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Today’s News - Wednesday, March 19, 2014

•   Bayley offers a thoughtful view of the "view-corridor" debate: "Britain's landscape isn't scarred by development, but by its poor quality": many buildings are "rude architectural one-liners" with "nursery names" that are "advertisements for corporate greed and municipal short-sightedness. Great buildings enhance our views. We just don't have enough of them."

•   A satirical take "on the proliferation of branded, large, brightly colored sheds" dominating Australia's rural cityscapes: "Could the nature of an outdoor public space be obsolete in contemporary society?"

•   Lewyn thinks "the NIMBY veto has outlived its usefulness," and "has been so widely abused that it should be eliminated."

•   Lubell questions ballot box planning in San Francisco (and elsewhere) that "can be used by developers and the wealthy and powerful to stop projects - this kind of approach will inevitably slow the city's new architecture to a crawl."

•   On a brighter San Francisco note, an "island of poverty" is being transformed "with sophisticated architecture and a coherent urban design" - without displacing its current low-income residents.

•   Kamin x 2: a new Chicago apartment tower "wins high marks for a posh interior, but its urban presence is bland and forgettable"; sadly, it's "an undistinguished, could-be-anywhere glass box."

•   He cheers the "Navy Pier Flyover" raised bike and pedestrian trail finally getting underway: "Great cities don't rest on the laurels of their great public spaces. They make them greater. That's what Chicago is doing here, despite the objections of naysayers."

•   Jaffe digs into the details of building land over an active rail yard: "The phrase 'only in New York' is probably overused," but it certainly applies to Hudson Yards.

•   Proposals for floating cities may no longer be "the stuff of utopian sci-fi" as the idea "is finally enjoying political momentum - and serious investment."

•   Rinaldi gives thumbs-up to H&deM's Perez Art Museum that "raises the possibility of a new vernacular for Miami. Most museums could be dropped into" any other city. "This museum, on stilts, on the water, could be nowhere else."

•   Braverman's Centro Nadir Afonso in Portugal "fuses a light contemporaneity with the rich materiality and sustainability of Portuguese design to honor the artist."

•   Ban beats a lot of competition to bag the Mount Fuji World Heritage Center, "an inversely shaped latticed cone, said to evoke the image of seeing the iconic mountain reflected in water."

•   Down Under, the University of Newcastle's NeW Space "is expected to take the teaching, learning and research landscape beyond the lecture theatre or office."

•   They're meeting today re: the RIBA motion "calling for the UIA to suspend the Israeli Association of United Architects while building continues in Israeli settlements in the occupied territories," but apparently those "who signed a letter opposing the motion have been told they cannot attend the meeting."

•   Bernstein has an amusing Q&A with Viñoly re: talking to the media, the Walkie-Talkie, and whether there should be more women in the profession: "If you ask me, there should be more architects in the profession."

•   A good reason to head to Austin, TX, in April: the Society of Architectural Historians 67th Annual International Conference that will explore the "Place of Historic Architecture in Rapidly Growing Cities."

•   The American Architectural Foundation names eight public-private development teams as 2014 Sustainable Cities Design Academy Grantees.

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