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Today’s News - Tuesday, November 9, 2010

•   The New Urbanist vs. Landscape Urbanist debate continues as Krieger answers Duany: "Your rumored coup at the Harvard GSD is greatly exaggerated...let me assure all those concerned about the 'coup,' that Urban Design at Harvard is alive and well."

•   Welton on the winning goods the U.S. has for export to China: architecture - "Americans bring to the table a sense of place with know-how about great urban spaces, tall buildings" (but look for China to start catching up).

•   The "emotional debate" re: height limits in Washington, DC, has "a small tribe of developers, architects and urban experts" questioning the rules, and preservationists very wary (though it's all academic - it would take an act of Congress to change things, so don't expect any changes any time soon).

•   Jersey City residents want their own High Line; a developer wants apartments (with green space included, but residents aren't buying it).

•   Kamin is glad a Chicago plaza got a much-needed facelift, but because there was no architect or landscape architect involved, the "outcome is predictably prosaic" and "falls flat in its quest to become a civic gathering place."

•   Perhaps they should all check out NYU-Poly's Betaville digital tool that allows all the stakeholders in a project to participate.

•   Gellner takes on Modernist glass boxes: "as much as architects adore" them, "they simply don't work as buildings."

•   A Winnipeg architect calls for the city to pay heed to its (mostly unsung) Modernist treasures as one if its most important examples faces "impending demolition."

•   Bey offers a visual sampling of what's been lost since the bulldozers began rolling at Chicago's Michael Reese Hospital complex (so many!).

•   Peck gives Gehry's Ruvo Center a mixed review: "it is indeed full of surprises" (good ones, that is), but "patients get the short end of the stick, design-wise" (apparently there's also a pesky dead bird problem, too - yuck).

•   Campbell sings high praise for the interior of a Brookline church chapel, "one of Boston's best architectural spaces" (though the exterior leaves much to be desired).

•   Litt cheers Holzman's "eye-catching, thoughtful, almost subversively inventive" addition to Kent State University that is "a tour de force and a delightful rebuke to the anti-design mood at KSU."

•   An eyeful of OMA's first cultural building in France; move over Seattle - it's a library.

•   The U.K.'s AHMM "hits pay dirt" in Oklahoma City with 12(!) projects: "the city is posed to become a model of European-style urban planning in the U.S."

•   Lubell cheers wHY Architecture's "makeover magic" that turned an old Venice, CA, WPA-era power plant into an art gallery that "makes the old feel alive."

•   Of architects and good deeds: Lasky looks deep into why "socially responsible design is a whole lot harder than it looks" + Bryan Bell urges activism in design because architecture and the design professionals "have 'a superhero ability to see things that aren't there,'" and "can harness these skills to improve the community" + Walker cheers desigNYC's apparently very successful paring of designers with nonprofits (but will pro bono work lead to paying gigs?).

•   The UN measures nations' quality of life: Norway tops the list, with Australia, New Zealand, U.S., and Ireland filling out the Top 5.


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