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Today’s News - Thursday, July 25, 2013

•   Durning explains how "dumb urban policies wiped out the best kinds of housing for the poor, young, and single," and why smart cities are bringing back SROs, rooming houses, and micro-apartments.

•   It's a Detroit kind of day: Rybczynski has an I-told-you-so moment, recalling a 1995 column where he "suggested that large Rust Belt cities such as Detroit needed to consider planned shrinkage."

•   Olcayto says "Robocop got Detroit about right... prescient in its depiction of urban America" - but not everyone is "as down about its future" (an amusing read).

•   Cramer found Detroit's central business district becoming "the Brooklyn of the Midwest" with lots of "do-goodery...Let's hope that downtown's spectacular resurgence has a trickle-down effect."

•   Big plans for the city's riverfront are "a bet that urban living in Detroit will remain popular with some young professionals."

•   Michigan sees a new (expensive) arena as "a catalyst project"; critics call the "deal as unnecessary subsidies for a billionaire pro sports team owner in a city in municipal bankruptcy."

•   Many approaches in dealing with many vacant GM plant sites - they require public and private sectors working together "to figure out how to reuse these 20th century dinosaurs."

•   Litt has high hopes that a new convention hotel in Cleveland "could bring life to the Mall and connect a disconnected downtown," but "it's a tall order" that "should make the unfolding design a fascinating architectural drama."

•   Hume cheers Toronto finally establishing a Financial District Business Improvement Association - while much of the city's architectural heritage is there, it's easy to forget it's also a neighborhood.

•   Eyefuls of what SHoP and Ken Smith have in mind for the next stretch of NYC's East River Esplanade.

•   Eyefuls of why China has declared a 5-year ban on new government buildings (yikes!).

•   Q&A with MAD's Ma Yansong re: why he continues to practice in China, the state of mainland architecture, and why he goes out of his way to befriend building contractors.

•   A new (and very green) library is the first Chinese project to win an Architecture of Necessity award.

•   It cost Bermuda big bucks when it "abruptly terminated its contract with the highly respected" Canadian firm (even though it "was fully satisfied with the work") to "employ a local project manager at far greater cost."

•   Guellerin explains "highs and lows of 'Design Thinking'": just trying to define it "is an exercise laden with obstacles that can bring the process to a screeching halt."

•   Lui pens a most engaging op-ed re: naïveté in architecture, and "how the fact of not knowing can be useful in design."

•   Call for entries: CitiesAlive Student Design Challenge.


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