[[quoteright:350:[[Film/ThePhantomMenace http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/ville_gatte_ciel.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:350:Excuse me sir, do you know where I could find [[TheCityNarrows the ground?]]]]

->''"New York is vertical -- all skyscrapers."''
-->-- '''Creator/TonyScott'''

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 almost or even '''literally''' nothing but buildings that dwarf the [[UsefulNotes/{{Dubai}} Burj Khalifa]]. The issue of these towers' 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, CrystalSpiresAndTogas, and SciFiWritersHaveNoSenseOfScale. LayeredMetropolis is a subtrope.
!! Examples:

* Sternbild from ''Anime/TigerAndBunny'' is so tall that has been divided into levels.
* The Field Spell Card [[http://yugioh.wikia.com/wiki/Skyscraper "Skyscaper"]] in ''Anime/YuGiOhGX'' builds a city made entirely of skyscapers in the field. In a second season episode, Judai's friend Hayato (who's now a card designer for I2) gives him a new Field Spell called "[[http://yugioh.wikia.com/wiki/Skyscraper_2 Skyscraper 2 Hero City]]", which builds a far bigger, futuristic city of skyscrapers. Also, Edo Phoenix has an equivalent for Destiny Heroes called [[http://yugioh.wikia.com/wiki/Dark_City Dark City]].

* Gotham City from ''Franchise/{{Batman}}''. Even more so in ''Film/TheDarkKnightSaga'' and taken UpToEleven in the posters.
* MegaCity One in the ''ComicBook/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 ''ComicBook/TheMightyThor'', and in any Marvel comic taking place there.

* ''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 ''Film/{{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 ''Franchise/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.

* 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 Creator/RobertSilverberg's ''The World Inside'', much of the world is covered in vertical cities called Urban Monads, where people are born, live, and die without ever having to leave.
* In ''Literature/{{Updraft}}'', there's a fantasy version; the city consists of a cluster of living towers made of bone, high above the clouds (and slowly rising as the towers "grow"). Some are connected with bridges, but the fastest way to travel is by strapping on wings. People don't go down to the ground at all, and barely even acknowledge that there might ''be'' a ground.

* Sharn from the ''TabletopGame/{{Eberron}}'' campaign setting for ''TabletopGame/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.
* ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}''
** Hive cities are more accurately described as a kilometers-tall skyscraper the ''size'' of a city.
*** 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.
** 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 starships.

* ''Franchise/RatchetAndClank'' takes this and pretty much makes it its own VideogameSetting! Nearly every game in the series has one, and amazingly they all manage to feel different from each other, even the ones that appear in multiple games. In all examples, the ground is never seen and is treated as a BottomlessPit. Said levels include:
** Metropolis from ''[[VideoGame/RatchetAndClank2002 Ratchet & Clank]]'', ''[[VideoGame/RatchetAndClankUpYourArsenal Up Your Arsenal]]'', ''[[VideoGame/RatchetAndClankFutureToolsOfDestruction Tools of Destruction]]'', ''[[VideoGame/RatchetAndClankFullFrontalAssault Full Frontal Assault]]'' via DLC and the [[VideoGame/RatchetAndClank2016 2016 game]]/[[WesternAnimation/RatchetAndClank movie]] as Aleero City. It's easily the most well-known and iconic example in the series, and not just through repetition.
** Megapolis from ''[[VideoGame/RatchetAndClankGoingCommando Going Commando]]''.
** Meridian City from ''Tools of Destruction'' and ''[[VideoGame/RatchetAndClankIntoTheNexus Into the Nexus]]''.
** Axiom City from ''[[VideoGame/RatchetAndClankFutureACrackInTime A Crack in Time]]''.
** Luminopolis and Uzo City from ''[[VideoGame/RatchetAndClankAll4One All 4 One]]''.
* 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/FZero 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 world of Illium are built close to the poles to escape the heat nearer to the equator. Higher levels of the cities are reserved for residential and commercial property and lower levels are used for industrial greenhouses and factories.
* The opening level of ''VideoGame/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]]. As far as this trope goes, this series is notable for not needing to look futuristic, with plenty of examples using architecture from the past. Apparently, in the Sonic universe, even ancient people knew how to make extremely tall, sprawling cities.
** 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 exception is the absolute bottom-most parts of the Ancient Grome time period, where water can be seen at ground level.
** 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 hub stage, Skyscraper Scamper in ''VideoGame/SonicUnleashed'' is like this. A dense fog envelops the lower levels. Some areas of Savannah Citadel and Rooftop Run also have this appearance, despite the former resembling a Saharan mosque constructed of mud and wood and the latter resembling a centuries-old northern Italian town.
* 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 ''VideoGame/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.
* Harbor Prime in ''VideoGame/{{Dex}}'' has a population of 13.8 million people and its architecture is consequently dominated by skyscrapers and other tall buildings.
* ''VideoGame/PhantasyStarOnline2'' has the premiere field of Episode 4's planet Earth: [[TokyoIsTheCenterOfTheUniverse Tokyo]].
* Rhythm Route in ''VideoGame/KirbyPlanetRobobot'' is a musical metropolis.
* Thrill City in ''VideoGame/{{Forza}}'' ''Horizon 3'''s "Hot Wheels Expansion". While the ground is perfectly accessible, much of the racing is done on tracks high in the air.
* ''VideoGame/SuperMarioOdyssey'' has New Donk City, capital of the Metro Kingdom, that is heavily based on 1930s New York City. The city itself appears to be [[LayeredMetropolis on top of an even larger skyscraper]].

* Invoked in the last Episode of ''VisualNovel/UminekoWhenTheyCry'' 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.

* ''Webcomic/{{Homestuck}}'': Dave lives in one of these. [[http://www.mspaintadventures.com/?s=6&p=002565 Here's a link]] (end of the flash)
** Dave canonically lives in Houston TX, which really does have a lot of tall buildings (it has the third highest skyline in the US, after New York City and Chicago), though perhaps not quite as many as suggested by the flash.
* Southland in ''Webcomic/FamiliarTerritory''.

* 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. One episode centers around a robot called the G.L.M. [[FunWithAcronyms (Galvanic Lifter Machine, aka GOLEM)]] a fifty-foot tall monstrosity which is used to build these structures.
* ''WesternAnimation/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.
* In ''WesternAnimation/SamuraiJack'', Jack frequently finds himself in cities like these. It's most apparent in "Jack and the Hunters," when hunters chase Jack up the buildings to the rooftops. Aku seems to put his lairs only in these super-tall cities too, which may be why Jack seems to be in these megalopolises half the time he's wandering the planet.
* In ''WesternAnimation/KongKingOfTheApes'', when Kong is being given a medal by the UN, New York is shown as almost entirely mile-high glass skyscrapers. As a MythologyGag, when Kong is swinging through the buildings, his friends point out the relatively small Empire State Building, far below them.

* [[BigApplesauce New York City]], especially Manhattan, has had this as its reputation since the 1930s.
* The most developed cities often end up [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_cities_with_the_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.