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Cities in the sky : the quest to build the world's tallest skyscrapers  Cover Image Book Book

Cities in the sky : the quest to build the world's tallest skyscrapers / Jason M. Barr.

Barr, Jason M., (author.).


"The world's skyscrapers have brought us awe and wonder, and yet they remain controversial-for their high costs, shadows, and overt grandiosity. But, decade by decade, they keep getting higher and higher. What is driving this global building spree of epic proportions? In Cities in the Sky, author Jason Barr explains all: why they appeal to cities and nations, how they get financed, why they succeed economically, and how they change a city's skyline and enable the world's greatest metropolises to thrive in the 21st century. From the Empire State Building (1,250 feet) to the Shanghai Tower (2,073 feet) and everywhere in between, Barr explains the unique architectural and engineering efforts that led to the creation of each. Along the way, Barr visits and unpacks some surprising myths about the earliest skyscrapers and the growth of American skylines after World War II, which incorporated a new suite of technologies that spread to the rest of the world in the 1990s. Barr also explores why London banned skyscrapers at the end of the 19th century but then embraced them in the 21st and explains how Hong Kong created the densest cluster of skyscrapers on the planet. Also covered is the dramatic result of China's "skyscraper fever" and then on to the Arabian Peninsula to see what drove Dubai to build the world's tallest building, the Burj Khalifa, which at 2,717 feet, is higher than the new One World Trade Center in New York by three football fields. Filled with fascinating details for urbanists, architecture buffs, and urban design enthusiasts alike, Cities in the Sky addresses the good, bad, and ugly for cities that have embraced vertical skylines and offers us a glimpse to the future to see whether cities around the world will continue their journey ever upwards"--Provided by publisher.

Record details

  • ISBN: 9781982174217 :
  • Physical Description: xxii, 355 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
  • Edition: First Scribner hardcover edition.
  • Publisher: New York : Scribner, 2024.

Content descriptions

Bibliography, etc. Note:
Includes bibliographical references and index.
Formatted Contents Note:
Chicago: from dismal swamp to second city -- New York city: the height king in the zone -- The American century: hive minds in the sky -- London: from no to yes -- Hong Kong: from barren rock to world's densest city -- China: skyscraper forever -- Oil-rich cities: tales from the Arabian heights -- Sky prizes: the value of height -- Cities and civilization: skycrapers and their discontents -- Futureopolis: the quest for the city of tomorrow -- Cities and skyscrapers in a post-COVID world.
Citation/References Note:
Junior Library Guild
Target Audience Note:
Ages 16 & Up.
Grades 11 & Up.
Awards Note:
A Junior Library Guild selection (JLG)
Subject: Skyscrapers.
Supertall buildings.
City planning.
Sociology, Urban.

Available copies

  • 1 of 1 copy available at Skagit Evergreen Libraries. (Show)
  • 1 of 1 copy available at Upper Skagit Library District. (Show)
  • 1 of 1 copy available at Upper Skagit Library.


  • 0 current holds with 1 total copy.
Show Only Available Copies
Location Call Number / Copy Notes Barcode Shelving Location Status Due Date
Upper Skagit Library 720.483 BAR 1018131 New Nonfiction Available -

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