According to RMIT academic Michael Buxton, quoted in The Age this morning, the increasing number of tall buildings on Melbourne’s skyline is bad because:
”What we’re doing with high-rise is privatising space at the public expense. If you buy your view, sure, you’ve got a wonderful view from the top of one of these towers but what you’ve done is bought airspace. So that airspace was once originally a part of the public domain … the public get no benefit.”
But how many members of the public would otherwise get to use the airspace at level 40 of a skyscraper? It seems to me that the higher the building the fewer issues ‘airspace’ use generates, at least until it reaches flight path levels (and as we don’t want low-flying planes in built-up areas, that is quite high).
There are ‘negative externality’ issues with the shadows tall buildings create, but Buxton’s dubious ideological claim does not seem to me to be helpful in deciding whether we should have more tall buildings in Melbourne.