The Paris city council voted Tuesday to consider erecting tall buildings on the rim of this historically low-rise capital. Plans to build towers of up to 220m at six sites in the French capital will now go to public consultation. They will contain shops, offices and childcare centres.
Socialist mayor Bertrand Delanoe also wants new blocks of flats to counter a housing shortage.
The ban on buildings exceeding 40m was introduced in 1977. Many believed that the 350m Eiffel Tower should be the only building dominating the skyline.
Building height limits have changed little in Paris since Baron Haussmann redesigned the city during the mid-19th century, with caps now at 121 feet.
Only a handful of exceptions have been made for high-rise projects in recent decades
The new decision means that six new sites, under consideration for completion between 2012 and 2014, could host buildings reaching as high as 656 feet, or a little under two-thirds the height of the Eiffel Tower.
The city is currently home to only a scattering of towers, notably including the Montparnasse Tower, which, at 690 feet, stirred controversy when it was built in 1972 and is still considered an eyesore by many Parisians today.
Mr Delanoe insisted the new rules would not blight Paris, saying the administration would not repeat the mistakes of the past.