Talk:List of tallest towers in the world

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Burj Khalifa in Dubai, the world tallest building, is missing !!! 828 meters !<;

Definition of towers[edit]

The article now opens with (I quote):

This is list of towers - structures with limited floor space as compared to more regular buildings, and which supporting their own weight (as opposed to masts which are held standing by guylines).
Towers with guylines for their main structure or antenna are currently included.
Term "tower" is often used in names of skyscrapers, especially in United States. These structures are not included here.

The term towers is badly defined. The phrase: Tower is a structure with limited floor space compared to more regular buildings - is useless as there is no hint what a regular building is (I get the idea, but the sentence is unclear). Furhtermore the definition implies a floor space, so this disqualifies solid objects (some of the memorials are), on the other hand, if solid objects are allowed trees fall within the definition of tower. So the definition definitely requires improvement.

Furhtermore, there is no reason to exclude skyscrapers, they should be in.

I base myself on the tower article in Wikipedia for the following definition suggestion (open for discussion)

This is a list of towers order by height.
A tower is a tall man-made structure, always taller than it is wide. In this list only towers which are self supporting are listed. Tall structures held aloft exclusively by guy-lines are considered masts. Some strucutres are partially guyed, and these may be listed on the tower list.

I would further want to suggest to limit structures to be added to the list to follow one of the purposes listed in the towers page. Arnoutf 14:20, 5 March 2006 (UTC)

Hi I saw the page was improved. However I do not agree with the narrow definition of towers. Especially the third line (...broadcast) exludes Church TOWERS, watch TOWERS and many of the strucutures already included in the list. I think we still have to come up with a good definition of a tower! Arnoutf 20:59, 4 August 2006 (UTC)

It says in the beginning: The bridges towers (pylons), chimneys, electricity pylons, and most large statues allow human access for maintenance, but not as part of their normal operation, and are therefore not considered to be towers. Some structures in this list belong to these, for example Wavre Transmitter in Belgium and WITI TV Tower in USA. They are not guyed, but also they won't 'allow access as part of their normal operation' as they are actually like masts, but only wider so they do not need to be guyed. (talk) 01:00, 21 June 2010 (UTC)

And just found out that #63, Wisma 46 in Indonesia, is actually a skyscraper and not a tower... (talk) 01:58, 21 June 2010 (UTC)

And another one. Torre means tower, but still Torre Mayor in Mexico is a skyscraper. I could delete that myself since there's no line numbers, so wouldn't mess those. Let's see about that. (talk) 01:34, 19 July 2010 (UTC)
And as far as I can tell most skyscrapers conform to the definition cited earlier in the tower article. If you want to exclude skyscrapers then I think the definition needs to include the term "habitable"... have a look at Marlarkey (talk) 09:57, 4 March 2011 (UTC)
For example, Wisma 46 is clearly habitable. It does not mean it is in residential use, but rather than it surely could be. I think you're mixing "habitable" and "habited". (talk) 05:03, 18 July 2011 (UTC)

Definition of towers[edit]

I added the following definition of towers based on the tower page definition. A tower is a tall man-made structure, always taller than it is wide, and usually much higher. Towers are generally built to take advantage of their height and can stand alone or as part of a larger structure. Towers as dfined here are meant for regular but not living access by humans. Thus appartment buildings (skyscrapers), chimneys, electricity pylons and most statues do not qualify as towers. I explicitly excluded some categories not mentioned in the towers page as I think these structures polute this article. If nobody objects to this definition I will start cleaning up the list accordingly in a week or so. Arnoutf 08:36, 7 November 2006 (UTC)

As nobody objected (or even responded) in the by now over six weeks since I posted the above; I felt free to remove the chimneys and electric wire pylons from the list. Arnoutf 22:45, 24 December 2006 (UTC)
And, still, almost four years later there are structures on the list which are to be accessed only for 'maintenance' as it now reads. For example the Sutro Tower in San Francisco clearly falls in this category, at least according to the definition in the header, as I pointed in section 'Definition of towers' above. And, shockingly, there's at least one normal building, Wisma 46 in Indonesia.
I could remove them, but don't want to be rearranging the line numbers. It should be done by someone, who's willing to fix the line numbers too. (talk) 02:24, 9 September 2010 (UTC)

Futuristic top-3[edit]

The first three entries listed in the "Towers taller than 250 meters" section are either proposed, under construction, or otherwise do not yet exist. I think they should either be removed, or placed in their own section (or table) until their construction has been completed. (talk) 17:30, 29 June 2008 (UTC)

Now that I see this issue has been resolved, I'm also replacing the numeric "Rank" column (first table) that had been removed when those three futuristic towers first appeared on the list. (talk) 13:59, 1 July 2008 (UTC)
Maybe it was ok then, but now the list has 'under-construction' TOP2. Though the number 2 is topped-out and won't be any taller than it is now, the top-spot holder is only 2/3 constructed! (talk) 02:29, 9 September 2010 (UTC)

Burj Khalifa[edit]

I think it should be added to the list, that seems an old one :S —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:01, 7 February 2010 (UTC)

Burj Khalifa is a skyscraper, not a tower, and fits in other lists. (talk) 22:33, 2 May 2010 (UTC)
Hang on, I'm not at all clear what definition you're using then of "skyscraper" and "tower". The Burj Khalifa is the tallest man-made structure OF ANY KIND and Burj is arabic means "tower" so it is called a tower. What architectural definition is being used for this article that excludes the Burj Khalifa ? Marlarkey (talk) 09:51, 4 March 2011 (UTC)
Burj Khalifa is a building with normal floors and everything. Therefore it does not qualify as tower. This is not a list of structures named as "Tower", only actual towers. (talk) 05:10, 18 July 2011 (UTC)

Then why is it added again? ranked zero? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:23, 13 November 2010 (UTC)

World's tallest "fill in blank"[edit]

These lists are obvious redundant since Burj Khalifa is on every single list. All of these lists need reconsideration. --THE FOUNDERS INTENT PRAISE 16:37, 29 November 2010 (UTC)


How about removing Tallest structure in Indonesia, 1996-present, Wisma 46 (262 m)? At least the article for that structure tells about a building. And another one, too. Torre Mayor (225 m) in Mexico City. Its article tells also about a building. Either correct the respective articles to point to towers or remove those from the list. (talk) 02:46, 9 January 2011 (UTC)

Tokyo Sky Tree missing from diagram[edit]

Tokyo Sky Tree is missing from the diagram. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Alphachap (talkcontribs) 15:25, 19 March 2011 (UTC)

Numbering incorrect - Assistance required please[edit]

I added Taipei 101 to list - is there a quick way to renumber ? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:07, 24 December 2011 (UTC)

Taipei is not a tower and should not be included in this list. It appears correctly in List of tallest buildings. Astronaut (talk) 23:10, 24 December 2011 (UTC)


I suggest to remove TV Tower Vinnytsia from the list, definitely being a guyed tower and thus to be excluded from the list. If you agree, please feel free to edit the article. BertSeghers (talk) 17:09, 27 December 2011 (UTC)

Its entry states "partly guyed", but picture in its article clearly supports the above claim, being totally guyed. (talk) 04:40, 30 May 2012 (UTC)

Definition towers[edit]

The list says Thus continuously habitable buildings and skyscrapers and radio and TV masts do not qualify. But there are still masts listed like WSB TV Tower, WHDH-TV Tower. As a general rule all buildings that are fully or partially guyed does not fit to this definition. --Alabasterstein (talk) 15:30, 8 February 2012 (UTC)

I agree, and actually removed WSB TV tower from the list. Seems someone added it back in. Maybe all the lists in this article should have the self-supporting/partially guyed/guyed masts removed. There are already plenty of other suitable articles, eg: Radio masts and towers. Astronaut (talk) 09:12, 9 February 2012 (UTC)
Just removed WSB tower again. Despite the word "tower", it is clearly a mast constructed of a metal lattice-work. Astronaut (talk) 10:45, 1 March 2012 (UTC)

Definition renders the article useless[edit]

Show me a single definition in any dictionary that restricts the definition of 'tower' to a building with limited floorspace primarily used for broadcasting, which is what this list actually details. Whats the point? On what basis are these other buildings such as the Burj Khalifa excluded? If this really is a list of towers, it would duplicate the tallest structures list. If its not a list of towers, the name must be changed, its that simple. It doesnt even obey its own rules - if there's no guy wire support allowed, whats with all the towers in the list "partially" supported by guy wires? A list that makes up its own arbitrary definition for a word that usually has a much broader meaning in order to exclude certain obvious candidates for no obvious reason automatically puts itself at the top of the most pointless lists. Mdw0 (talk) 04:45, 1 March 2012 (UTC)

I concur. I'm not sure what the source for the definition in this article is, to be honest. The grammar of the opening phrase is absurd: "...towers that fall under the definition of a tower..." - and yet somehow, this definition is made to exclude (for example) the Burj Khalifa. Structures like the Burj Khalifa, the Burj al-Arab, and Taipei 101 are obviously towers to any layperson, and I'm not sure how much use an article about tall towers is when it excludes them. At present we have the crazy situation that the Wikipedia homepage is claiming that the Tokyo Sky Tree is the tallest tower in the world. Is there even a single reliable source for this claim? Or is this article an original synthesis, based on a tenuous and unjustified narrowing of the term 'tower'? At the very least, the claim should be removed from the homepage for lack of verification. AlexTiefling (talk) 10:21, 1 March 2012 (UTC)
We try to make the inclusion criteria for these lists as clear as can be. Granted, the wording in the lead could do with improvement. There seems to be three main classes of tall structure.
1. Skyscrapers are tall, continuously habitable buildings of many storeys, usually designed for office and commercial use, though hotel and residential uses are also common. The outer skin of the building has many windows. Access is usually by elevator. Examples: Burj Khalifa, Empire State Building,
2. Towers are tall, self-supporting structures with few floors, few windows and without facilities for continuous habitation (ie. no apartments, offices, etc.) They are designed for telecommunications or for observation facilities. Those with observation facilities are limited to a few floors and have tourist facilities such as a gift shop and restaurant, and windows so visitors can see the view. Examples: Post Office Tower, Tokyo Sky Tree, Eiffel Tower.
3. Masts are tall structures usually constructed of metal lattice-work with no habitable space and usually designed for telecommunications. Guy wires may be used for additional strength against wind loads. Access for humans is restricted to occasional maintenance tasks via ladders or occasionally (open) elevators. Examples: KVLY-TV mast, Belmont transmitting station, BREN Tower.
Of course, there are some hybrid structures, for example the Gerbrandy Tower in The Netherlands which is a concrete tower with a partially guyed mast on top. Astronaut (talk) 10:32, 1 March 2012 (UTC)
That's fine, but that's not the ordinary definition of the word 'tower'. No ordinary English-speaker would suggest that the Burj Khalifa is not a tower. ("Burj" means "tower", which seems reasonable.) The definition here is arbitrary, and has no exclusive relation to the 'natural' meaning of the word. (It's also not rigorously applied: The Post Office Tower, which I can see from where I'm sitting, has glazed floors along the majority of its height, whereas the Eiffel Tower has three platform levels and no conventional floors.) If you can find a reliable source that says the Tokyo Sky Tree is the world's tallest tower, I'll be impressed. AlexTiefling (talk) 10:50, 1 March 2012 (UTC)
Perhaps the PO tower was not such a good example and perhaps it is more of a skyscraper-tower hybrid. I think the definition is more to do with habitability, purpose and access. Therefore, Burj Khalifa, Petronas Towers and Sears Tower are all skyscrapers despite the word "tower" in their name. I would also call them skyscrapers, because to me a tower has less "skyscraper" about it. WSB-TV tower is not a tower either - take a look at the photo... it's a mast. Astronaut (talk) 11:31, 1 March 2012 (UTC)
I really think most people would say that a skyscraper is a type of tower. Find me a reliable source that says otherwise. WP:COMMONNAME applies here, in spirit and in fact. Things that say they're towers are towers, unless that's manifestly false. Things that ordinary people would call towers are towers. AlexTiefling (talk) 11:47, 1 March 2012 (UTC)
What's needed to salvage this page is a new name for what it redefines an existing word for. It's not even an uncommon usage - without a reliable reference or even a dictionary entry that excludes inhabited buildings, it's original research which runs counter to its existing definition. At the moment, the page only serves to confuse. StuartH (talk) 11:58, 1 March 2012 (UTC)
Agreed. It's a bit of a mess right now - not only does the list not agree with the common English usage of the word tower, it disagrees with Wikipedia's own definition of Tower and indeed the very first (clumsy) sentence of the article. 'These are lists of towers that fall under the definition of a tower which is a tall man-made structure, always taller than it is wide.' A definition is given in the first sentence, then an alternate conflicting definition is given two sentences later. All unsourced. StuartH (talk) 11:33, 1 March 2012 (UTC)
I don't think it is confusing, but the definition could do with some clarification. Looking back over previous discussions here and in the archive, it seems to me the biggest problem is the inclusion in the list of structures that are not towers. At the moment, the list includes many masts and people keep coming by to add skyscrapers. That is where any confusion is coming from. The (deleted article about) the World Federation of Great Towers was also quite clear about what a tower is.
To quote from CN Tower: "Although the CN Tower contains a restaurant, a gift shop, and multiple observation levels, it does not have floors continuously from the ground, and therefore it is not considered a building by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) or Emporis. CTBUH defines a building as "a structure that is designed for residential, business, or manufacturing purposes. An essential characteristic of a building is that it has floors." The CN Tower and other similar structures – such as the Ostankino Tower in Moscow, Russia; the Oriental Pearl Tower in Shanghai, China; the Stratosphere Tower in Las Vegas, Nevada; and the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France — are categorized as "towers", which are free-standing structures that may have observation decks and a few other habitable levels, but do not have floors from the ground up. The CN Tower is the tallest tower by this definition."
Astronaut (talk) 12:30, 1 March 2012 (UTC)
None of this in any way gets over the fact that the word "tower", as used by ordinary people every day, and as defined in any reputable dictionary, does not have that narrow meaning. The meaning of the word "tower", as any ordinary person uses it, encompasses the Burj Khalifa, the Shard London Bridge, and hundreds of other tall buildings worldwide. To give more credence to the claims of CTBUH than to what the word actually means is ridiculous. AlexTiefling (talk) 12:46, 1 March 2012 (UTC)
The CTBUH is a reliable source, but you are right, the word tower can be applied to pretty much any tall structure. However, I do think we need to draw a distinction between Skyscrapers, Towers, Masts, and other tall structures if we are to maintain any sense with these encyclopedia articles. The way to do that is to set a number of inclusion criteria for each list, add the article to your watchlist then come back from time to time to ensure the inclusion criteria are adhered to. Astronaut (talk) 13:20, 1 March 2012 (UTC)
I agree - but I really strongly believe that the unqualified term "tower" cannot be used for any restricted definition. The statement on the home page is self-evident nonsense. AlexTiefling (talk) 13:26, 1 March 2012 (UTC)
If by home page you mean the lead section of this article, then the wording needs to be changed. However, if you mean the Main Page, the one you see if you enter, then that is the "in the news" section and is controlled from elsewhere; and I can't see anything wrong at all in the wording about the Tokyo Sky Tree. Astronaut (talk) 15:48, 1 March 2012 (UTC)
But the CTBUH isn't given as a source. The only source so far is a CNNGo article. If fact, the CTBUH criteria implies that buildings are towers: [1] "A mixed-use tall building contains two or more functions (or uses), where each of the functions occupy a significant proportion of the tower’s total space." "This “significant proportion” can be judged as 15% or greater of either: (1) the total floor area, or (2) the total building height, in terms of number of floors occupied for the function. However, care should be taken in the case of supertall towers." When it's intended to contrast with the word "building", it's explicitly referred to as a "telecommunications /observation tower". Perhaps this is the phrase that should be used? StuartH (talk) 23:33, 1 March 2012 (UTC)

We just to agree on a more specific name for the article that better describes the towers in the list. Whats wrong with renaming the list "Tallest broadcasting towers"? The vast majority of the structures in the list are used primarily for broadcasting, whatever other uses they may have developed later. The key point is that renaming the article in this way would automatically and obviously exclude the Burj Khalifa and other skyscraper-like towers used mainly for living and working, even if they may have a couple of antennas on top. Mdw0 (talk) 00:31, 2 March 2012 (UTC)

There is no need to rename the article. The CTBUH should be used as a reference for this list. When you look at the CTBUH's tall buildings database, the distinctions is clear. Skyscrapers are buildings. Towers are not buildings. There really is no confusion over this topic. Compare for example: Tallest completed buildings omits the CN Tower and other similar structures; Tallest completed towers contains only towers by the definition used in this article. The way to fix this article is not to rename it to fit the current list contents, but to remove the things that don't qualify as towers - guyed masts and any skyscrapers that have not already been removed, and to reword the lead to make clear the inclusion criteria for this list. How many times do I have to repeat this? Astronaut (talk) 07:03, 2 March 2012 (UTC)
Repeating yourself doesn't make you right -- it's hard to say it isn't confusing with a straight face. I think there's sufficient confusion to rename the article, but failing that, what might work is an actual reference for CTBUH's definition of tower. The confusion is clearly a result of using a word outside of its common usage and dictionary definition without articulating what authority has taken it upon themselves to redefine the word. Their criteria page only refers to towers by inferring that inhabited buildings are included. The lists include "100 tallest all-residential towers", "100 tallest all-office towers" and "100 tallest all-hotel towers", all of which are incompatible with the definition given here. If a citation can't be given, the definition is original research. StuartH (talk) 08:33, 2 March 2012 (UTC)
Explaining the technical definition of the CTBUH is is sensible and desirable, but in the naming of the article there needs to be more consideration for the casual reader. The vast majority of readers do not know what the CTBUH is, let alone what their technical definition of a tower might be. The name of the list needs to accurately reflect the list using definitions in normal English because this is English wikipedia, not the CTBUH database, and normal dictionary definitions apply. Dictionary definitions describe a skyscraper as a type of tower and a type of building. Saying towers are not buildings makes NO sense to most readers, and I'm quite sure that Astronaut is aware of this. It is one thing to carelessly put a word like tower in the name of the article without considering its duplicate meaning, but to do so deliberately and with knowing disregard to the confusion it causes is arrogant and callous. In any case, adding the word 'broadcast' does not counter the CTBUH definition, in fact it makes the list more specific, and it counters the confusion caused by the existance of the double meaning of the word tower and helps casual readers to understand what the article is about. Does anyone else have a problem with renaming the article to 'List of tallest broadcast towers?' Mdw0 (talk) 01:22, 5 March 2012 (UTC)
I would object to using the word 'broadcast'. The list and its associated record encompass broadcast towers (or communications towers, more accurately), water towers, observation towers, utility towers and so on. I don't think you'll find any other short term beyond 'tower' that encompasses these different types of tower. TechnoSymbiosis (talk) 02:23, 5 March 2012 (UTC)

Tower of Jericho[edit]

Is there any scientific reference or proof that the Tower of Jericho was indeed the tallest tower at the time? Same goes for the other earlier towers mentioned. The tallest moai, e.g., was already 9.8m tall and thus taller than the Tower of Jericho. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Riemerb (talkcontribs) 10:30, 1 March 2012 (UTC)

To be honest, I have my doubt about the structures listed before the Pharos lighthouse. The Luxor obelisk is just that, an obelisk. The towers of Jericho and Babel are ruins with no definitive, reliable source stating their height or the years in which they existed. The claim of being the world's tallest at some point thousands of years in the past is dubious at best. Without documentation with a world view, it hard to say anything definite about them. Astronaut (talk) 10:40, 1 March 2012 (UTC)
I've removed Babel - that's definitely in the realm of myth. I think we should remove Jericho as well, there's no real evidence that other structures, for example in China, wouldn't have been higher. Jamesinderbyshire (talk) 19:43, 17 December 2012 (UTC)
I agree and I removed Jericho and Luxor as well. Apart from that their height is just guess they did not meet the definition of tower from the lead of article. --Jklamo (talk) 09:26, 18 December 2012 (UTC)
All right. I removed the image of the Jericho tower---it was somehow funny that the only picture on this page is not mentioned in the text. BertSeghers (talk) 16:17, 21 December 2012 (UTC)

Table columns[edit]

This varies from section to section in order and content - why?

We have

  • Towers taller than 250 metres
    • Rank
    • Name
    • Pinnacle height (meters)
      • (Just a number)
    • Pinnacle height (feet)
      • (Just a number)
    • Year
    • Structure
    • Country
    • City
    • Remarks
  • Towers between 200 and 250 metres tall
    • Tower
    • Year
    • Country
    • Town
    • Pinnacle height
      • (A number followed by an "m")
    • Remarks
  • Towers between 100 and 200 metres tall
    • Tower
    • Year
    • Country
    • Town
    • Pinnacle height
      • (A number followed by an "m" and perhaps "/" another number and "ft")
      • (Kuwait towers does it differently)
    • Remarks

I guess the absense of rank in later tables is to ease editing updates.

Why is it sometimes "name" and sometimes "tower"?

Why is "pinnacle height" sometimes before "year" and sometimes before "remarks"?

Why is it sometimes "City" and sometimes "Town"?

Why is height sometimes two columns (metres and feet) and sometimes one column? Conversion is easy.

Why is height units sometimes in the column headxer and sometimes in the body?

-- SGBailey (talk) 16:24, 1 March 2012 (UTC)

I have no idea, but every time I see it I am reminded that I thought way back in 2009 I might get around to fixing that one day. It might be a lot easier if all those guyed masts were removed and a single list made. Astronaut (talk) 16:41, 1 March 2012 (UTC)

lattice tower?[edit]

Kiev (#10) is listed as 'Tallest freestanding lattice tower in the world". Can we check this? I'm not sure what "lattice tower" means in this context; both Tokyo and Canton look like "lattice towers" to me. Geoffrey.landis (talk) 19:10, 3 March 2012 (UTC)

Indeed, it does look like the claim as "Tallest freestanding lattice tower in the world" could be challenged. However, neither the Tokyo Sky Tree nor the Canton Tower claim to be the "Tallest freestanding lattice tower in the world", while the Kiev TV Tower provides a reference that says it is. I have flagged the claim in the article as dubious and started a discussion there. Astronaut (talk) 09:43, 4 March 2012 (UTC)
Tokyo Skytree clearly is a lattice tower, since there reads: The exterior lattice is painted a colour officially called "Skytree White". There is a source, but it gave a 404 error, so I can't tell if the source claimed exterior lattice. (talk) 05:17, 30 May 2012 (UTC)

Willis/Sears Tower?[edit]

According to its wiki page the Willis Tower is 1,451-foot (442 m) shouldn't it be on the list? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:12, 3 March 2012 (UTC)

No. This list is for towers. Despite its name containing the word "tower", the Willis Tower is a building and is correctly mentioned in List of tallest buildings in the world. The issue of the definition of a tower as opposed to a building/skyscraper has been discussed many times here, the latest only a few days ago in Talk:List of tallest towers in the world#Definition renders the article useless. Astronaut (talk) 09:15, 4 March 2012 (UTC)
I'm going to say this again: claiming that there is a clear distinction between 'buildings' and 'towers' does not make it so. The word 'tower' just does not have the restricted meaning you're trying to force it into. I still see no compelling reason to apply the word in this way, and I'm increasingly convinced that the mere definition of this list is OR and should be removed. AlexTiefling (talk) 14:50, 4 March 2012 (UTC)
Sources have been provided already from authorities in the field on the definition of a tower. This definition is also used by Guinness World Records. Did you miss them, above? TechnoSymbiosis (talk) 23:03, 4 March 2012 (UTC)
Perhaps they were on a different page, in which case my apologies. Here are a few: CTBUH, Guinness. National Geographic reports on the difference, quoting Guinness; Emporis differentiates buildings from towers, as does Structurae, and the distinction is carried across a great many sources that refer to the Tokyo Sky Tree as the world's tallest tower.[2] I can certainly understand that some people may find the distinction confusing, but we don't typically cater for people's misconceptions about the meaning of words when the misconception is outright wrong. TechnoSymbiosis (talk) 23:48, 4 March 2012 (UTC)
This is getting closer to what is needed, but again -- CTBUH does not define "tower" in such a way. The distinction is between "buildings" and "Telecommunications / Observation Towers", and the extensive use of the word "tower" by CTBUH when referring to buildings implies that they do not intend "tower" to be equivalent to "Telecommunications / Observation Tower". If Guiness World Records uses the non-standard definition, perhaps a citation can be found directly from them, but the dictionary and common use of the word "tower" are not by any means "misconceptions". The lede is poorly-written, confusing, and uses an unsourced, non-standard definition. The best way to resolve this would be to rename this page "... Tallest Telecommunications / Observation Towers" or something to that effect, but at the very least, the lede needs to include who had redefined the word, what the precise definition is, and where to find this definition. StuartH (talk) 00:18, 5 March 2012 (UTC)
I still don't think that CTBUH knows better than the OED what a tower is. Guinness have clearly drawn their use of this definition from CTBUH, and I submit that CTBUH are not an unbiased source, but has a vested interest in claiming a distinction where none exists in normal usage. If a clear title and lede for this page cannot be arrived at, which do not imply that skyscrapers (for example) are not towers, then this page should be deleted as OR and POV-pushing. AlexTiefling (talk) 11:49, 5 March 2012 (UTC)
If you have any evidence that CTBUH, an international organisation and widely regarded authority referenced by the majority of media and record-keeping organisations worldwide, is biased then please present it. Alleging bias simply because their definition differs from what you expect isn't appropriate. OR plainly doesn't apply here given the definition and listings come from outside sources. TechnoSymbiosis (talk) 21:58, 5 March 2012 (UTC)
I should add that it is clearly not a misconception that (for example) the Burj Khalifa is a tower. On the contrary, I think it could fairly be said that it would be a misconception to believe that it is not a tower. The fact that certain POV-pushing vested interest groups like to claim otherwise is neither here nor there. A definition of 'tower' which excludes so many famous structures known widely as towers must be seen as misleading. The technical 'definition' does not overrule the colloquial use of the word. AlexTiefling (talk) 11:53, 5 March 2012 (UTC)
It neither POV pushing or original research. There are reliable sources which make clear the difference in definition. The list provided by TechnoSymbiosis is evidence enough and those sources can be used to allow readers to verify a rewritten lead section. Even so, a rewritten lead and even renaming the article, will not stop people like coming by as asking why their favourite structure is missing from the list. Take a look at the other discussions on this talk page and other 'list of something' articles and you will see this kind of question comes up pretty often, for example: the early discussions on Talk:List of sovereign states features many people asking why somewhere is or is not on the list; I think they have now got their Criteria for inclusion sorted out and there are now fewer questions of that type. Astronaut (talk) 13:01, 5 March 2012 (UTC)
What we need to eliminate as much confusion as possible is a direct citation for what the definition of a tower is, and a very brief first paragraph that gets straight to the definition. Something like this:
This is a list of the tallest towers in the world, as defined by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat. Under this definition, a tower is a man-made structure which:
  • Is taller than it is wide
  • Is free-standing
  • Has less than 50% of its height occupied by usable floor area
The closest we have to a definition is a quote in the National Geographic article from someone from Guinness, mentioning the 50% rule, but that's not a complete definition and is still an indirect reference. If the CTBUH uses the above definition or something to that effect, it should be easy to find the definition and I'll stand corrected. StuartH (talk) 08:38, 6 March 2012 (UTC)
It is in 2 places: here and here. There maybe others too. Astronaut (talk) 10:06, 6 March 2012 (UTC)
Neither of those pages define the word "tower". We've been through this. A citation for the definition has been repeatedly requested and not given. If one can't be given, the page must be renamed. StuartH (talk) 10:19, 6 March 2012 (UTC)
Yes it does define tower:

What is the difference between a tall building and a telecommunications /observation tower? A tall “building” can be classed as such (as opposed to a telecommunications/observation tower) and is eligible for the "Tallest” lists if at least 50% of its height is occupied by usable floor area.


Type CTBUH collects data on two major types of tall structures: “Buildings” and “Telecommunications / Observation Towers.” A “Building” is a structure where at least 50% of the height is occupied by usable floor area. A “Telecommunications / Observation Tower” is a structure where less than 50% of the structure’s height is occupied by usable floor area. Only “Buildings” are eligible for the CTBUH “Tallest Buildings” lists.

Pretty damn clear to me, and I fail to understand why it is not clear to you and Alex. Astronaut (talk) 13:43, 6 March 2012 (UTC)
But neither of those quotes shows that the unqualified term 'tower' can ever unambiguously mean what CTBUH means by the qualified term 'Telecommunications / Observation Tower'. And of course, as if I need to say this again, none of this makes CTBUH a better authority on the ordinary meanings of the word 'tower', 'building', etc, than (for example) the OED, Merriam-Webster, or Chambers. AlexTiefling (talk) 13:50, 6 March 2012 (UTC)
The definitions I provided above are accepted, almost everywhere, including multiple reliable sources. It seems to me that everyone is able to accept this except for you.
Just what is it, you suggest we do: Continue arguing here until doomsday? Widen the definition of 'tower' to include anything tall - in which case how will this list be different from other lists such as List of tallest buildings and structures in the world and List of tallest buildings in the world? Rename the article to some absurdly complex name so readers don't get confused (but we'll probably end up with something they won't be able to find at all)? Delete the article because you think it is POV/OR bullshit and confusing? Frankly, I'm getting sick of this and suggest you put the article up for deletion if you believe the article is so bad. Astronaut (talk) 15:15, 6 March 2012 (UTC)
I'm going to try my best Jeremy Paxman impersonation here: Answer the question, please. What is wrong with the OED's definition of 'tower'?
And if you can't see that the CTBUH pages on which all your other pages rely do not, in fact, narrowly define 'tower' the way you claim, I suggest you practice reading for comprehension on some easier text, and come back here when you're ready. AlexTiefling (talk) 15:29, 6 March 2012 (UTC)
We generally try to assume good faith here and comment on article content. To suggest I should "practice reading for comprehension on some easier text" is a personal attack and prohibited by Wikipedia's policies.
There is nothing wrong with the OED's definition of 'tower'. However, there is a narrower definition of the engineering term that is in common use, both here on Wikipedia (for the purposes of this article and other tall building articles), and in multiple reliable sources around the world. Astronaut (talk) 15:56, 6 March 2012 (UTC)


I find your remarks to me to be excessively personal and lacking in good faith, too. I don't believe we can use the existing usage here on Wikipedia as a justification; Wikipedia as a whole should reflect the wider world. And having patiently read the CTBUH pages you linked to all the way through, I still can't see where they define the unqualified term 'tower' in the way you claim they do. Indeed, it seems that they qualify towers of the sort in question here as 'communications / observation towers' precisely because the normal meaning is broader. I noticed that you restored the claim I removed from the 'tallest structures' article, which had said that it was a 'misuse' to refer to skyscrapers as towers, and that it was 'ironic' that some skyscrapers used the word. I cannot regard such a position as defensible. The ordinary meaning of the word 'tower', to a typical reader of this site, encompasses skyscrapers. AlexTiefling (talk) 16:05, 6 March 2012 (UTC)
The problem with "ordinary meaning of the word 'tower', to a typical reader of this site, encompasses skyscrapers" is that there is a reliably sourced definition used and accepted around the world by newspapers, magazines, Wikipedia and the rest of the internet that does not include skyscrapers. It has been stated multiple times in the above discussion. Now, can we at least call a halt to this argument over differences between the OED and CTBUH definitions. If you wish to propose a better wording for the lead, a revised inclusion criteria or even a new article title, then let's do that (but please can we do it in a new discussion - this one is getting way too long). If you think the article should be deleted, then feel free to nominate it. Astronaut (talk) 16:44, 6 March 2012 (UTC)

The list of sovereign states does not define its terms in such a way as to contradict the ordinary use of language. The words 'sovereign' (adj) and 'state' take meanings that are ascribed to them by people in an everyday sense. This is not true of this article. No matter how much you say that skyscrapers are not towers, the ordinary meaning of the word 'tower' encompasses skyscrapers. That's why this article needs a new title, not just a new lede. Otherwise, it looks like a fringe opinion to suggest that (insert a bunch of skyscrapers with 'tower', 'burj', 'Turm', etc in their names) are not towers. I still haven't seen CTBUH itself use 'tower' unqualified to mean the kind of towers this article seems to be interested in. The Guinness article made the claim, but it referenced CTBUH, who seem to be more careful with their language than that.
But seriously, what's wrong with the ordinary dictionary definition of 'tower'? Why are some of you so keen to keep claiming that this is a list of the tallest towers, while wilfully ignoring an entire class of buildings (not just someone's favourite) which meet the regular definition? AlexTiefling (talk) 09:52, 6 March 2012 (UTC)
The definitions (that should be) used in this article are from reliable sources and (ideally) supplied to let readers verify that definition if they are in any doubt. Astronaut (talk) 10:18, 6 March 2012 (UTC)
I agree. But we haven't actually confirmed that CTBUH exclusively defines 'tower' in this way, and Guinness depends on CTBUH, and National Geographic depends on Guinness. And you still haven't told me what's wrong with the OED's definition, which is going to be the one most of our readers are familiar with. (I've seen other pages referring to the OED usage as 'misuse', which is absurd.) AlexTiefling (talk) 10:21, 6 March 2012 (UTC)

Changed my mind[edit]

I have come to the conclusion that if its too hard to reconcile the use of the word tower, or to find an adjective that wouldn't mean wrecking half the list, then the title should probably be left as it is. However, it is vital that the opening paragraph is rewritten so that it clearly explains that the technical/engineering definition of tower according to the CTBUH and others is different to the standard English definition. This needs to be in the first sentence. It is the earliest possible place to dispel confusion. It would say to the casual reader - yes we know we are using a more restricted definition of tower than you're used to, but its a standard engineering definition as per these citations. As it stands now, there are no citations at all regarding the engineering definition and it reads like the editors have pulled a definition out of nowhere to suit themselves. Once that definition is in place with proper referencing, it should be strictly adhered to, and therefore the partially guyed list should be removed. Also, this is a list of the tallest towers, not a list of all towers, and anything shorter than 200m lacks relevance and needs to be cut. Mdw0 (talk) 05:47, 5 March 2012 (UTC)

The suggested lede change seems quite reasonable. I have no opinion on the 200m height cull. TechnoSymbiosis (talk) 08:40, 5 March 2012 (UTC)

New title and lede[edit]

Following the frustrating and inconclusive discussion above, I propose that this article be re-titled 'List of tallest communications and observation towers', to bring it into line with the usage of CTBUH for buildings which are not primarily composed of habitable floors. The lede should therefore begin with something like "A tower is generally defined as... (some kind of synthesis of several good dictionary definitions). In the engineering and construction industries, however, a distinction is generally drawn between primarily habitable towers ([skyscrapers]), towers which support other things such as bridges, guyed masts which are secured to the ground in multiple places, and free-standing towers which do not principally contain habitable floors. This last includes a wide range of well-known landmarks and record-breaking structures, and it is these which are listed below. The CTBUH (expand) formally defines this category as:" - followed by the CTBUH's official definition, and then one, current, list which meets the criteria given.


AlexTiefling (talk) 16:56, 6 March 2012 (UTC)

The dictionary definition is irrelevant if it doesn't define the contents of the page. Simply saying "In engineering and construction industries, a tower is defined as a free-standing structure with less than 50% of its height taken up by usable floor space" and note later that "structures with more than 50% of their height taken up by usable floor space are classed as buildings". The page only needs to clarify what it's own subject is, not give the reader false reassurance about what they think tower means. I also don't support renaming the page, you can't encompass all of the tower types (utility, water, communications, observation, etc.) in a simple enough way in the title. You've repeatedly asserted that Guinness (who uses 'tower' without qualification and is a reliable source themselves) has somehow got it all wrong, but it makes no sense that a well-known major organisation like Guinness could misquote CTBUH without CTBUH responding to say 'actually, you have the definition wrong'. Given CTBUH has directly reported on Guinness' classification of the Tokyo Sky Tree as world's tallest tower, it would appear they give implicit approval of that usage. TechnoSymbiosis (talk) 20:13, 6 March 2012 (UTC)
The dictionary definition is irrelevant if it doesn't define the contents of the page. So, wait, the existing contents of this page are a better authority for the meaning of 'tower' than the OED? Or have I misunderstood? AlexTiefling (talk) 22:31, 6 March 2012 (UTC)
I'd say you probably misunderstood. This page doesn't define anything. This page uses an existing definition, which differs from that of OED, and the content of the article revolves around that definition. Including other possible definitions is irrelevant. TechnoSymbiosis (talk) 23:33, 6 March 2012 (UTC)
If we are to follow CTBUH to the letter, the suggested change must be made. But another reasonable compromise would be to include the dictionary definition as disambiguation links near the top of the article. What we can confirm is their definition of "building" as one with >50% occupied space. Give their definition, give the list of buildings (as a link to the article), then say here are structures with < 50%..., which are classified as towers according to Guinness (Guinness might have to be the source if CTBUH doesn't use the claimed definition). It can be worded without endorsing one view or the other. StuartH (talk) 22:21, 6 March 2012 (UTC)
But come on - the words 'tower' and 'building' have ordinary meanings that don't go away just because a special-interest group likes diverse lists of tall objects. AlexTiefling (talk) 22:31, 6 March 2012 (UTC)
When discussing the technical term, the common term is irrelevant. The common term 'star' is defined by most dictionaries as a 'fixed luminous point in the night sky', however in astronomy the term 'star' is much more specific: 'a large, spherical celestial body consisting of a mass of gas that is hot enough to sustain nuclear fusion and thus produce radiant energy'. Yet Lists of stars doesn't say 'A star is any fixed luminous point in the sky, however this list isn't about those, it's about gaseous spherical objects that have sustained nuclear fusion', it just says stars are 'astronomical objects that spend some portion of their existence generating energy through thermonuclear fusion'.

This same issue applies to terminology in just about every specialised field of study. There are regularly differences between the common term and the specialised term, but we don't take the time to explain both definitions on our articles and lists, only the definition that applies to that article or list in particular. The rest is irrelevant. TechnoSymbiosis (talk) 23:33, 6 March 2012 (UTC)
Only a very small number of technical terms use such common words, and when they do there is a recognition of the double-use of those words. The star analogy is misleading because the astronomical definition uses the term star for objects that are generally regarded as stars. It is not trying to use the term star for only one specific type of star, the way tower is to be used here, and expect everyone to automatically understand the difference. It must be considered who is this article for? Who is the reader? Does anyone seriously think a person in a specialised field is going to be using Wikipedia for a source? Therefore the article cannot be written for people who already understand the industry jargon. It must be written for those who don't. In any case, the definitions here are attributed to nothing at all. No time at all has been taken to cite any definitions, common or technical, and that is highly relevant. Mdw0 (talk) 00:41, 8 March 2012 (UTC)
An uninformed observer may point to a light in the night sky and ask "what is that star?", only to be told that it isn't a star but a planet. To our uninformed observer using a common term may serve their purposes quite well, but one might expect an encyclopedia to make clear the differences between lights in the night sky. Astronaut (talk) 05:59, 8 March 2012 (UTC)
The difference aren't clear though are they? This article pretends that everyone knows a planet is not a star, even though most of the planets are called stars by most people. Mdw0 (talk) 05:09, 9 March 2012 (UTC)
That should be the purpose of rewriting the lead section, to make those differences clear. Astronaut (talk) 12:54, 9 March 2012 (UTC)

How's this?[edit]

This is a list of towers, which are defined as tall man-made structures which are taller than they are wide. [OED] According to the CBTUH, a structure can be classified as a building if it has more than 50% of its height occupied by usable floor space.[CTBUH] Such structures can be found in the "List of tallest buildings in the world". In contrast, the structures below contain less than 50% occupied floor space by height. Such structures are classified by the CTBUH as "Telecommunications/Observation Towers"[CTBUH] and elsewhere simply as "towers"[Guinness]. Additionally, [list further exclusions, e.g. guyed masts, link to list of tallest structures].

The Tokyo Sky Tree, completed in February 2012, reaches a height of 634.0 m, making it the tallest tower, and second tallest structure in the world.

[Table of contents]

Criteria for inclusion[edit]

  • Taller than wide [OED]
  • Self-supporting [?]
  • Occupied by humans in normal operation [?]
  • Less than 50% occupied floor space by height [CTBUH]

Continue Article[edit]


A fair compromise? It maintains the current list and title, makes it more clear what is excluded and who the authorities are on the alternate definitions, and can actually be interpreted as being consistent with the dictionary definition due to the disambiguation with buildings. StuartH (talk) 23:54, 6 March 2012 (UTC)

Hmm. I agree the buildings list should be linked somewhere in the lede, but I don't think we need to elaborate on the OED common definition of tower, per my reasoning in the section above regarding the common vs technical definition of 'star'. There's a general lack of agreement among dictionaries on what exactly constitutes a tower to begin with, with the Collins English Dictionary, for instance, defining it as 'a tall, usually square or circular structure, sometimes part of a larger building and usually built for a specific purpose' with no mention of its height:width ratio. I really think we'd be better off simply stating something to the effect of 'for the purposes of this list, a tower is defined as X. For Y, see List of tallest buildings in the world. For Z, see List of tallest structures in the world.'. TechnoSymbiosis (talk) 00:06, 7 March 2012 (UTC)
Perhaps we could just grab the first sentence from the tower article, then. "... is a tall structure, usually taller than it is wide, often by a significant margin". The difference between tower and star, however, is that dictionaries generally recognise that stars are distinct from planets, comets, etc. It is important to state why the dictionary definition doesn't match the list, so pointing to the "building" list and listing our own criteria as bullet points explains it simply, doesn't take sides, and maintains the list as it is. StuartH (talk) 01:19, 7 March 2012 (UTC)
I have seen good suggestions both here and in the discussion immediately above, though I wouldn't be keen on the idea of changing the article title. We can also go further and reformulate the list based on this list from the CTBUH. The same page will let us create lists of projects under construction, and so on. Essentially, this will give us a reliably sourced article that sticks to its inclusion criteria and will reduce any reader confusion. If necessary, we can merge all those guyed masts and others into another article such as List of tallest structures in the world, or create a new List of tallest masts in the world article. Astronaut (talk) 09:07, 7 March 2012 (UTC)
This intro is OK, but the article is about towers, so the opening section needs to talk about what a tower is, rather than what a building is. More like "According to the CBTUH [and others], a tower contain less than 50% occupied floor space by height... This definition excludes structures with more floorspace that are primarily used for working or housing, classified as buildings by the CBTUH" (talk) 02:27, 8 March 2012 (UTC)
Unfortunately the CBTUH doesn't actually say that, and no-one can find a reference where they do. If they did, it would be a lot easier for us. You're right - that was something that I thought might seem a little odd, so perhaps there is some rearranging of the words that still works as intended. Since there's a lack of consensus about whether tower actually excludes buildings, I wanted something that avoids explicitly claiming that. We can give our own criteria for inclusion in our list, but people looking for buildings can see near the top where that list is without saying one way or another whether a building is a tower, while still explaining the situation somewhat. StuartH (talk) 05:09, 8 March 2012 (UTC)
Maybe you can use one of the other definitions as a precursor - this defintion says this, that defintions says that so for the purposes of the article our definition is this. That way the logical conclusion can be followed. Mdw0 (talk) 05:05, 9 March 2012 (UTC)
Look, a definition of 'tallest towers' which excludes buildings which every ordinary person would recognise and refer to as a tower (each in their own language - burj, turm, tour, torre, etc) is always going to be bunk. Find a more specific way to title this list. AlexTiefling (talk) 11:54, 20 April 2012 (UTC)

Actually, that CTBUH list of freestanding towers isn't that good. Both Finland's and Sweden's highest tower are missing. Don't know how many more are missing, but a lot, because there are only 63 towers higher than 200 meters. In this wikipedia list, there are 79 towers higher than 250 meters.
By the way, I noticed Colombo Lotus Tower shouldn't be on the list since it isn't completed. There are also some which are destroyed or dismantled. Shouldn't those also be taken off? (talk) 06:19, 30 May 2012 (UTC)

Henan Province Radio & Television Tower is missing in the list[edit]

The Henan Province Radio & Television Tower in Zhengzhou, China is missing in the list. It is 388 m high and located in 34° 43′ 29″ N, 113° 43′ 22″ E. (talk) 12:41, 19 April 2012 (UTC)

There is indeed something that looks like a tall tower at that location, that might meet the article's inclusion critera. Feel free to add it to this list and provide a reliable source for its height. We do not appear to have an article about the tower itself. Astronaut (talk) 11:48, 20 April 2012 (UTC)
I don't know how to add it to this list, but I found a good webpage: (talk) 14:36, 21 April 2012 (UTC)

CTBUH does list this one. (talk) 06:20, 30 May 2012 (UTC)

Kaifeng TV Tower not built in 905 AD[edit]

Anyone find the real year? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:27, 21 May 2012 (UTC)

Well spotted. That error seems to have been there for quite a while. Astronaut (talk) 17:50, 23 May 2012 (UTC)


Moved this comment from the middle of an unrelated discussion. If you want people to comment, you need to start a new discussion rather than bury it in a 3-month old discussion. Astronaut (talk) 17:53, 31 May 2012 (UTC)

Please can I mention that the Shard has not been listed on this entry, even though it is now topped out at 330m (second tallest in UK) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:55, 31 May 2012 (UTC)

First of all, the Shard London Bridge is not a tower, but a building (please take note of the inclusion criteria for this list which states: "continuously habitable buildings and skyscrapers ... do not qualify". The Shard is correctly listed in List of tallest buildings in the world. Secondly, the Shard is 310 m tall, not 330 m. That makes it the tallest building in the UK and the EU. Astronaut (talk) 18:04, 31 May 2012 (UTC)
And yet it's obvious to anyone that the Shard is a tower - a structure taller than it is wide. Any casual observer, if asked, would say it's a tower. As discussed above, there is no reliable source which can support the contention that skyscrapers or other buildings cannot be towers. AlexTiefling (talk) 08:41, 1 June 2012 (UTC)
Sorry to say this Alex, you were wrong three months ago and you are wrong now. The inclusion criteria for this list are made clear in the lede section and they do not include skyscrapers. On all these 'list of ...' articles we do have the occasional question asking 'why isn't ... included?'. The correct response is to point the questioner at the inclusion criteris which they probably didn't notice before asking their question, rather than open up the entire inclusion discussion again.
While the article lede section could make it clearer, there seems to be fewer questions of this type here than the talk pages of other tall structure lists. Maybe that is because this page gets less views than the other lists or maybe it is because the difference is quite clear to most other readers - I know it is clear in my mind and it is clear to the CTBUH. If you visit the CTBUH's and play around with making a few lists, choosing either building or freestanding tower, the difference very quickly becomes obvious. Astronaut (talk) 11:46, 3 June 2012 (UTC)

This Article Is Outdated[edit]

This list is outdated, and does not include China's Shanghai Tower nor Dubai's Burj Khalifa. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Spirit469 (talkcontribs) 23:07, 14 February 2014 (UTC)

These two buildings are not towers, they're buildings.--John fitzburn (talk) 15:25, 15 February 2014 (UTC)

Again, the insistence of this article's maintainers that 'tower' and 'building' are disjoint sets leads to absurd conclusions. AlexTiefling (talk) 23:45, 15 February 2014 (UTC)

Tower vs building vs skyscraper[edit]

See discussion at Talk:Tower#Tower vs building vs skyscraper jnestorius(talk) 17:58, 1 June 2014 (UTC)

Messed up Table (see image)[edit]

The table headers are in the wrong places. Edit: I spent 5 minutes and figured it out.. This revision made it clear. X172 (talk) 00:32, 3 July 2014 (UTC)

Kingdom tower[edit]

I don´t think the Kingdom Tower should be on this list. Firstly it isn´t even completed, secondly it will probably contain offices, which makes it unsuitable for this article. (talk) 14:00, 15 August 2014 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done I have removed it from the list. --RacerX11 Talk to meStalk me 14:09, 15 August 2014 (UTC)