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Today’s News - Wednesday, March 31, 2010

•   Ouroussoff cheers Haiti's new direction in urban planning: it "could become a reliable blueprint not just for reconstruction, but also for solving many of the urban ills that have plagued the country for decades."

•   McGuirk on our new urban age and "how cities became our greatest design challenge yet."

•   A tool that can help is GIS technology: the challenge is getting architects on board - "We don't have time to make geodesign a back-burner issue."

•   Ray C. Anderson (one of our faves) offers an eloquent essay about what he sees "as a shifting mind-set, a growing sense of ethics" that could (and should) lead us to "less stuff, more happiness."

•   Abu Dhabi raises its profile with a new, towering skyline, "taller and slicker than the glass edifices of yesteryear."

•   It should start thinking more about its green spaces, especially for its urban residents who are being "encouraged to walk more and to use cars less."

•   Calys on the transformation of San Francisco's urban alleys into "quaint" and/or "hip" places.

•   Poletti ponders the rebirth of a Pflueger movie palace in Alameda, CA, that "shows the halo effect that can happen after a historic theater is put into use again" in a city bruised by the recession.

•   Huxtable hails Snøhetta for more than just its architecture, particularly its perseverance at Ground Zero.

•   Kieran Long on London's most eco-friendly building: it's about as green as it could get, but even with all its technology, it "can't conceal the feeling that something is awry" with making it an "exemplar of sustainable architecture."

•   Shuttleworth has his say about carbon efficiency and honest design: buildings still have to be beautiful, but "there is a cultural change away from big, blingy glass and gold a more sensible approach."

•   In Melbourne, a utilitarian structure for train yardmasters and signalmen is "more like a jewelry box wedged between the tracks."

•   King on IwamotoScott's moving beyond "the clublike world of architectural theory" to actual buildings (sort of).

•   Rochon rues the "glut of design disasters happening in our neighborhoods" while all the "architectural pizzazz" is happening in Toronto.

•   Lewis laments the lack of a market for modern homes: "change in the near future is unlikely."

•   Kennicott gives (mostly) thumbs-up to "I.M. Pei: Building China Modern" (on PBS tonight): it doesn't deal with all the issues it raises, "but never mind...the visuals are lovely...Pei is also lovely...and given to pronouncements that are both revelatory and poetic."

•   Van Valkenburgh takes the 2010 Arnold W. Brunner Memorial Prize in Architecture: "the only living GSD professor" to get the award (and rarely given to a landscape architect, to boot).

•   One we couldn't resist: a university plans to save a lot of green bucks by switching fonts (who knew printer ink costs around $10,000 a gallon!).


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