New York City is known for its iconic skyline -- one that is changing rapidly, whether New Yorkers like it or not.
Aptly nicknamed "supertalls," a proliferation of buildings towering well over 800 feet have been cropping up in Manhattan and quickly: since 2005, 16 of the city's tallest buildings have broken ground in the borough, with more on the way.
And some neighbors aren't happy.
The area directly south of Central Park has six 1,000 foot-plus buildings complete or in the works, including 432 Park Avenue, currently the world's tallest residential building at 1,396 feet. The Nordstrom Tower on 57th Street plans to overtake it at 1,795 feet by 2018.
"It negatively impacts the infrastructure, because it adds density with no additional investment in the subway system [and] the big issue of the shadows these buildings are casting on Central Park," said Layla Law-Gisiko, who heads Manhattan Community Board 5's "Sunshine Task Force," which is looking into the surge in skyscrapers near the park.
These "supertalls" are possible due to zoning laws last updated in 1961, which don't limit building heights in the Central Park South neighborhoods, among others. Most supertall buildings currently in the works, like the Nordstrom Tower, don't require public input as they are built "as-of-right," and don't need approval from the City Planning Commission or Board of Standards and Appeals.
Transferable air space is also a major force behind the developments, according to Law-Gisiko.