Allowing greater building heights is one way to relieve the city’s space crunch. Turns out, however, not all height is the same.
As many as two-thirds of the world’s tallest building are, well, cheating. A global review by the Council for Tall Buildings and Urban Habitats found that 44 out of 72 skyscrapers vying to be among the loftiest are actually employing so-called “vanity height” — that is, the empty space between the highest occupiable floor and the architectural top. Without tacked-on spires and communications antennas, these towers wouldn’t break the 300 meters, or about 1,000 feet, required to rank among the super-tall.