New York City is renowned for its towering skyscrapers that dominate its skyline. These impressive buildings have become an iconic feature of the city, drawing in millions of visitors every year. However, the construction of these towering buildings was not without controversy.

At the beginning of the 20th century, real estate developers in New York City were investing heavily in Manhattan, leading to the rapid development of the city. These investors were keen on maximizing their returns on investment, which often resulted in the construction of massive, bloated buildings that occupied the entire lot, leaving little space for surrounding buildings.

This excessive approach to construction had a negative impact on the city's urban environment. The narrow streets were dark and narrow, and the air quality was poor. Furthermore, the towering buildings cast large shadows on the surrounding area, blocking out sunlight and fresh air.

One infamous example of this style of architecture was the Hang Seng Building (Equitable Building,1912-1915), which had a volume rate and capacity of 13000 people. It blocked out the lighting and ventilation of the surrounding buildings and resulted in a decline in the rental rates of the surrounding area.

In 1916, the New York City government introduced the Zoning Act to address the issue of greedy construction practices. The act clearly defined the maximum building height and volume for each site, and it restricted real estate developers from occupying more space than the defined limits.

Developers could maintain 100% building density on the land within a certain height limit, but beyond this height, the space on the street side should be made available. If the building is taller, the area should be given up, and only when the floor area of the main building is less than 25% of the land area, it is not necessary to continue to retreat.

The Zoning Act had a significant impact on the design of buildings in New York City. Architects were forced to adopt more restrained and beautiful designs, such as the off-stage architecture style that incorporated a hillside drop. The Empire State Building and the Chrysler Building are examples of this style, which has been referred to as the "wedding cake" or "Babylonian pyramid."

Today, Manhattan is home to more than 5,500 tall buildings, 35 of which are over 200 meters tall. These towering structures are the headquarters of numerous Fortune 500 companies, and they house the United Nations Headquarters. Lower Manhattan is home to Wall Street, the world's most important financial center, and iconic buildings such as the Empire State Building, Rockefeller Center, and the Chrysler Building.

In summary, the development of skyscrapers in New York City has been both impressive and controversial. While these towering buildings have become an iconic feature of the city, their construction has had a significant impact on the urban environment.

However, the introduction of the Zoning Act in 1916 helped to address the issue of greedy construction practices, leading to the development of more restrained and beautiful designs that are now synonymous with New York City.