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Today’s News - Monday, July 29, 2013

•   It's an urban planning kind of day: Q&A with Katz, who "says many American cities show promising signs of renewal" because "local leaders are more likely to take on the nation's big challenges than politicians in Washington."

•   Tumlin tells us that while many cities have policies that may sound good on paper," because of technical design requirements, we still tend to "end up with typical sprawl: it's actually illegal to build anything else."

•   Litt reports on the final stretch of a three-year effort to help "fashion a rational vision for the future" for Northeast Ohio, offering alternatives to sprawl (no, it's not Big Brother).

•   Hume reports on the latest plan to "renaturalize" Toronto's Don River: the July 8 flooding "wasn't just a wake-up call" (too bad the plan is still "an unfunded priority").

•   Turner ponders tech "moving into the urban realm," so "why aren't more trained urban planners moving into tech?"

•   Nettler uncovers some important issues "buried beneath the breathless enthusiasm" for Zumthor's remade LACMA: "Who cares whether the building looks like a lake, flower, or inkblot from 500 feet above? How does it look to a family walking along Wilshire Boulevard?" - which should be the focus of discussions.

•   Saffron sees "the potential to raise the bar for all waterfront design" in Philly with plans for a new tower: the "profile is svelte enough, and its architect good enough...but the location in a little urban paradise presents problems."

•   Lackmeyer x 2 re: the fate of Johanson's Stage Center theater in Oklahoma City: the Downtown Design Review Committee "may face its toughest challenge when they are asked to approve or deny an application" for demolition to make way for a new tower + "This won't be the last demolition sought to make way for a new tower."

•   Melbourne's iconic Palace Theatre faces demolition to make way for a luxury hotel and apartment complex - but not without major opposition.

•   Wainwright reports that a Shanghai-based company wants to build London an exact replica of Paxton's Crystal Palace.

•   Hatherley is none too pleased: "Rebuilding monuments of the past fails to meet the challenge of building for today's London, and today's Londoners. This says something increasingly unnerving about the city."

•   Dean is a bit disappointed with MoMA P.S.1's "Party Wall": "being hip and with-it" seems "more like the point of this year's design than most."

•   Bullivant gives us a preview of the new FRAC Centre, "easily the most precocious contemporary building in Orléans," and "Naturalizing Architecture," the ArchiLab 9 show that will debut in September.

•   Moore seems more than pleased with Hull's new Scale Lane Bridge (a.k.a. "pinball flipper"): it's been called the "Bridge to Nowhere. Yet people are using it, and pausing there, and inhabiting it, as intended."

•   Van Alen Institute announces three emerging design team finalists in the Ground/Work Competition to design the Institute's street-level space (no images 'til the fall).

•   Strict application of copyright laws "will deny protection to successfully modern buildings," and "pose one of the greatest threats to innovation in architecture" (fascinating/scary read!).

•   Zoë Ryan is named curator of the second Istanbul Design Biennial (yay, Zoë!); she'll announce the theme for 2014 in November.


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