The Chicago effect

David Rudlin_index

Not all plots are equal. The planning system should give developers clarity on which are suitable for towers

This may not be a thing… Certainly if you google “the Chicago effect” all you get is an article about how the architecture of the city has been transformed in the last two decades.

It is, however, a phrase I have been using since I visited the city a few years ago. It came up at a recent workshop in Sheffield in which developers and architects were invited to discuss what should be in the planning department’s new Urban Design Compendium including its tall buildings policy.

The Chicago effect describes the situation, as it was explained to me, where perfectly good sites remain undeveloped for years because the owner is holding out for a tower. Why would you sterilise a site by putting up a six-storey apartment or office building when you might wait a few years until a tower becomes viable?

This content is available to Registered users

You are not currently logged in.

LOGIN or REGISTER to access this story

LOGIN or REGISTER for free access on selected stories and sign up for email alerts.

Take out a subscription to BD and you will get immediate access to:

  • Up to the minute architecture news from around the UK
  • Reviews of the latest buildings from all corners of the world
  • Our monthly digital edition including stunning photos, building and technical studies
  • Full access to all our online archives
  • PLUS you will receive a print copy of WA100 when it is published in January

Get access to premium content subscribe today