Posts tagged “Chicago

Skyscrapers: Selling Themselves, Selling the City

Posted on May 8, 2012

In recent weeks and months, American skyscrapers have been much in the news. For the time being, the United States does not appear poised to retake the title for tallest skyscraper (a distinction that has belonged to cities in Malaysia, Taiwan, and United Arab Emirates for more than a decade). With superlative height no longer the most viable way to generate excitement and visibility, we are seeing aesthetics move squarely into the arena of skyscraper competition. Just over a week ago, 1 World Trade Center topped the Empire State Building on its way to a symbolic 1,776-foot height (when the antenna is included), returning the distinction of tallest New York skyscraper downtown after an eleven-year absence. Not to be outdone, the Empire State Building’s owners, according…

The Tourism Mayors

Posted on April 30, 2012

If Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel gets his way, when visitors peer into the silvery curvature of Millennium Park’s Cloud Gate, they will see the world. The mayor recently challenged Chicago tourism officials to bring 50 million tourists a year to his city by 2020, which would represent a 25 percent increase over the current figure. More critically, as reported in the Chicago Sun-Times, he wants Chicago to raise its profile by finding ways to attract a far larger share of international tourists than its current paltry 4.3 percent. With three recent additions, Chicago now maintains eight international tourism offices worldwide, still well short of several other major American cities. It even has its own official tourism theme song, although, as the Huffington Post notes,…