I often hear these from friends -- "you live in the city, right?", "loft? How about those nice luxury condo buildings?", "No? Why not? I thought that's real city living....". Don't get me wrong. I grew up in Hong Kong, and lived in many high rise buildings. I was/am used to them. But given the choice, I very much prefer the real or fake (new) loft buildings that is at most 5 or 6 stories tall. Why? It is because, part of the reason for living in the city is that I feel more connected to the neighborhood and people. From my windows, I can see the streets, and the city activities on the street, day and night. I can see the people in the next building. I can see the courtyard and parks. I feel like I am almost there. If I move to a high rise building, that visual connection is lost. You are now looking out a window far away from the ground. You cannot make out the details of the activities. You are not connected. It's more like voyeurism rather than connected.
Also, most highrise are designed so that the connecting spaces, the corridors on each floor, are narrow and have way too many units per floor. It becames a very impersonal space, very disconnected. You live in a box within a box, and don't know anyone around you. That's not city living.