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This article contends that critical urban research is characterized by horizontalism. It argues that the swathe of recent urban writings have neglected the vertical qualities of contemporary urbanization. The article’s introductory section elaborates this argument in detail. The paper then elucidates three areas where vertically oriented research is emerging. These encompass: the links between Google Earth and urbanism; the connections between social secession and ascension through buildings, walkways and personalized air travel; and the links between verticalized surveillance and urban burrowing.