As a general rule one should be cautious about treating the physical landscape of architecture as a literal representation of the social, political or economic landscapes of the city. The often excessive amount of time it takes to acquire land, to generate a design, to gain the necessary planning consents and then actually to build means that architecture responds only slowly and clumsily to the rapid and subtle transformations of policy and of circumstance that daily influence and shape urban life. However, while the cityscape might prove a very unreliable barometer of short-term trends, it can often present an eloquent image of the broad sweep of historical change. 
This is particularly true of the metropolitan skyline, for it is there that the vertical scale of the city's buildings can be read. To view the silhouette of the city is to see shifting relations of power and influence mapped out over long swathes of time, for in architecture height is intimately associated with the expression of power. 


Kerr, J 'Blowdown: The Rise and Fall of London's Tower Blocks' in Kerr, J and Gibson, A (eds) (2003) London: From Punk to Blair London: Reaktion