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  • Vertical City Tourism: Heightened Aesthetic and Kinaesthetic Experiences

    Andrew Smith

    Chapter from the book: Smith A. & Graham A. 2019. Destination London: The Expansion of the Visitor Economy.


    This chapter discusses the relationship between the vertical growth of London and the development of the city’s tourism sector. For centuries, London was a relatively low rise city: St Paul’s Cathedral was the city tallest building until 1964. But in the new Millennium a glut of very tall buildings have been constructed, allowing visitors to ‘get high’ and consume the cityscape from above. The chapter begins with a historical review of the appeal of heightened views and high rise buildings, with pioneering structures in New York cited to contextualise recent developments in London. Recent additions to London’s skyline are then outlined in detail, and particular focus is placed on the tourism dimensions of these structures. The chapter notes that these new buildings represent a very visible coalition of London’s three most prominent economic sectors: property, finance and tourism. A new trend is also identified: the way that recent attractions in London have combined the enduring appeal of panoramic views with more embodied, dynamic experiences which allow visitors to ascend, traverse and descend from tall structures. These new facilities are also examples of the ways adventure tourism has been brought into urban settings - providing new experiences and updating more traditional attractions.

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    How to cite this chapter
    Smith, A. 2019. Vertical City Tourism: Heightened Aesthetic and Kinaesthetic Experiences. In: Smith A. & Graham A (eds.), Destination London. London: University of Westminster Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.16997/book35.f

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    Published on May 21, 2019