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Today’s News - Tuesday, March 20, 2012

•   Christchurch is seeing some new redevelopment even without a new city plan finalized - one that many see "as a wish list reflecting naive public aspirations for design and layout of a rebuilt central city."

•   Bradbury and Bogunovich put forth the notion that perhaps Christchurch and Auckland should reconsider the rush to density in their CBDs: "low-density cities can assume a coherent urban form."

•   King bemoans the downsizing or disappearance of "almost every public feature" in the revised plan for Transbay Tower: it "might be good for the bottom line, but it undermines one of the most ambitious park projects in the nation."

•   Crosbie bemoans a "dinosaur in the desert" (a.k.a. the Burj Khalifa): "there is no question that it is an elegant object, glistening on the skyline...But the bigger question is: 'Should it be done?'"

•   Hume ponders whether Toronto condo towers are vertical slums in the making: as towers grow ever taller, apartment sizes grow ever smaller, and "the prospect of a new sort of slum tower looms ever larger."

•   Benfield x 2: an overview (and links to) some very useful tools to help cities and towns guide green development.

•   He cheers Williamson and Vaterlaus's "very appealing conceptual demonstration project" to retrofit failing suburban big-box stores into a green showcase: "if the site isn't ripe for a new concept yet, it's just a matter of time" (useful links here, too).

•   The Dirt offers a synopsis of Nordhaus's "blow by blow" rebuttal to global warming skeptics re: why they're wrong - he's "obviously peeved that his research has been misused" by them as well (with link to very lengthy but well worth reading original).

•   NYC's CoolRoofs program gets two thumbs-ups from NASA/Columbia University study that "quantifies the true beauty of white roofs."

•   Russell roams around Rudolph's Orange County Government Center to see for himself if it deserves a reprieve: "It's not an easy call," but it does "make a powerful case for itself" with an "intricacy of spatial gymnastics" that "entices without overwhelming" (and fab photos to prove it).

•   Glasgow's newest church to be made of recycled rubbish (four tons of beer cans included).

•   An eyeful of a new creek running through Salt Lake City - trout included (we want one on our block, too!).

•   The office of the future is now - with lots of "room to roam and to think" while using less space.

•   Esperdy offers a lively look at Banham's travels in America (great pix, too).

•   Berger takes us back in time with a look at "some of the crimes and blunders" of Seattle's 1962 World's Fair: "it's worth remembering that every civic endeavor has its share of challenges and screw-ups, whatever the century."

•   Call for entries: CTBUH Best Tall Building Awards 2012 + New Economy Class Layout competition to design a new seat layout for commercial airplanes.


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