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Today’s News - Thursday, September 9, 2010

•   Two-part NPR report re: green building - is it really creating a real estate revolution, and is USGBC's LEED program fulfilling its promises?

•   An architect gets serious about how architecture can help the elderly age gracefully.

•   Steve Paul pulls no punches about a Kansas City project and mediocrity: the "big bad corporate bullies have backed down" on a historic preservation issue, but it still leaves "a hulky, bulky heap of office plop. Should we expect any more than this?"

•   A new development forgoes tiled roofs for "boxy Bauhaus dwellings" that becomes "a critique of Israeli suburbanization" (but folks seem to like it).

•   Plans to return part of San Diego's Balboa Park to pedestrians puts parking problems in the spotlight.

•   Bey and Kamin weigh in on Chicago's mega-mover Mayor Daley's 21(!)-year architectural legacy, now he's stepping down: the city is "more walkable, livable, sustainable and beautiful," but "there is more work to be done"; and the "democratically-elected king...ruled with an iron fist and a green thumb," taking "urban design risks that other mayors...would be too timid to try."

•   Kamin also offers news that the "the mayor's agenda for re-shaping the city rolls on."

•   Iain Sinclair, "seduced by its faded charms," offers an eloquent ode to the U.K.'s 1938 Marine Court apartment complex: it may have "the dignity of an old circus elephant," but its "magic, despite all evidence to the contrary, is happening again: an onboard democracy based on unreasoning love."

•   California plans to throw its hat in the ring to host 2020 World Expo in Silicon Valley (Atlanta, New York, Los Angeles, Houston, and Minneapolis have the same high hopes).

•   Q&A with RIBA's CEO Rich re: competitions ("Architects should not provide free creative work"), and expectations ("The thing we can't do is stop the recession").

•   McKeag cheers teams of young architects thrown into a room for 10 days to learn to use new parametric software tools and concepts about biomimicry: "you get some pretty excited designers and you get some pretty interesting results."

•   Researchers from the U.S., Australia, and Russia create nano-architectured aluminum alloy with strength of steel (let those young designers loose with that!).

•   An architect hopes her "Bat Tower" in Buffalo's Griffis Sculpture Park will raise awareness about the animals and a fatal disease threatening their population in the Northeast.

•   Hosey named president and CEO of sustainability non-profit GreenBlue (yay, Lance!).

•   ASLA announces 2010 Student Awards (and we cheer our pal John King receiving Hon. ASLA tonight, on the eve of the ASLA Convention in D.C.).

•   Sierra Club issues its Cool School list of America's greenest campuses.

•   Call for entries: 4th Annual Design Collabetition for K-12 schools, and 2nd Annual Design Collabetition for college campuses + Deadline reminder: 5th Annual IIDA/Metropolis Smart Environment Awards.


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