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Today’s News - Thursday, April 14, 2011

•   Neustein takes on Ban's "paper-thin humanitarian ethos" by questioning whether it's "more about branding than functionality" (gasp! heresy?!!?).

•   In China's "era of larger-than-life buildings and high-profile commissions...where have all the Chinese architects gone?" They're still recovering "from the effects of Cultural Revolution."

•   Ouroussoff takes on New Orleans's hopes of funding for "a promising new model for housing the poor in cities across the country" - and "a chance to undo a legacy of injustice."

•   Also in New Orleans, efforts underway to save a 1950s school considered "a radical design in its time" with a call to incorporate it into plans for a new school.

•   Detroit planners are facing "difficult decisions that will determine which neighborhoods can be saved and which cannot."

•   A Massachusetts town decides to completely raze and rebuild its downtown that is "a reversal of the traditional urban development model" and could be a template for the future.

•   Two Viñoly projects in Brooklyn and London could be cautionary tales about not getting caught in the "nostalgia trap" (he also "doesn't think too highly of either gem he's been handed").

•   Brussat on what could/should happen with land freed up by a road relocation project in Providence that "could again showcase urban planning at its nimble best" - if only city leaders could "be trusted to treat city building as an adult enterprise" instead of acting like "modern architect wannabes."

•   Bernstein on Facebook's own city-building and its hopes for it to be "collaborative, inclusive and just a little bit gritty" - but will the real city around its new HQ really benefit?

•   Two tales from Tel Aviv from Zandberg and Dvir revolve around a public square (designed by a non-architect) and the boondoggle of preservation of one of its historic buildings, the Mann Auditorium: "What else can go wrong that hasn't already?"

•   Saffron gives (mostly) thumbs-down to new IRS HQ in old Philly post office: "city poobahs" may have had worthy planning goals, "but a high-security facility cannot possibly serve as a gateway to anything...To see the site today is to marvel at the bait-and-switch."

•   Gardner has an amusing but serious take on Ingel's Manhattan pyramid: will it be a "Klingon warship on the Hudson" or will the approval process turn it into something unremarkable; for now, at least "we can allow ourselves to marvel at the audacity, if nothing else."

•   Lubell reflects on the future of home building: "mass produced housing stock has become, with a few welcome exceptions, architecturally, urbanistically, and morally bankrupt."

•   DS+R scores another California win - this one an arts center for Stanford University.

•   AIA 2011 COTE Top Ten Green Projects announced (great presentations).

•   72 Hour Urban Action biennial goes bi-coastal in the U.S.

•   Call for entries: Evergreen Awards 2011 for outstanding building performance and design in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico.


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