In science fiction, cities of the future have a common look: super-tall slender towers with angled crowns, all about the same age, rising in a cluster from a flat plain seen from an elevated distance.

Like this:

Or from Lions Gate Bridge:

That’s Metrotown on the centre right – Burnaby’s main regional town centre that started in the 1970s with its first highrises and is now going through another spate of growth, this time with sure-tall slender towers with angled crowns …

It may look like a cliche of the future but, of course, it’s rooted in the past – from the Livable Region Plan’s proposed town centres in 1975:

Metrotown is the largest of the seven designated centres, all of which (plus a few other SkyTrain station areas) seem to be going through explosive growth – even Lonsdale on the North Shore:

In addition to the sheer number of new towers, their impact on the skyline results from their elevated heights and, whether deliberate or not, a clustering effect where, as above, there is a supertall tower in the centre that serves as a peak towards which the other towers rise – duplicating the mountain range behind them.