Producing and living the high-rise: New contexts, old questions?

Manoel Rodrigues Alves, Manuel Appert, Christian Montès (Eds.)

by Bianca Botea (Université Lumière Lyon2, LADEC, France), Geoffrey Mollé (Université Lyon 2 Lumière, France), César Simoni Santos (University of São Paulo, Brasil), Huana Carvalho (University of São Paulo, Brasil), Maíra Cristo Daitx (Universidade de São Paulo, Brazil), Carlos Tapia (University of Seville. School of Architecture, Spain), Loïc Bonneval (Université Lumière Lyon2, Centre Max Weber, France), Aurélien Gentil (Université Lumière Lyon2, France), Enora Acheritogaray , Julio Arroyo (Universidad Nacional del Litoral, Argentina), Claire Perret (Research Department of the Cnam, Paris, France), Olivia Legrip (Catholic University of Lyon, France), Luiana Cardozo (Instituto de Arquitetura e Urbanismo, Universidade de São Paulo, Brazil), Pedro Falha Saraiva (Universidade de São Paulo, Brazil), Luciano Bernardino da Costa (Universidade de São Paulo, Brazil), Camila Moreno de Camargo (Universidade de São Paulo, Brazil), Sarah Helena Caetano Rolindo (Universidade de São Paulo, Brazil), Julio Cesar Pedrassoli (Universidade Federal da Bahia (UFBA). MapBiomas, Brazil), Marcel Fantin (Universidade de São Paulo, Brazil), Beatriz Rufino (Universidade de São Paulo, Brazil)

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This major edited book presents the findings of the influential and creative ‘Highrise Living and the Inclusive City’ research project, conducted over the last decade by scholars in urban studies and planning in cities (mainly) of France, Brazil and Argentina. Lyon and Sao Paulo feature strongly.
Seeking to extend research evidence and create new theoretical propositions on the production of vertical residences and lifestyles, the book offers three sections which lay out the central issues effectively.
First is a section on the production of the contemporary highrise landscape by developers negotiating planning rules and the market opportunities of housing financialization. Second is a section on the ways urban-dwellers live in highrise buildings, and how they interpret and enact the advantages of doing so. And third is a section articulating the ‘mechanics’ of this research program: the different scales of data analysed, mapping strategies, and the creation of an overarching website for the project to support its scholars. The chapters of the first two sections cite a wealth of reference materials from around the world, from settings in the Global North and Global South. The authors of the third section articulate well the dilemmas they faced and the decisions they took in assembling supports for a complex, coherent, international research program. With this structure, the book will attract interest not only from researchers interested in theory and empirical evidence about urban verticalization, but also from researchers providing underpinning infrastructure for major projects.
Theoretical contributions are certainly made in this collection, very much facilitated by evidence of highrise living in a diverse range of settings. In particular, we see revealed the more and more precise targeting of certain locations by developers and the investors behind them, as the financialization of housing proceeds. It is not only greater densities and taller buildings being built now compared to past bursts of housing investment, and not only central areas of cities being sought, but very particular enclaves are now being required that suit current investors and buyers. Often what is required (it seems) is central locations with public space that can be snapped up for private use in the new development. A new geography of highrise spaces is being constructed, and a new form of desirable urban location defined.
A most interesting feature of the book, from its wide and yet highly detailed empirical work, is its demonstration of the positioning for advantage taken by the agents depicted in its chapters. All actors in the creation of the verticalized urban landscape look for their opportunities, and slip themselves into advantageous situations. We see real estate agents marketing public spaces to potential buyers as if these spaces were part of the new development, planners in government trying to take advantage of financial capital seeking a place to grow, residents positioning themselves in the best spot within the lifts that they take up and down in their highrise homes, and purchasers or renters seeking height in a tall building and a singular view. Everywhere there is active agency, involving shifting and positioning in order to achieve a best outcome. Private rather than public and collective benefit, we see in the cases presented, is always the winner.

Dr. Ruth Fincher
Professor Emeritus
University of Melbourne

“Producing and living the high-rise: new contexts, old questions?” presents a set of very fine and intriguing perspectives as the speculations of our cities are full of contradictions and counterexamples. Without the pitfall of global comparisons, all the observed modes from a multitude of angles, from Environmental Humanities to Speculative Economy, enable us to envision what mobilizes our settlements and mutates our Urban Biospheres.

Alban Mannisi
Landscape Urbanist /Academic_Scapethical & Custodian Heuristics Institute Director

This book, coordinated by Manoel Rodrigues Alves, Manuel Appert, and Christian Montès takes up the discussions that were never finished but renewed on the processes of verticalization of the city. This phenomenon gained new momentum from the COVID-19 pandemic thanks to the luxury and elitization of space. The provocative question in its title does not admit a single answer and challenges us from various points of view. In this sense, there are multiple explorations to which it gives rise and which the book reveals through the analysis of the vertical production of the city, how it is lived, and the narratives associated with this process. The 17 chapters provide a set of multi-scalar approaches to various spatialities of the world through entertaining and engaging writing. Special mention deserves the profuse bibliography that accompanies each section of the book, which, in itself, constitutes an invitation and encouragement to the reader to continue the paths that the book opens. “Producing and living the high-rise: new contexts, old questions?” is a necessary book that warns us about the implications of vertical gentrification; a call to reflect and analyze our cities, spatialities, landscapes, and people for those of us who live in them, but also for those who can influence this process with their decisions.

Dr. Arq. Gabriela C. Pastor
Chief Researcher at CONICET, Argentina;
Instituto Argentino de Investigaciones de las Zonas Áridas (IADIZA) CCT Mendoza, Argentina;
Professor, Faculty of Engineering
Universidad Nacional de Cuyo, Argentina

The book “Producing and living the high-rise: new contexts, old questions” is a valuable resource for those interested in the verticalization of residential urbanization and its impact on global contexts. The authors offer a holistic understanding of the relationships between high-rise design, socio-spatial dynamics, and the financialization of real estate markets. This multidisciplinary work not only delves into the complexities of residential verticalization but also presents a nuanced exploration of changing urban landscapes, and it is an indispensable resource for academics, planners, policymakers, and anyone fascinated by the evolving dynamics of our urban environments.

Dr. Rodrigo José Firmino
Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Paraná (PUC-PR), Brazil

The purpose of the book is to assess the process of urban verticalization in different contexts through time, to provide insight into the relationships between highrise design and the way inhabitants negotiate them in their everyday lives, to assess how planners, politicians, and designers negotiate residential highrises in the strategies they develop for building the city and to introduce urban narratives and cartographies. Verticalization, although not new, currently takes place in a very different context than post-1945. Today, highrise residential buildings are more than architectural solutions: they are commodities in a global market where capital flows are fixed by developers and municipalities.
Our exploration of residential verticalization is anchored in case studies, revealing different types of local-global negotiations in the design of the city, and has been framed by three interrelated dynamics: first, the complex relationships within the financialization of real estate markets, revealing differences in the types of local-global negotiations in the construction of the neo-liberal city; secondly, the most developed, anchors residential verticalization in the processes of socio-spatial differentiation within cities (mostly identified as gentrification associated to processes of urban renewal and densification; the third, related to readings and interpretations of the urban landscape and social, spatial practices and its iconographic and cartographic representations.
This book is of interest to academics, students, planners, architects, and urban studies professionals. It shows that the chosen research object is an increasingly relevant angle of analysis of the contemporary city. It also provides a better knowledge of the processes of residential verticalization, their impact on the privatization of the urban space, and on urban segregation or fragmentation.

List of figures and tables

Producing high-rise living
Chapter 1
New residential high-rises and the perversion of public spaces: The case of São Paulo
Manoel Rodrigues Alves
Instituto de Arquitetura e Urbanismo, Universidade de São Paulo, Brazil
Manuel Appert
ENSAL / EVS, France
Christian Montès
Université Lyon2 / EVS, France
Chapter 2
Building up, building out: The geography of residential high-rise buildings in London
Manuel Appert
ENSAL / EVS, France
Christian Montès
Université Lyon2 / EVS, France
Chapter 3
BUENOS AIRES’ HEIGHTS: Densification and verticalization in a peripheral capital city
Julio Arroyo
Faculty of Architecture, Design and Urbanism, Universidad Nacional del Litoral, Argentina
Chapter 4
From production to property: Housing Financialization in Brazil and its impacts on the urban renewal of the São Paulo metropolis
Beatriz Rufino
Faculdade de Arquitetura e Urbanismo, Universidade de São Paulo, Brazil
Chapter 5
Subsidized housing in the metropolis of São Paulo: Typological and geographic changes from boom to bust
César Simoni Santos
Department of Geography, University of São Paulo, Brasil
Huana Carvalho
ENTPE, UMR 5600 EVS, University of Lyon, France; Institute of Architecture and Urbanism, University of São Paulo, Brasil
Chapter 6
Recent verticalization on Structuring Axis of Urban Transformation Zones: The case of Pinheiros, São Paulo
Maíra Cristo Daitx
Instituto de Arquitetura e Urbanismo, Universidade de São Paulo, Brazil
Chapter 7
High-rise: Hostile polytopes by vertical deformation
Carlos Tapia
University of Seville. School of Architecture, Spain

Living the high-rise city
Chapter 8
The values of height in Lyon’s buildings
Loïc Bonneval
Université Lumière Lyon2, Centre Max Weber, France
Aurélien Gentil
Université Lumière Lyon2, France
Chapter 9
The elevator as a new daily urban itinerary, social and intimate space of high-rise living in metropolises. The case of Presqu’Ile 2, a residential high-rise in Lyon
Enora Acheritogaray
Chapter 10
Skyline desire: The value of the views from home and above. Producing and living in high-rise buildings in the metropolis of Lyon
Geoffrey Mollé
Université Lyon 2 Lumière, France
Chapter 11
An anthropological perspective of high-rise living: Environmental configurations, time-space and urban change in Lyon (France) and Brasov (Romania)
Bianca Botea
Université Lumière Lyon2, LADEC, France
Olivia Legrip
Catholic University of Lyon, France
Chapter 12
High-rise living in the United States: Towards vertical gentrification? The case of Dallas-Fort Worth
Christian Montès
Université Lyon2 / EVS, France
Manuel Appert
ENSAL / EVS, France

Narrating the high-rise city
Chapter 13
Urban investigation and verticalization in São Paulo
Manoel Rodrigues Alves
Instituto de Arquitetura e Urbanismo, Universidade de São Paulo, Brazil
Luiana Cardozo
Instituto de Arquitetura e Urbanismo, Universidade de São Paulo, Brazil
Pedro Falha Saraiva
Instituto de Arquitetura e Urbanismo, Universidade de São Paulo, Brazil
Chapter 14
Occupied voids of a landscape in transformation
Luciano Bernardino da Costa
Instituto de Arquitetura e Urbanismo, Universidade de São Paulo, Brazil
Chapter 15
High-rise mapping: Cartographies and story maps of São Paulo’s vertical urbanism
Camila Moreno de Camargo
Instituto de Arquitetura e Urbanismo, Universidade de São Paulo, Brazil
Pedro Falha Saraiva
Instituto de Arquitetura e Urbanismo, Universidade de São Paulo, Brazil
Sarah Helena Caetano Rolindo
Instituto de Arquitetura e Urbanismo, Universidade de São Paulo, Brazil
Chapter 16
Application of spectral mixing technique in remote sensing for analysis of skyscraper growth in São Paulo City
Julio Cesar Pedrassoli
Universidade Federal da Bahia (UFBA). MapBiomas, Brazil
Marcel Fantin
Instituto de Arquitetura e Urbanismo, Universidade de São Paulo, Brazil
Chapter 17 Designing a website dedicated to an interdisciplinary and multi situated project
Claire Perret
Research Department of the Cnam, Paris, France

Conclusive discussion: Built-high gentrification

Manoel Rodrigues Alves is a Professor at the Institute of Architecture and Urbanism, University of São Paulo (IAU-USP), Guest Professor at: ETSA-US (Seville, Spain), FADU-UNL (Santa Fe, Argentina), FA-KU Leuven (Brussels, Belgium). Postdoctoral fellow, ETSA-US, University of Seville. PhD, FAU-USP. Master, SMArchs, School of Architecture-MIT. Architect, FAU-Universidade Mackenzie. Coordinator, LEAUC- Laboratory of Contemporary Urban Environment Studies. Recent projects: "Highrise Living and the Inclusive City," USP-Universitè Lyon2 (scientific coordinator and Brazilian coordinator of the ANR-FAPESP Highrise research project); "Urban Equity in Precarious Territories: participatory socio-spatial actions in Paraisópolis; Public Space, Pandemic and Contemporary City" (CNPq Productivity Grant). Ad-hoc consultant for Research Institutes and Agencies. Member of Scientific Journal Editorial Committees.

Manuel Appert is a Professor at École Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture de Lyon, France, PhD-HDR in Geography and Planning, member of the executive committee of the research laboratory Environnement, Ville, Société (EVS, UMR 5600), part of the team LAURe-EVS and chief editor of the scientific journal Geocarrefour. He has led the Skyline research project on the landscape assessment of tall buildings in Europe and co-edited four special issues on vertical urbanism, in "Built Environment, Geocarrefour," and two volumes for "Geographies et Cultures." His main fieldworks are in France and the UK, where he now focuses on the governance of highrise production through the lens of glocalization.

Christian Montès is a Professor of Geography at Université Lyon2 and a researcher at EVS. He has worked extensively on urban planning issues (transport, historical geography), and, more recently, on questions of the metropolitan skylines (participation in the ANR SKYLINE 2013-2016) and "Highrise living and the inclusive city" (scientific coordinator and French coordinator of the ANR-FAPESP Highrise research project). He has been the dean of the faculty, and vice-president for international affairs at Lyon2. Selected publications: Les transports dans l’aménagement urbain à Lyon, 2003, Lyon, Editions Géocarrefour; American State Capitals: A Historical Geography, 2014, Chicago, University Press of Chicago; “Skyscrapers and the redrawing of the London’s skyline: a case of territorialization through landscape control”, 2015, with Manuel Appert, Articulo, special issue 7, "Tales of the City"; “The governance of office tower projects in a European second city: The case of
Lyon”, 2017, with Maxime Huré et Manuel Appert, "Built Environment," vol. 43, n°4.

Building Typology, Built-high Gentrification, Built-in Gentrification, Cartography, Condominium Clubs, Contemporary City, Critical Cartographies, Densification, Developers, Equity, Financialization, Gentrification, High-rise, High-rise Cartography, High-rise Mapping, Human Development Index, Human Development Unit, Inclusiveness, Land Value, Lifestyles, Mapping, Methodology, Perversion, Public Domain, Public Space, Real Estate, Real Estate Market, Remote Sensing, Skyscrapers, Social Cartographies, Socio-spatial Practices, Socio-spatial Segregation, Spectral Mixing, Territorial Units, Urban Equity, Urban Morphology, Urban Narratives, Urban Planning, Urban Transformation, Verticality, Verticalization, Vertical Urbanism

See also

Bibliographic Information

Book Title
Producing and living the high-rise: New contexts, old questions?
Number of pages
Physical size
236mm x 160mm
233 B&W
Publication date
February 2024