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Today’s News - Wednesday, March 14, 2012

•   Hanscom hails a new report that "describes cities that have traded in highways for parks, mixed-use developments, and all manner of urbanist bliss" - but have city leaders really seen the light?

•   Boyd cheers the University of Wisconsin's COWS program and its Mayors Innovation Project - a simple concept: mayors meet, face-to-face, to exchange ideas about policies and practices, and are "encouraged to take new policy ideas home for immediate implementation - an idea that should stand with us well until the COWS come home."

•   The MIT Japan 3/11 Initiative is "giving students invaluable experience while also helping devastated communities."

•   As Helsinki says hell no to building a Guggenheim, "it would be a good idea to stop and think why we are turning our backs with such unanimity to cooperation offered by a great international art museum" (some interesting/disturbing speculation here).

•   Meanwhile, Modena, Italy, is getting ready for its own Bilbao moment with the opening of the Enzo Ferrari Museum (Kaplicky would be pleased - it looks like a hot sports car itself).

•   The Barbican's Kenyon muses on what arts centers will look like in the future: "At a time of real challenge to our social and economic framework, the arts should be at the centre of urban life, not at the periphery."

•   Long takes a long look and likes what he sees at McAslan's King's Cross Station, a 15-year odyssey that was "one of the thorniest logistical and architectural problems in London" (fyi: Harry Potter's Platform 9 3/4 is included!).

•   Schumacher is totally taken by some "do-it-yourself urbanism" in Milwaukee: a "not-too-sexy" building may not be "gorgeous architecture," but it is "handsome," "understated," and "a green machine" with "texture and nobility" (great pix).

•   Melbourne's Pixel Building scores 105 out of 110 LEED points: "while it may be only a small building, its impact will be felt on the design of other office buildings not only in Australia but around the world."

•   Berger ponders what can be done to save Seattle's historic, "gem-sized" (i.e. tiny) Volunteer Park Conservatory: "Can it afford to stay small? ...can a small entity bulk up its clout without having to build a non-profit behemoth?"

•   Rosenbaum continues to roil re: Rudolph's Orange County Government Center: there's a public meeting coming up, so "fire up your GPS, architecture activists!" (also tweeting the cause are Goldberger and Lange).

•   With Las Vegas' "penchant for spectacular implosions," it's looking like the fate of unfinished Harmon Hotel might be sealed.

•   An impressive shortlist (46+ firms!) in the running to design Cambridge urban extension: "among the stars lined up..."

•   The British Council's list of "Venice Explorers" to gather material for the British Pavilion at the Venice Biennale is none too shabby itself.

•   We couldn't resist: a 1925 take on what cities might look like in 1950: a Popular Science infographic that "probably says more about 1925 than it does about 1950."

•   Call for entries: International Architectural Ideas Competition for the new National Museum of Afghanistan (big cash prizes!) + Solutia World of Color Awards International Design Competition.


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