[QUOTE=Jerry of San Fran;5790059]
Originally Posted by CyberEric
To add to the dialogue, & not meant to be disagreeable, I do believe buildings can change the visual mood of a city, but are not responsible for the change in it's culture. The culture, I believe, is what changes the physical character of a city. I've lived in San Francisco since 1969 & have seen a great change in it's culture due to immigration & to expensive property values. For these 2 reasons the city has changed dramatically.
I was in London in May 2012 on a English pipe organ tour. We had 2 young men guiding us, organists, and they were apalled by the highrise boom in London, particulary the Shard (which I loved). I can well understand their horror seeing their old city getting a new skyline, & respect their point of view. I do not have the attachment they have to London so I am more open to the changes taking place there.
As to my neighborhood (Civic Center/South of Market), I've lived in the Fox Plaza for 41 years & am very open to the great changes going on outside of my window as the area has been something of a desert at night (except for the bums). The type of highrise development is what makes a neighborhood, & the apartment boom in my area will give us a nice mix.
The point I am making is that one has to look at a highrise for what is it & what it does. Sim City is a game, and a real highrise is what makes a real neighborhood.
A highrise does not make a real neighborhood. Soma, the Financial District, Rincon Hill, and Civic Center are sterile neighborhoods without character, lasting charm, or a distinct "feel." The greatest neighborhoods in North Beach, the Mission, the Haight, the Castro, and so on, don't have any highrises.
I'm pro-development, but only because I recognize that more density leads to more housing supply and more jobs in The City, and because I simply love tall buildings as a "tourist in my own city." But as far as creating great neighborhoods, highrises are not the solution, even if they are far better than empty warehouses and pawn shops.