• Asia;
  • midtowns;
  • skyscrapers;
  • world cities

ABSTRACT. “Midtown” is an important but understudied component of the morphology and historical evolution of North American and, to a lesser extent, European cities, and landmark buildings have played a notable role in giving midtowns identity and prestige. Especially significant are the recent diffusion and expansion of the twinned “midtown-skyscraper” concept to the major cities of East and Southeast Asia. For a variety of reasons, it is likely that massive midtowns anchored by famous buildings will become most evident on the western fringe of the Pacific Rim. Western architectural, engineering, and planning firms are playing major roles in this diffusion and illustrate nicely the importance of exporting the service component of the global economy. Buildings and midtowns provide (reinforced) concrete examples of the impact of the new global economy on the landscapes of major cities.