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Today’s News - Thursday, January 30, 2014

•   Rosenbaum's report on "Diller's bravura performance" at Tuesday's MoMA/AFAM confab: "She probably didn't change the hearts and minds of the many who adamantly oppose the MoMA's (to my mind justifiable) decision...But she walked away...with a long round of strong applause ringing in her ears."

•   A very NY/LON kind of day (with some other places thrown in for good measure):

•   RIBA releases its report "City Health Check: How Design Can Save Lives and Money."

•   Woodman says the report "could hardly be more timely" with the U.K.'s "increasing appetite for green infrastructure. A key inspiration has been the High Line."

•   Hatherley, on the other hand, considers why High Lines and "more green isn't always greener for cities: Transforming old industrial areas into urban woodland may look nice but can be counterproductive in the long run" (huh?).

•   Tucker takes on Foster's SkyCycle: it's a "great idea, in theory," but "I can foresee a few issues."

•   Fab(!) before-and-after photos of "25 of New York City's most transformative road diets" that have changed the city's "pedestrian realm in dramatic fashion."

•   Jao looks into L.A.'s "People Streets" program that "aims to be a one-stop shop for community groups looking to bring life to underused city streets" (a kit of pre-approved parts included).

•   The Centre for Cities' new "Cities Outlook" report crunches the numbers to see if London's success might be hampering other cities: "it seems clear that London may take but it also gives back too."

•   Bayley is a bit bothered by gentrification: "What models does the gentrifier have in mind? In any period they reflect the dominant aesthetic of the architectural establishment" (and that can be good - or bad).

•   A University at Buffalo researcher is using a HUD Sustainable Communities grant to study "Rust Belt gentrification and how it hurts the poor" so that other planners "will be able to employ similar methods to explore affordable housing solutions in their own communities."

•   Not all are convinced as the politicos that plans for Germany's tallest Gehry-designed residential tower in Berlin will produce a Bilbao effect: "The investor is allowed to build, but the city is getting nothing in return."

•   Detroit gears up for transit-oriented development: "How it gets done is critical to its success."

•   Meanwhile, schoolyards across Detroit are sprouting gardens that nurture students' bodies while offering "lessons across the curriculum from science classes to math and language arts."

•   Kimmelman channels Holly Whyte and spends some time at a McDonald's in Flushing, Queens, to see why elderly Koreans like to hang out (to the chagrin of the owner): "What I found reinforced basic lessons about architecture, street life and aging neighborhoods" - the place is "is a ready-made NORC."

•   New Zealand's first foray to the Venice Biennale will "show off pacific architecture" with "a purpose-built whatarangi" (our newest favorite word!) filled with models of some of the country's most prized buildings.

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