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    The Shard - Europe's New Tallest Building Opens

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    Geo Beats

    by Geo Beats

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    The Shard - Europe's New Tallest Building - as part of the news series by GeoBeats.

    London is an especially busy metropolis these days with the upcoming Olympics.

    The city is also unveiling The Shard, Western Europe's new tallest building with a height of 1,016 feet.

    Just as with the opening of other major landmarks in history, The Shard's opening is not without controversy.

    Many wonder if Renzo Piano's designed building accentuates the existing skyline or if it has a negative aesthetic effect. One of the most well known examples of a landmark that was initially criticized is the Eiffel Tower - French artists wanted the tower torn down fearing it would diminish the architectural beauty of Paris.

    Then there are also questions around its occupancy as much of it remains empty during its opening due to tough economic conditions. However, since The Shard has mostly been funded by Qatar's royal family, the pressure for occupancy is much less compared to a scenario in which a public-company had funded the construction.

    Burj Khalifa, the world's current tallest building, had similar questions around occupancy in January 2010. Its occupancy levels have increased since then but it remains an enormous undertaking to fill a skyscraper that has 160 floors.

    What do you think - will we see more or less skyscrapers in future?