Viewing urban spatial history from tall buildings

Gabriel M. Ahlfeldt, Jason Barr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Micro-geographic data capturing the spatial distribution of economic activity within cities in history are difficult to access. This paper discusses how tall and durable buildings can be exploited as a source of “big data” to trace the history of the spatial structure of cities. To this end, we provide stylized evidence on how building heights correlate with land values over space and time within cities, review the related nascent literature, and suggest future research areas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number103618
JournalRegional Science and Urban Economics
StatePublished - May 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Urban Studies


  • Density
  • Economics
  • History
  • Skyscrapers
  • Urban


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