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Today’s News - Thursday, October 28, 2010

•   Weinstein offers an eloquent ode to a door handle by Hadid (and a challenge to design students).

•   Long takes on the resurrection of towering plans in London, but wonders "why do these projects get such stupid names?" Helter Skelter, Walkie-Talkie, Cheesegrater are "jolly, lobotomizing nicknames" as "marketing newspeak that is more interested in shapes and nicknames than in the quality of the city's ancient streets."

•   Litt cheers Living Cities' granting $14.75 million to Cleveland to help "jump-starting fresh ideas about how to fight poverty, rebuild urban wastelands and build wealth in poor neighborhoods."

•   Tasmania working on a blueprint to halt urban sprawl and ad hoc development by encouraging high-density housing in urban centers.

•   Vaclav Havel bemoans the "heedlessness of modern life": "Our cities are being permitted without control to destroy the surrounding landscape...and build in their place some sort of gigantic agglomeration that renders life nondescript...under the banner of international uniformity."

•   Tel Aviv's city architect says traffic and wasteful buildings are the city's biggest polluting culprits that must be addressed (how about good public transportation and re-using existing buildings instead of constructing new green buildings).

•   Young Moscow architects initiate the "11-47" and "Get Out One Station Earlier, and You'll Know Your City Better" movements to better connect residents to their city.

•   Doha may be shaping up as a show piece for starchitectural talent, but one Qatari firm says local talent should not be intimidated.

•   Ferrari World Abu Dhabi may be a feat of engineering, but it is really "no more than another triumph of really bad judgment" in one of the driest places on earth?

•   A call for developers to make crucial decisions during pre-design and concept design phases: "These initial macro-decisions are so substantial that subsequent remedial ones may not offset the magnitude of early missed opportunities."

•   CABE: here today, gone tomorrow, or could it be reborn in a new form - or might the Prince's Foundation take the reins (with promises to not favor only traditional architecture).

•   Hawthorne finds the LA Museum of the Holocaust design "conflicted," though it's not all the architect's fault: the "rather apologetic landmark" is more "a sign of the anemic support politicians and the public give to cultural as opposed to developer-driven architecture in this city."

•   Farrelly cheers the "small, strange" projects - "the cuties" are the most compelling winners in the Australian Institute of Architects National Architecture Awards - though there's one that "sits at the far other end of the size and quirk spectrum."

•   Bevan sees a bigger picture in the AIA awards with a blurring of the lines that creates great architecture as urban landscaping.

•   European cities get the "bike bug," but will the bike sharing fad last? + The Copenhagen Wheel creates an e-bike that could be a valuable tool for urban planners.

•   Cape Town throws its hat in the ring to be World Design Capital 2014: it has "a strong story to tell of how design is being used to undo how the City was historically designed to divide people."

•   We couldn't resist: a fairy tale comes true for Germany's Dragon Castle - "an architectural mishmash" is faithfully restored (amazing slide show).


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