Think of buildering -- or urban climbing -- as rock climbing in an urban environment. Instead of scaling cliff walls, you're climbing up the sides of buildings [source: Urban Climbing]. Unlike parkour, the idea in buildering is not to leap from structure to structure to get to a destination. It's all about the climb and the view.
Buildering is gaining popularity right now in Russia, where climbers like 22-year-old Max Polazov break into buildings to photograph themselves doing dangerous stunts [source: Longbottom]. Here in the U.S., buildering has a long history going back to the first skyscrapers. The most well-known modern builderer is probably Alain Robert, a Frenchman who famously scaled the Empire State Building, the Golden Gate Bridge and the Sears Tower [source: Urban Climbing].
Urban climbing often involves breaking and entering or trespassing, which is why it is illegal. You can practice buildering with or without ropes, and for many, the illicit nature of the sport is part of the appeal [source: Wells]. Buildering and arrests seem to go hand-in-hand, with many prominent builderers like Robert sporting lengthy arrest records. He's been arrested more than 100 times and climbed more than 120 buildings in the U.S. and abroad [source: Hudson]. In fact, when Robert climbed the New York Times Building, the police were waiting to arrest him at the top [source: The Rock Shoes].