathernon Flat 100m)

São Paulo 5,472 (Mirante do Vale 170m)

Seattle 203 (Columbia Center 285m)

Seoul3 2,865 (Samsung Tower Palace Tower G 264m)

Shanghai 938 (Shanghai World Financial Center 492m)

Sharjah 83 (Al Ayaan Sharjah Gate Tower 224m)

Shenyang 166 (Shenyang Airport Interntl Mansion 200m)

Shenzhen 347 (Shun Hing Square 384m)

Singapore 4,159 (OUB Centre 280m)4

Sofia 631 (Hotel Rodina 104m)

St. Petersburg 812 (Peter and Paul Cathedral 123m)

Sydney 817 (Chifley Tower 244m)

Taipei 165 (Taipei 101 509m)

Tel Aviv – Yafo 236 (Azrieli Center Circular Tower 187m)

Tianjin 166 (Tianjin Xinda Plaza 238m)

Tokyo 2,643 (Mid Town Tower 248m)

Toronto (inc Mississauga) 1,970 (First Bank Tower 298m)

Vancouver 597 (Living Shangri-La 201m)

Wuhan 437 (Minsheng Bank Building 331m)

Xiamen 216 (China Construction Bank Building 191m)

Xian 123 (Shaan’xi Information Mansion 228m)

Yekaterinburg 696 (Antey III 192m)

Yokohama5 207 (Yokohama Landmark Tower 296m)

{Currently the city with the most growth is Dubai [still decades away from joining the BIG FOUR- Hong Kong (world’s greatest skyline), New York City, Chicago, and Shanghai.]

While the country with the most growth is China – look out USA the current leader as a country (Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Honolulu, Houston, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis, New York City, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, San Francisco, and Seattle.) At the rate that China’s many cities are building (Beijing, Chengdu, Chongqing, Dalian, Guangzhou, Guiyang, Hangzhou, Harbin, Hong Kong, Jinan, Macau, Nanjing, Nanning, Qingdao, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Shenyang, Tianjin, Wuhan, Xiamen, and Xian) and the economy/building in the USA, I foresee China capable of being the leader within the next decade.

And the continent with the greatest number of skylines has already moved from North America (USA, Canada, and Panama City, Panama) to Asia (China, Japan, South Korea, United Arab Emirates, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Indonseia, and Taiwan.) Australia (Oceania)Gold Coast, Melbourne, Perth, and Sydney – is still a strong third (when considering by continent), but Europe (mostly Moscow with help from Frankfurt and Paris) is starting to join in the building process to soon give competition to the number three position. While South America (mostly Brazil) and Africa (Johannesburg) are still practically non-existent in terms of skylines outside of those two mentioned areas.  It is interesting to note that the skylines in Brazil (which are mostly beach/coastal skylines) are beautiful due to the natural (God-made) “structures” and not the man-made skyscrapers (for example look at Rio de Janerio.  It is a very beautiful cityscape due to its magnificient beaches and cliffs.)  

Currently the world’s tallest building is in Asia (Taipei 101 at 509 m), while North America has the respectable Sears Tower at 442 m, and Australia with the impressive full residential tower Q1 at 323 m. Europe is coming along with its current tallest in Russia the Naberezhnaya Tower C at 268m. The Carlton Centre Office Tower at 223 m in South Africa represents Africa’s tallest. And lastly, the Parque Central Complex at 221 m in Caracas, Venezuela represents South America’s tallest.

All skyscrapers at least 280 m in height will be discussed (around 250 skyscrapers including ones under construction and approved for construction) but only select skyscrapers under that height will be included. All heights are based upon architectural height and rounded to the nearest meter. (The other three categories include: Highest Occupied Floor, Height to Top of Roof, Height to Tip.) Obviously, buildings that have yet to be completed can have their final measurements altered. I am a firm believer that a skyline defines the city, therefore no two skylines are the same.

The cities in blue are in the United States of America (USA), while the cities in red are in the People’s Republic of China (China.) The USA’s top cities bring in almost 11 thousand high-rise buildings (about half from New York City alone), while China’s top cities bring in over 13 thousand high-rise buildings (more than half from Hong Kong alone.)

This is not a ranking of skylines but is alphabetized. This list was taken from’s “most booming cities” rankings. China has 20 cities on the list and USA also has 20 (if you count Aventura, Miami Beach, and Sunny Isles Beach –all of which are surburbs of Miami- as individual cities like emporis does.)

Information is current as of 12/22/2008.  Obviously if the city’s tallest skyscraper is not even 150m –some don’t even hit the 100m mark- that skyline is pretty pathetic. Come on, even tiny Tallahassee’s (my current town) tallest bulding State Capitol Tower is 98m!

Current records are as follows: The Tallest Man Made Structure Ever Made was the Warsaw Radio Mast at 646 m in  Konstantynow, Gabin, Poland which collapsed on August 8th, 1991 (I hope no other situation like this occurs.) The Tallest Destroyed Skyscraper is the World Trade Center Tower 1 in New York City, USA at a roof height of 417 m and pinnacle height of 526 m (just shy of the Sears Tower pinnacle) which was destroyed on September 11, 2001 (I hope no other situation like this occurs.)  The Tallest Man Made Structure Currenty is the KVLY-TV mast at a height of 629 m located in Blanchard, ND, USA. The Tallest Free Standing Structure is the Petronius Oil Platform at a height of 610 m –but only 75 meters is above the water and also one could argue that the water is helping this structure stay up– located in the Gulf of Mexico about 210 km southeast of New Orleans, LA, USA. The Tallest Free Standing Tower/Point Above the Ground is the CN Tower at a height 553 m located in Toronto, Canada. The Tallest Completed Building/Skyscraper by architectural height is Taipei 101 at a height of 509 m. The Tallest Completed Building/Skyscraper by highest occupied floor is Shanghai World Financial Center at a height of 474 m.  The Tallest Completed Building/Skyscraper by roof height is Shanghai World Financial Center at a height of 492 m.  The Tallest Completed Building/Skyscraper by tip is the Sears Tower at 527 m.  The Burj Dubai (818 m) will break all of these records at its completion which is slated to be in 2009.

1. Architectural height (meaning spires are included but antennas are not- height standard.) First number is the total number of completed high rise buildings. Second number in paranthesis is the name and height of that city’s tallest completed SKYSCRAPER. Communication/television towers do not count.

2. Includes Aventura/Miami Beach/Sunny Isles Beach (all suburbs of Miami and all three made the emporis top 100 list individually!) Go City of Miami!

3. Although Incheon is a major suburb of Seoul, its figures are not included in the Seoul number of high-rise buildings.

4. Singapore has a height restriction of 280m. Thus three towers are tied for first place: Republic Plaza (1995), UOB Plaza One (1992), and OUB Centre (1986.)  If I had to choose one ,I would choose the OUB Centre since it was the first one to hit that height.

5. Although Yokohama is a major suburb of Tokyo, its figures are done separately.}

World’s Best Skyline:

Hong Kong, China


Chicago, USA; New York City, USA; Shanghai, China

Honorable Mentions:

Chongqing, China; Dubai, United Arab Emirates; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Seattle, USA; Seoul, South Korea; Shenzhen, China; Singapore; Sydney, Australia; Tokyo, Japan; Toronto, Canada

Commendable Efforts:

Atlanta, USA; Bangkok, Thailand; Boston, USA; Buenos Aires, Argentina; Dalian, China; Dallas, USA; Frankfurt, Germany; Guangzhou, China; Hangzhou, China; Houston, USA; Istanbul, Turkey;  Los Angeles, USA; Melbourne, Australia; Miami, USA; Montreal, Canada; Moscow, Russia; Nanjing, China; Osaka, Japan; Panama City, Panama; Philadelphia, USA; Pittsburgh, USA; Rio De Janeiro, Brazil; San Francisco, USA; Sao Paolo, Brazil; Vancouver, Canada

Just Starting:

Balneário Camboriú, Brazil; Beijing, China; Belo Horizonte, Brazil; Benidorm, Spain; Bogotá, Columbia; Brisbane, Australia; Busan, South Korea; Calgary, Canada; Campinas, Brazil; Caracas, Venezuela; Chengdu, China; Curitiba, Brazil; Denver, USA; Detroit, USA; Fortaleza, Brazil; Gold Coast, Australia; Guiyang, China; Hangzhou, China; Honolulu, USA; Jakarta, Indonesia; Jinan, China; Kaohsiung, Taiwan; Las Vegas, USA; London, UK; Londrina, Brazil; Macau, China; Madrid, Spain; Makati, Philippines; Mexico City, Mexico; Minneapolis, USA; Mumbai, India; Nanjing, China; Paris, France; Perth, Australia; Qingdao, China; Recife, Brazil; Rotterdam, Netherlands; Santiago, Chile; Taipei, Taiwan; Tel Aviv – Yafo, Israel; Tianjin, China; Wuhan, China; Yokohama, Japan

If there are some great skylines that I missed please let me know!

This list was done alphabetically and not by the order of how I rank them.


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