Why are there no skyscrapers in Europe?

There are some things about European cities in general that have contributed to the relative lack of Skyscrapers.

  • Many European cities have building codes. These codes may address the height of a building and prevent ones over a certain height from being built to maintain the city’s ambiance or to showcase something about that city’s history or culture.


  • Many European cities are old. They have cores of sometimes very old buildings. A 500 year old building isn’t actually that rare in some European cities. Newer and younger cities throughout the world more typically erect skyscrapers right in the middle of the city. Skyscrapers, when built in European cities, tend to be offset from the center of the city.


  • Skyscrapers require a lot of upkeep, energy, and resources. Plus they really aren’t very livable to many Europeans. Much of Europe is more environmentally couscious than in the past and often Europeans are just downright practical. There’s one skyscraper in Frankfurt called Westendstraße 1. The crown on the top of it has to be heated in the winter to prevent icicles from forming, breaking off, and raining ice knives down on people who walk below it.


  • City growth patterns in Europe are in general slow. Skyscrapers tend to be built in cities with a faster population growth. Europe’s population growth just doesn’t necessitate packing a bunch of tall buildings into a small space.
  • Here’s a more in depth article exploring Europe’s relative lack of skyscrapers: Why Europe Doesn’t Build Skyscrapers

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