UCL Urban Laboratory


Vertical urbanism in London and Paris / Urbanités verticales in Londres et Paris

30 June 2021, 9:00 am–3:30 pm

Model of central London skyline

Online workshop exploring the key drivers, technologies and motivations underpinning post-War dynamics of urban verticality in Paris and London.

This event is free.

Event Information

Open to







Andrew Harris

Europe has witnessed its greatest ever period of high-rise construction during the 21st century. European city skylines have become higher, thicker and more diverse. Yet there has been limited exploration of these recent upward trajectories and what they indicate about the regional and global dynamics of European urbanisation. Through an in-depth focus on London and Paris, this workshop will develop new vantage points on urban verticality in contemporary Europe.

As major metropolises with important contrasts in the form, function and financing of new vertical landscapes, London and Paris offer a crucial comparative focus. A few monumental towers have come to break the silhouette of the Parisian cityscape, but it maintains a distinctly different skyline to London.

The workshop will place an emphasis on the under-examined relationship between new skylines and the changing subterranean configuration of these two cities, and on not only iconic structures but more small-scale vertical interventions in assessing the role of densification in helping shape more sustainable urban development.

The workshop is supported by an award from the UCL Global Engagement Office.