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Today’s News - Thursday, June 7, 2012

•   An in-depth (fascinating - and sad) look at how Curitiba, Brazil, "once a model of sustainable planning," is losing its edge: "the discrepancy between its flawless image and reality is growing."

•   Farrelly x 2 re: developers, politics, and NIMBYism (both great reads): "Ever get the sense the bad guys are winning?" + Beware the "greenwars" over green space and density: it's time "to lose the 'me' from urbanisme."

•   NYC has its own greenwars brewing (and other cities should take heed) as NYU's 2 million-square-foot expansion plans in Greenwich Village get a green light (with some modifications) + A new coalition of real estate and labor organizations take on the city's Landmarks Preservation Commission by arguing that "the growing number of landmark buildings and historic districts are hampering the city's economy and stymieing development."

•   On a brighter note, a once-blighted industrial area in the South Bronx offers a "lesson in dedicated collaboration" that "sets a high bar" for creating public spaces.

•   Malaysian developers win bid for the Battersea Power Station, and want "to take forward Viñoly's master plan."

•   Lewis revisits a 1950s planned community that remains "a happy experiment in modernity"; former resident Sorkin says is "the kind of community so many modernists dreamed of."

•   A master-planned community outside of Houston is a poster child for such developments, taking the sustainable route that eschews "perfect lawns and golf courses to embrace the wild," where "residents there don't feel like they are raping Mother Earth."

•   Rochon raves about four houses by Canadian architects "that ignite an instant connection to place and the outdoor world" with their "superb design."

•   Brussat is refining his rant about Gehry's Eisenhower Memorial: it "carries forward a longstanding battle": it's "simplicity vs. complexity," and "Exhibit A in why our society, by abandoning simplicity, has suffered a failure to thrive."

•   Rosenbaum and Kennicott weigh in on the "desperate gambit to rescue a foundering" Corcoran Gallery of Art in D.C.: "This is at best amputation, and very likely euthanasia, except euthanasia is supposed to be painless."

•   A stellar Danish/British team wins Copenhagen arena project that "promises to be yet another stunning element" in the city's skyline.

•   A good reason to head to Barcelona later this month: the 2012 ACSA International Conference.

•   One we couldn't resist: "15 fictional spacecrafts we'd like to call home. Maybe Richard Branson has the right idea after all!"


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