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Why There Are Fewer Skyscrapers in Europe

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You’ll find that the European skyscrapers are concentrated in mostly 5 cities — Paris, Moscow, London, Frankfurt, and Istanbul. That’s because, generally, they’re not even built. We at 5-Minute Crafts went ahead and discovered why this might be.

Why Europe doesn’t build many skyscrapers

1. There was no space for them.

Most European cities were already well established by the time skyscrapers came around. Because of this, there was little to no room to build larger and newer structures.

2. Skyscrapers would ruin European cities’ cultural heritage.

In the 1960s, a lot of buildings in Brussels were destroyed to make way for taller, newer buildings. This indiscriminate redevelopment was damaging since the destroyed buildings were important to maintain the cultural heritage of the city.

Architects and other important figures called this “Brusselization.” Simply put, the term means destroying historic buildings to make way for new, more modern ones. Brusselization also led to some regulations being put in place in Brussels, which protected historic facades and dictated how tall a building could be. These regulations acted as a riptide for other European cities.

3. Some European cities set them apart in a special district.

Paris, for one, builds all their skyscrapers in a specific district called La Defence. It allows for high-rise developments, while still protecting the historic center of the city.

4. Skyscrapers can’t block the view in London.

In London, there’s a rule set in place that says no skyscraper can block the views of St Paul’s Cathedral, the Monument, the Tower of London, as well as a few other landmarks across the city. They are important views that make up the city skyline. For example, you can see St Paul’s Cathedral all the way from Richmond Park.

Why other countries build them

The rise of businesses and office activities meant there was a bigger need for skyscrapers throughout history. They’re functional because they allow the city to grow while occupying minimal floor space. Plus, skyscrapers are architecturally fascinating, and they can make for a beautiful view, like the famous New York skyline, for example.

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