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Today’s News - Thursday, January 19, 2012

•   Chipperfield pens his agenda (in English and Italian) for the Venice Biennale: "I am interested in the things that architects share in common."

•   Hanscom gives thumbs-up (and down) to Obama's urban agenda: while agencies are shifting "away from subsidizing suburban sprawl" and there are "smart-growthers and new urbanists in key positions," there is also "a tale that might make you tear your hair out."

•   CTBUH releases its annual tall-building trends report: more skyscrapers "were completed in 2011 than in any year previous," and a "global dip is no longer expected. The effect this will have on the skylines of the world will be tremendous."

•   Chaban discovers the real reason there are no skyscrapers in the middle of Manhattan: "Like cavemen following mammoth across the Bering Strait, early developers were following their prey" (so much for the "Manhattan bedrock myth").

•   Benfield cheers Washington, DC's "spiffy green waterfront" the city can be proud of: "It's about time" (great pix and links!).

•   A group of Perth architects, urban planners, and historians has launched a campaign against the city's waterfront plans; its designer dismisses the criticism as "1970s claptrap" (with links to several detailed news stories).

•   A much more positive response to a proposal for Cairns, Australia's waterfront.

•   Trump threatens to dump his golf resort plans in Aberdeen, Scotland, if a proposed offshore wind farm goes forward, but some say the government should call his bluff + The Donald goes from capitalist to conservationist in "not an altogether convincing ironic it would be if the blowhard's grand vision was undone by a wind farm" (second is a most amusing read).

•   Hotel architecture is "undergoing a transformation" - unless you're a contrarian: with the exception of some high-profile, 5-star properties, what's being designed is "mere drops in an ocean of mediocrity."

•   Brussat brings us a tale of two resurrections in Dresden: "I would ask which aesthetic calls us more effectively to peace."

•   Q&A with P+W's Syrett re: the development and applications of the firm's free online database of building materials that contain substances known or suspected to be harmful to health.

•   Good news x 2 from AIA: it signs an MOU with Public Architecture and The 1% to advance pro bono service "as a fundamental component of practice" + AIA ABI goes up: it may not mean "we are in a full recovery mode," but "it's entirely possible conditions will slowly continue to improve" (our fingers and toes are crossed!).

•   In the U.K., Design Council Cabe appoints a town planner and urban designer as its new director.

•   We just couldn't resist the power of bird-song: a California town piping bird calls over a streetscape says it's reducing crime; skeptics are all aflutter (it does sound beautiful).

•   Call for entries: National and University Library NUK II in Ljubljana, Slovenia.


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