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Today’s News - Tuesday, December 3, 2013

•   The Rockefeller Foundation names the first 33 cities selected through the 100 Resilient Cities Centennial Challenge (the first step towards making Chief Resilience Officer a part of every city hall, we hope!).

•   Cohen makes his pick of the 8 smartest cities in Latin America: most "have major problems" and "a bad track record in proper land use and urban planning," but all "are making strides towards becoming more efficient, cleaner, more innovative, and yes, smarter."

•   Moore minces no words about the small handful of NIMBYs forcing the "the closure of one of London's most important and brightest community art spaces," creating a "cultural desert": "They are gutless, lacking the decency and courage required to raise the concerns directly" (a searing pox-upon-their-houses complete with scorpions and bunions included).

•   The much-beleaguered Louisiana ArtWorks, one of New Orleans" "biggest white elephants," goes up for auction today: the "lavish arts- and crafts-making laboratory...was doomed by grandiosity" that "fizzled without ever being finished" (pix show an amazing space - will it be adapted or gutted, we wonder).

•   Preservationists are up in arms about an "unchecked" renovation plan for Erickson's 1979 Bank of Canada building in Ottawa: the "magnificent public garden in the central courtyard would be one of the casualties of the redesign."

•   Better news for the Preston bus station: a funding deal "expected to be rubber-stamped" this week would "100% guarantee" its future.

•   A look at what the future of Detroit could/will look like: "some changes are a long way off, but others are already under way - enough that we can take a peek at 18 examples" (great projects; sadly, no architects named).

•   Marshall tests his theory that "a city's skyline is a physical portrait of the distribution of wealth" and that cities that "lead the world in skyscraper construction" also have "the greatest distance between their rich and poor."

•   Hume x 2: even though Toronto's towers are "taller and more ubiquitous that ever," it's not necessarily a bad thing: "Perhaps one of the issues that must be acknowledged and dealt with is architecture's failure to conceive towers that soar in our hearts and minds as they do on our skyline" + His list of "Canada's architectural beauty queens" that "stand out for very different reasons" (a few towers included).

•   Hawthorne hails the "soaring elegance" of Maki's 4 World Trade Center: it is "a deft, thoughtful and well-made piece of architecture" - in a place like Lower Manhattan, "where getting even a bike rack approved can be a deeply fraught exercise - makes its crisply tailored appeal all the more surprising."

•   Brussat bemoans Washington, DC's height limits have not necessarily protected its beauty from being "pock-marked by modern architecture - low, flat, dull. The damage to beauty was done half a century ago" - though parts "will continue to rise above the city's expanding flab and turpitude, at least for now."

•   A project in L.A. "has become a symbol of whether developers can withstand the complications of working in earthquake-prone city": "It's really great that we are doing this without having to kill people first" (how reassuring...).

•   H&deM's Binswanger on the Pérez Art Museum Miami: "though she would never take the credit for a building, those projects on which she is named as senior architect are noticeably light on their feet."

•   Norquist is stepping down as CNU president; search committee is accepting applications + An in-depth Q&A with Norquist digs deep into the weeds of his tenures at CNU and as mayor of Milwaukee.

•   BD surveys architects to find out which other architects they most admire: "The results may surprise you."

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