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Today’s News - Thursday, September 5, 2013

•   Exo Adams delves into "the true nature of fear that lies at the core of today's urban project, 'ecological urbanism' - our present moment has become one given over to and over determined by crisis."

•   Benfield makes the case that "sprawl is still sprawl" no matter its green intentions: the "most sustainable development in the wrong location will create more environmental problems than it will solve."

•   A look at how South Mississippi has fared eight years after Katrina: getting "communities to embrace SmartCode planning and zoning rules that encourage 'walkable,' mixed-use areas has been somewhat difficult" (the recession hasn't helped, either).

•   A London suburb that lacks even one park bench comes up with "curious mobile town square" on the back of a bike: "It sounds very twee, but it highlights a larger problem with Britain's public spaces" that "are being aggressively privatized."

•   Nobel puts the spotlight on a "crop of projects with green bonafides" and the architects who "know to try to make a public noise when they do."

•   Bernstein spotlights a "wave of new cultural buildings" about to wash over L.A.

•   Santa Monica city council gives "a resounding, 'Not so fast,'" which sends OMA back to the drawing board for its thought-to-be-the-winner Plaza at Santa Monica design - and puts BIG back in the running.

•   Eyefuls of the three finalists in the Van Alen Institute's "Ground/Work" competition to redesign its newly-expanded street-front space.

•   It's a very long shortlist vying for Architect of the Year Awards 2013.

•   Russell gives two thumbs-ups to the University of Baltimore's new law center by Behnisch, where "balconies and ramps wiggle and prance among crisscrossing stairways in an atrium filled with bright light" - it's "a building that begs to be explored."

•   Beha's Shelburne Museum expansion in Vermont is "a modern design that subtly plays off the existing vocabulary of the museum's traditional architecture."

•   Norten's new building for Rutgers Business School is "a dramatic sign" of how the campus "continues to morph into one of the university's most desirable places to live and study."

•   Goldberger is taken by Zumthor's "mystique": "He is interested less in transcendence than in forcing out of everyday experience a sense of grace" (throw in a touch of Mies and Proust, and "a tiny bit of Bob Dylan").

•   Pearman x 2: Birmingham's new library is "a proud new civic building": though the architecture may "quickly become a period piece. That's fine too - it will mark a moment of enlightenment, emerging from dark times."

•   His take on London's "Walkie Scorchie" that has kept "us architecture critics fuming" with "snarky comments" as it rises "even shorter and fatter and more graceless than we'd imagined - don't let the heat ray distract you from this: it's a poor piece of architecture for one main reason, simple floorspace greed."

•   The developers come up with a temporary solution to the "Walkie Talkie sunburn" problem blamed for starting fires and melting cars as they evaluate "longer-term solutions to ensure the issue cannot recur in the future."

•   BD offers up five more "badly behaved buildings that have been up to no good."

•   Kamin overnights in Buffalo and is totally taken by a Sullivan masterpiece: "his greatest skyscraper still speaks to us today, its voice a breathtaking blend of clarity and eloquence."

•   Brussat waxes almost poetic about parking garages, and an essay that "should be required reading for all planning officials" whose "brains are stuck in park."

•   The U.S. State Department names three to curate the U.S. Pavilion at 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale who will focus on 1,000 projects over the last 100 years by Americans building abroad, and five design "fellows" working in situ.

•   The Museum of Arts and Design names a new director who once wrote that the museum "has little more than indiscrimination to call its own."

•   EDITOR'S NOTE: Apologies for not posting yesterday - we spent most of the day battling the Internet gods - it happens...

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