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Today’s News - Friday, December 4, 2009

•   Woes for a green future? Leading climate change expert says Copenhagen summit talks are already so flawed that any deal would be a disaster - it would be better to start again from scratch.

•   Why do LEED-certified buildings waste so much energy?

•   Seattle could lead the world as a carbon-neutral city - "so what's standing in the way? Political will."

•   On a brighter note, there's a new toolkit to guide cities and counties through the process of greening their communities (modeled after the PlaNYC guide).

•   Forget airports - mega-train stations are "the symbol of a new age of urban renewal and planet-friendly travel" (glamour and speed included).

•   Columbia University loses attempt to claim eminent domain for campus expansion plans: arguing neighborhood blight is "mere sophistry" and "idiocy" claims the court (read the ruling - it's practically scathing; an appeal is surely in the offing).

•   Cities continue to toss up bland glass boxes "in all their stark, anonymous severity. Will architects ever give us something new" or will they "stick to the one unwritten law of modern architecture: Thou Shalt Not Ornament"?

•   EPA's 2009 National Award for Smart Growth Achievement honors four projects that "bring together sustainability and environmental benefits on the ground."

•   Peter Bohlin, Pugh + Scarpa, and Michael Graves take home AIA national awards.

•   AR 2009 Awards for Emerging Architecture celebrate young architects from around the world.

•   Weekend diversions:

•   MoMA offers "the unruly history - not the svelte myth - of the Bauhaus."

•   An architect and an artist offer "CO2 Cubes" that will visualize carbon emissions for all attending Copenhagen summit.

•   Norway's high-design tourist routes take a "Detour" to Parsons in NYC.

•   In London, Haygarth turns the things we throw away into some amazing (and actually functional) objects.

•   Kamin ponders whether Burnham's "Plan of Chicago" is a work of literature, and cheers a new film about "Mr. Big Plans" debuting this month.

•   'Tis the season of critics' picks: King says "URBANbuild: local/global" may be "this year's most ambitious polemic on urban design" with lessons that are applicable far beyond New Orleans.

•   Ouroussoff and Planetizen offer their list of best books.

•   Eggert's "Securing the Past" is "serious, provocative and original" in defending and securing the past "against the skepticism of postmodernism" (though it's not without its "irritants").

•   A sneak-peek of the 2010 "AIA Guide to New York City" - a new edition a decade in the making.


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