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The island of Manhattan in New York City, USA, from which the term is derived.
Manhattanization took place in Miami's Downtown and Brickell neighborhoods, during the building boom of the mid–2000s that ended in 2007 with the subprime mortgage crisis.

Manhattanization is a neologism coined to describe the construction of many tall or densely situated buildings which transforms the appearance and character of a city.[1] It was a pejorative word used by critics of the highrise buildings built in San Francisco during the 1960s and 1970s, who claimed the skyscrapers would block views of the bay and the surrounding hills.[2] With careful urban planning, the phenomenon became more accepted in time.[3] The term also gained usage as a buzzword for high–density developments in Las Vegas, Nevada,[4][5] Los Angeles,[6] Dubai,[7] and Miami in the early 2000s[8] and again in the 2010s. Another example is the construction boom in Toronto since 2007.[9] The term has even been applied to many smaller US cities that have seen a large spike in downtown high rise rental buildings since the year 2000.[10] Nonetheless, these cities would have to multiply their populations many times over to match the population density of Manhattan, though this is a biased comparison between a city and a district, as even New York City would have to nearly triple in population to match Manhattan's current density.[11] Likewise, the Brickell (Miami) financial district is more dense than New York City overall.


High rise construction in just a small portion of the Brickell district in 2015. Taken from one of the under construction Brickell City Center towers.

The term "Manhattanization" has been used to describe the 2003–2008 boom of real estate developments in Miami, that brought the construction of more than 50 high rise buildings throughout the city.[12][13] A second housing market boom took place in Miami from 2012 to present (As of November 2015).[14] Along with the over ten thousand residential units added, the downtown area saw a revitalization and an increased prevalence of walking and public transport usage,[15][16] similar to Manhattan. Miami is sometimes likened to a "southern Manhattan" not only for its high rises, but for it's large financial district.[17]

See also: List of tallest buildings in Miami, shows completion year of high rises.


"Sanhattan" has been used as a portmanteau to describe the developed cluster of skyscrapers in Santiago, Chile.[18][19]


See also[edit]



  1. ^ "Definition of Manhattanize at". Archived from the original on May 7, 2009. Retrieved June 28, 2015. 
  2. ^ "Skyscrapers Soaring in San Francisco". The Washington Post. June 29, 1969. p. H6. The high-rises, said University of California architectural critic Allan Temko, 'cause the hills to lose their impact and they interfere with the view of the bay.' 
  3. ^ Nolte, Carl (April 19, 2014). "Manhattanization revisited". SF Gate. Retrieved November 16, 2015. 
  4. ^ Smith, Hubble (May 28, 2010). "Problems continue in high-rise condo market". Las Vegas Review Journal. Retrieved June 28, 2015. 
  5. ^ Las Vegas High Rise Condo Magazine - High Rise, Midrise, and Loft Projects
  6. ^ Kotkin, Joel (August 12, 2007). "Why rush to Manhattanize L.A.?". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved November 16, 2015. 
  7. ^ Emerald Group Publishing (2013), p. xx.
  8. ^ Greenspan, Elizabeth (October 23, 2013). "How to Manhattanize a city". The New Yorker. Retrieved November 15, 2015. 
  9. ^ Alcoba, Natalie (August 27, 2014). "Toronto's 'Manhattanization': Downtown development growing at 'mind blowing' rate". National Post. Retrieved June 28, 2015. 
  10. ^ Dougherty, Conor (April 25, 2014). "High-Rise Apartment Buildings Sprout in Downtowns Nationwide". The Wall Street Journal. Dow Jones & Company. Retrieved November 16, 2015. 
  11. ^ Phillips, Shane (April 14, 2015). "Is your city Manhattanizing? Probably not within the next few hundred years. (CHARTS)". Urban One. Retrieved November 16, 2015. 
  12. ^ "The Manhattanization of Miami". Archived from the original on August 16, 2009. Retrieved June 28, 2015. 
  13. ^ "Miami's Manhattanization". Archived from the original on August 28, 2008. Retrieved June 28, 2015. 
  14. ^ "Erectile resumption". The Economist. April 5, 2014. Retrieved November 16, 2015. 
  15. ^ "Ridership Technical Reports". Miami-Dade County. Retrieved November 16, 2015. 
  16. ^ "Ridership Report Archives". American Public Transportation Association. Retrieved November 16, 2015. 
  17. ^ Macias, Amanda; Lopez, Linette (February 24, 2014). "Miami Is Wall Street South — Here's Why". Business Insider. Retrieved November 16, 2015. 
  18. ^ Antonio Skarmeta (2011-02-27). "Antonio Skármeta Reflects on Santiago". Newsweek. IBT Media. Retrieved 2011-02-28. 
  19. ^ ""Sanhattan" Symbolizes New Chile". Millward Brown. Retrieved June 28, 2015. 


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