The Prince of Wales, the most notorious architecture critic of our time, has gone on the attack again, and he's worth listening to all the way out here in Seattle, Vancouver, and Portland. His new target: the "free-for-all" building of highrises in places like London. London, it turns out, is undergoing a wave of high-rise apartment towers, making lots of money for developers, driving up affordability, and offering precious little public good. Here's part of what the Prince said at a keynote speech to a London seminar on development: In chasing the corporate tenants or the buy-to-let investor, we may not only be destroying our heritage but killing the goose that lays the golden egg, for we will destroy what makes our cities and towns so attractive to tourists in the process. My concern is that London will become like everywhere else, with the same homogenised buildings that express nothing but outdated sustainability. The danger, he want on, as reported in The Guardian is the mad scramble by historic cities like London and Edinburgh to become world cities in such a way that they end up looking like all other world cities, not like distinctive, historic places. Prince Charles is not opposed to all such towers, just when they are "vandalizing" sites that retain human scale. A prime example is the glass tower now being built and looming over the Pike Place Market. Better to confine such towers to groupings in non-historic zones, as in the urban quarter of La Defense, just outside old Paris, or Canary Wharf east of London. That's a bold prescription, since developers want to market luxury condos as being near historic places of character. Besides, places like the Market, being old and low rise, protect the view. Can you imagine a city plan with enough courage to ban high rises in the most distinctive and historic parts of town? That might take more than a prince, such as a king, to pull off.