I'm curious to know why the question on skyscrapers is considered appropriate for history.se. To start with, the question is actually asked in the present tense :) Secondly, this is something that could change in a few years time and would become invalid. Thirdly, the presence of Tokyo, Taipei, Singapore, and HK in the Asian list is self-obvious which effectively makes the question,

Why is the EU not building skyscrapers while China and specifically Shanghai is?

While I find the question interesting, I see nothing historical or historically significant about it and therefore, off-topic.

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    Looking at all the answers, I don't find anything history-related in them. I vote to close as off-topic. BTW, if you believe a question should be closed, just select "flag > it doesn't belong here, or it is a duplicate > reason for closure". Hopefully a mod or high-rep user will see the flag and vote to close. – American Luke Nov 14 '12 at 13:57
  • The question is asked in present tense because to have buildings how you have to have them built previously, is not this obvious? – Anixx Nov 25 '12 at 20:43

I agree that this question should not have been permitted to make it this far. It's an interesting question, but really doens't have anything to do with history per se. Having said that, some of the answers do indicate a hsitorical perspective on why this situation exists.

I have mentioned this before and will mention it again. Because the site is still in beta mode, we are more likely to accept borderline questions in an effort to encourage participation. At some point we will have to go through every single question on this site and start cleaning them up, which means removing questions like this.

Until then, we are going to allow the community to decide what their tolerance level is. If enough people vote to close it, then it will be closed. Another more likely option would be for people to flag it and suggest that it be converted to a community wiki. Because of the amount of votes on both the question and the answers, it is obvious there is some interest in the topic. However, it would probably be more appropriate as a wiki topic.

Having said that, we as moderators prefer not to overextend our authority. The moderators we have on this site have each taken the position that we would prefer to have the community decide what stays and what goes. If there is something that is blatantly inappropriate we will act on it. Otherwise, we follow the guidance of the community.

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    "At some point we will have to go through every single question on this site and start cleaning them up, which means removing questions like this." This isn't really a good idea, and it will likely generate tons of tension and drama. I'm all for letting the community shape the site, but if you intent to clean up such questions in the future, I really don't understand why not just clean them up now. It's like we are telling people that their questions are good only as far as they help the site graduate, at which point we'll remove them. – yannis Nov 15 '12 at 5:10
  • All of the beta sites go through a similar cleansing process. In fact, a couple of the regular sites have done this as well. It's just a matter of cleaning up the content to make sure everything remains true to the original purpose for the site. I've never seen this create any kind of tension or drame, because it is usually encouraged as a community effort where we ask everyone to help recommend questions that should be candidates for closing. The problem is that we don't have a big enough regular community to really make that work right now. – Steven Drennon Nov 16 '12 at 3:07
  • Drama only happens when people try to create it, we've tried to avoid that here which is sometimes difficult, as History to many, is a passionate subject. I've seen the clean up happen before on other SX sites without issue and for many Beta sites its just the normal course. – MichaelF Nov 18 '12 at 12:13
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    @MichaelF and Steven: I'm fully aware of the periodical clean ups SE sites go through, and I've done more than a few myself on ProgSE. That said when Steven starts this answer with "I agree that this question should not have been permitted to make it this far", I expect the question to be closed. Either you're certain it doesn't fit (and close it) or you are not (in which case let the community take care of it). – yannis Nov 19 '12 at 7:03
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    But a mod saying that he's certain the question should be closed (or no make it this far) and at the same time not stepping in to close it, is a mod that's not moderating. Which isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it can be a bit confusing (mod saying the question doesn't fit + question is open == mixed signals). – yannis Nov 19 '12 at 7:05

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