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Today’s News - Wednesday, May 30, 2012

•   A news day for urbanistas: Gisolfi makes the case that "architecture should be concerned primarily with place-making, not object-making."

•   Goldhagen at her eloquent best re: the arrival of the megalopolis: "can a high-rise, high-density residential tower ever become more than an oversized packing crate for people?" (policymakers and architects better figure that out now, before it's too late).

•   King on the "most troubling aspect" overshadowing San Francisco's Transbay plan: the project's "far-reaching" shadows - though "planners make a strong case that the overall benefits outweigh the impact."

•   Hume takes on a new report showing people want to live in downtowns - the challenge is rediscovering how to build them: "No kidding...everything else we have built is sprawl."

•   Florida takes on his critics and what they get wrong about creative cities, and the "squabbling" going on that "misses the point."

•   Doig outlines "the dangers of NIMBYism," and "how tiny bands of refuseniks and wealthy obstructionists" (a.k.a. the 1%) "absorbed so much power" to shape urban landscapes - and how some cities are trying to rein them in.

•   Badger looks at new data that explains the "economic power of walkable neighborhoods" that should sway "skeptics of walkability."

•   Hinshaw adds to the argument in favor of urban walkability: "Something quite transformational is going on here. A high regard for the public realm is now the hallmark of healthy and successful cities."

•   Davidson offers up a thoughtful (and amusing) defense of driving in NYC: perhaps it's time for "an auto-temperance movement."

•   Kamin x 2: he cheers the Chicago Transit Authority's newest station as "a new jewel in the West Loop's crown" that "succeeds as urban design and architecture...elevating construction to art."

•   He points out a few of the hurdles that must be overcome if Pelli's three-tower plan for a Wolf Point riverfront complex is to move forward.

•   Safdie selected to design a 68-story condo tower in Colombo, Sri Lanka, that "will set a benchmark for future development" and "maintain the delicacy of the skyline" (a bit of leaning included).

•   Hopes are high that a "colorful, smooth, shiny and sparkling" new theater will bring Soweto, South Africa, its own Bilbao effect.

•   An eyeful of the 2012 AIA Housing Awards for Architecture (great presentation).

•   Call for entries (a few deadlines loom): Session proposals for the 12th Annual New Partners for Smart Growth Conference + ENR Best Projects 2012 Awards + 2012 Healthcare Design Remodel/Renovation Competition + AIASF's Architecture at Zero international competition to design a zero net energy building for UC Merced.


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