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20 Cities with the Most Skyscrapers in the World

Below we presented the list of 20 cities with the most skyscrapers in the world. Click to skip ahead and jump to the top 10 cities with the most skyscrapers in the world. We bet you can’t guess which is #1 in our list.

Walking in a megalopolis, such as New York City, you may have admired under a spell these tall, slender or robust buildings, called skyscrapers. Nowadays cities are competing with each other by constructing taller and more skyscrapers. As of 2020 the Burj Khalifa in Dubai is by far the tallest construction in the world with its 829,8 meters (2,722 ft) height.

But in order to be able to appreciate these breathtaking buildings, let’s investigate their history. According to its modern definition, a skyscraper should be at least 150 meters (492 ft) tall, and constantly habitable with a minimum of 40 floors. Skyscrapers can be homes to residential places, hotels, offices and retail spaces. But originally, the term skyscraper was used for buildings with steel frames between 10 and 20 stories in the end of the 19th century. Surprisingly, the first steel-framed skyscraper, the Home Insurance Building (Chicago, Illinois) was constructed as early as 1885. It could boast with a respectable height of 42 meters or 138 feet. As for their features, they have one thing in common – they have a steel frame that supports so-called curtain walls instead of the conventional load-bearing walls, which results the walls can be built taller than those made of reinforced concrete. Modern skyscrapers don’t have load-bearing walls any more, and most of them have an amazing sight of huge surface areas of windows due to steel frames and curtain walls. The modern descendants of the traditional skyscrapers have frequently a tubular structure, which works like a hollow cylinder to bide lateral loads, such as storm, wind, and seism.

We can not only admire these architectural wonders individually, but there is a Skyscraper day – every September 3rd. On this day we commemorate Louis Sullivan, who was the first master architect of skyscrapers. He was born in Boston on 3 September 1856. Sullivan and William LeBaron Jenney worked together on the first steel-framed skyscraper, as we mentioned above, the now-demolished Home Insurance Building.

On a world scale, New York City has the most buildings above 100 meters. No wonder some of the largest construction companies in NY and NJ can be also found on the list of the biggest construction companies in the US, such as Peter Kiewit Sons Inc., The Turner Corp., and Skanska Inc. Also we can see how the biggest influencers in the construction industry trace the maps of the cities in these days. As a result, workforce is always in high demand in this industry. But let’s turn back to the cities with the most skyscrapers.

On collecting the data for the compilation of 20 cities with the most skyscrapers in the world, we consulted The Skyscraper Center. As according to the modern definition a sykscraper should be at least 150 meters tall, this was the data we used to rank the cities. For instance you can observe although New York City has by far the most high-rise buildings in the world, it is only on the second spot in our list. Nevertheless, there are just nine cities in the world where we can find more than 100 skyscrapers above 150 meters. The compilation of the 20 cities with the most skyscrapers also includes arresting information on the cities’ area, population, most common function and material of the skyscrapers, also the year and the name of the first 150m+ building.

Let’s take a look at the 20 cities with the most skyscrapers in the world, starting with the 20th spot:

Pixabay/Public domain

20. Nanjing, China

Number of all buildings: 74

Number of buildings above 100m: 71

Number of buildings above 150m: 58

Number of buildings above 200m: 28

Number of buildings above 300m: 6

We can see that 9 of the 20 cities are in China, the first one, Nanjing is situated in this huge country as well. Its population is 8,161,800 spanning 6,598 m2 (2,547 mi2). The first high-rise building above 150 meters, the Golden Eagle International Plaza  was constructed in 1998. Its architectural height is 214 m (702 ft) with 58 floors above ground, and 2 floors under ground. The city can boast with 58 completed buildings above 150 m, and more 15 skyscrapers are under construction. We can also find 6 jawdropping buildings above 300 m, while 7 other ones are under construction. The tallest building in Nanjing is the gorgeous Zifeng Tower (450 m). Skyscrapers in Nanjing host mainly offices (55%), while the most common material is composite (59%).

Pixabay/Public domain