[[quoteright:349:[[Film/ThePhantomMenace http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/ville_gatte-ciel_1315.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:349:Excuse me sir, do you know where I could find [[TheCityNarrows the ground?]]]]


In a fictional and futuristic world, there is a certain way to show a city's prosperity and ambition. Build it ''high''. The city will contain nothing but buildings that dwarf the [[UsefulNotes/{{Dubai}} Burj Khalifa]]. The issue of these tower's financial cost, environmental impact or mere usefulness will never be brought up. Nor will be the question of ''how many people'' the city has to need such huge buildings. There are freaking big towers everywhere, that means you are in an [[ConspicuousConsumption absurdly rich city]], that's all you need to know.

If the issue of population ''is'' brought up, it will usually be in a [[{{Dystopia}} dystopian setting]] where overpopulation plagues the planet or at least big cities, with the juxtaposition between the lower areas of town and the rich in their towers serving as a contrast between rich and poor.

A Skyscraper City may also be designed to give the viewers a "dreamy" feel by having the inhabitants evolving near or above the clouds. Or simply to give them a feeling of gigantism that disrupts their sense of proportions.

Common in CyberPunk settings, and a SubTrope of MegaCity. Compare CityPlanet, StarScraper and SciFiWritersHaveNoSenseOfScale. LayeredMetropolis is a subtrope.
----
!! Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder: Anime And Manga ]]
:
* Sternbild from ''Anime/TigerAndBunny'' is so tall that has been divided into levels.
* The magic card "Skyscaper" in ''Anime/YuGiOhGX'' builds a city made entirely of skyscapers in the field.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Comics ]]
:
* Gotham City from ''Franchise/{{Batman}}''. Even more so in ''Film/TheDarkKnightSaga'' and taken UpToEleven in the posters.
* MegaCity One in the ''JudgeDredd'' comics. An establishing shot in an early issue showed the Empire State Building, now an abandoned historical relic, dwarfed by the skyscrapers around it.
* Asgard is depicted this way in ''TheMightyThor'', and in any Marvel comic taking place there.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Film ]]
:
* ''Film/BladeRunner'' appears to be set in that version of Los Angeles.
** Although, they do drive their cars on the ground and Rick Deckard even gets a parking spot [[RockStarParking right in front of his house]].
* Manhattan in ''Film/TheFifthElement'' is so high that we see its ground only once, when Korben flees from the Police. Other than that, the endless rows of flying cars make it look like a bottomless city.
* Meanwhile City in ''{{Franklyn}}''.
* 1927's ''Film/{{Metropolis}}'' may be the TropeCodifier for visual fiction at least. ([[http://twentyfourframes.wordpress.com/2010/09/02/metropolis-the-restored-version-1927-fritz-lang/ Seen here]] and [[http://www.architecture.uwaterloo.ca/faculty_projects/terri/dystopia/patterson/social_dystopia_1.html here]].)
* Coruscant from ''StarWars'' takes this [[ExaggeratedTrope to a whole new]] [[{{Pun}} level]]. The ''[[CityPlanet entire planet]]'' is encrusted with giant skyscrapers... built ''on top of'' older skyscrapers... built on top of even older skyscrapers. Oh, and a few of the skyscrapers are actually the giant construction droids that build more skyscrapers.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Literature ]]
:
* Creator/IsaacAsimov's Trantor. ([[http://io9.com/5799655/isaac-asimovs-foundation-the-little-idea-that-became-science-fictions-biggest-series Seen here;]] the tall objects are retractable cooling towers above the main buildings of the city.)
** Ironically, most of the citizens of Trantor as also ''afraid of heights'', as they never encounter enough open space to be able to judge how high up they truly are. When they actually encounter a window into the void, they can get a bit weak kneed.
** Actually, in later works (such as ''Prelude to Foundation''), Asimov retcons the idea that Trantor is a Skyscraper Ecumenopolis. This is true of central business district-type areas, but most of Trantor is supposed to be suburban. (Asimov presumably did this to reconcile the fact that Trantor was an Earth-sized planet with "only" 40 billion people or so, while a planet covered entirely in Hong Kong-like urbanization would have a much larger population.)
*** It also appears to be mostly covered by opaque domes of various sizes.
* The eponymous city from John Twelve Hawks' novel ''[[Literature/TheFourthRealm The Golden City]]'' is actually just three gigantic, terraced towers.
* In {{Robert Silverberg}}'s ''The World Within'', much of the world is covered in vertical cities called Urban Monads, where people are born, live, and die without ever having to leave.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Tabletop Games ]]
:
* Sharn from the ''{{Eberron}}'' campaign setting for ''DungeonsAndDragons'' is one of the few fantasy (well, DungeonPunk) versions. It's built on an area where flight magic is enhanced so the architects incorporated levitation spells into the structural supports. It's even a LayeredMetropolis.
* Hive cities in ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'' are more accurately described as a kilometers-tall skyscraper the ''size'' of a city.
** Commorragh, the home of Dark Eldar is an impossibly large city composed largely of enormous scyscrapers, many of which are tall enough to serve as docking spars for startships.
** Much like Coruscant above, Warhammer 40K cities are said to be built in layers, with new levels being built on top of older ones, with the oldest even becoming buried by the weight of the buildings being added to it. In the hive cities these buried layers are generally where the outcasts live; mutants, psykers, heretics, xenos and possibly even genestealer cults.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Video Games ]]
:
* Isla del Sol in the late chapters of ''VideoGame/{{Bayonetta}}'' is hundreds of huge towers with a gigantic tower in the middle. When you get on top of that tower, SceneryPorn ensues.
* Aeropolis in ''VideoGame/{{F-Zero}} GX''.
* The Dark City of ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsII'' definitely counts.
* Taris from [[VideoGame/KnightsoftheOldRepublic KOTOR]].
** Until [[spoiler:Darth Malak orders his fleet to level the entire planet]].
** Also Nar Shaddaa, AKA the Vertical City, in ''VideoGame/JediOutcast''.
* In ''VideoGame/MassEffect2'', most cities on the asari colony of Illium are built high to escape the heat of the surface. Higher levels are reserved for residential and commercial property and lower levels are used for industrial greenhouses and factories.
* The opening level of ''NinjaGaiden II'', aptly named "Sky City Tokyo" is exactly this. Your destination in the level is one of two twin towers... both built on top of an even bigger tower. Itself built several hundred meters above the ground. In the UpdatedRerelease Sigma II, you fight a [[GiantSpaceFleaFromNowhere Buddha statue the size of the Statue of Liberty]] (which you ''also'' fight afterwards) at the end of the level: it looks puny compared to the building it climbs.
* You can build a city like this in ''VideoGame/SimCity'' if you so choose.
* The ''Franchise/SonicTheHedgehog'' series is absolutely full of these, beginning with Star Light Zone in the [[VideoGame/SonicTheHedgehog original game]].
** Stardust Speedway in ''[[VideoGame/SonicTheHedgehogCD Sonic CD]]'' is a bottomless city in all time periods Sonic is present in, even when it resembled AncientGrome.
** The district of Station Square near Speed Highway in ''VideoGame/SonicAdventure'' and ''VideoGame/SonicGenerations'' contains solely of buildings hundreds of stories tall and has no visible ground.
** Grand Metropolis, Casino Park, and BINGO Highway in ''VideoGame/SonicHeroes'' are set ridiculously far up. Oddly, Power Plant and Grand Metropolis, always has a visible floor not far below. Hang Castle manages to give this feel to a Transylvanian castle.
** Future City in the ''VideoGame/SonicRiders'' subseries has a ground floor far beneath but is generally not visible.
** With the exception of the park, Empire City in ''VideoGame/SonicUnleashed'' is like this.
* Hengsha in ''VideoGame/DeusExHumanRevolution'' is on the way to becoming this. It's a giant two-tiered city split into Upper and Lower Hengsha. However, despite expectations, Lower Hengsha is not all-slums. It's where people tend to live and go out, while Upper Hengsha is where big businesses are located.
* The city of Anor Londo in ''VideoGame/DarkSouls'' has several occasions in which you must cross over deep chasms in between buildings. The whole level takes place on the city's rooftops with the ground nowhere in sight.
* Rapture in the ''Franchise/BioShock'' series is like this (at least from the outside; none of the actual levels look like they could be the actual inside of a skyscraper; either there are too many windows or too few floors or both). It sort of makes sense since it was mostly a planned city in which "ground level" is the rocky ocean floor, useless for building roads on. It's a little trickier to explain how people ''did'' get from one building to the next; supposedly they used radio-guided bathyspheres, and a railway system before that, but no rails are ever seen from the outside and each metro station contains docking room for only one tiny sphere.
* ''VideoGame/TheMatrixPathOfNeo'' especially visible in the chase scene and finally levels that there are hardly any short buildings in the city.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Visual Novel ]]
:
* Invoked in the last Episode of ''UminekoNoNakuKoroNi'' with [[GreatBigLibraryOfEverything "the Majestic Witch of Theatergoing, Drama and Spectating's Grand City of Carefully Selected Books"]] (or "City of Books" to make it short). It's a library so gigantic that the shelves are compared to skyscrapers − it's not called "city" for nothing.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Web Comics ]]
:
* ''Webcomic/{{Homestuck}}'': Dave lives in one of these. [[http://www.mspaintadventures.com/?s=6&p=002565 Here's a link]] (end of the flash)

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Western Animation ]]
:
* In ''WesternAnimation/BatmanBeyond'', Gotham has grown even more massive, to the point where it seems to be nothing but superstructures. Rooftop parks, vertical commuter trains, and elevated neighborhoods are common. The [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FlobFExM-UM opening]] shows Gotham's old skyline, which is positively dwarfed by the new skyline behind it.
* ''TheJetsons''. You never see the ground throughout the whole series. The exception is in "The Flying Suit," where George flies down to the surface. It is bright, grassy, and populated by birds who took to the ground now that the humans are in the sky.
** An episode of ''WesternAnimation/HarveyBirdmanAttorneyAtLaw'' explained that the people live in the sky because the Earth had become dangerously polluted.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Real Life ]]
:
* The most developed cities often end up [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_cities_with_most_skyscrapers having a rather high ratio of tall buildings to land area]], although most would be puny in a typical sci-fi setting.
** Hong Kong and Singapore are especially noteworthy. As [[LandOfOneCity Lands of One City]] their possibilities of expanding horizontally are restricted by the limited amount of suitable land available.
----