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Today’s News - Monday, March 24, 2014

•   ArcSpace brings us Kiser's take (and great pix!) of Chateau La Coste, "a place of wine, art and architecture" that continues to evolve, and a Q&A with German photographer Juergen Nogai, who loves to tell tales (talk about great pix!).

•   Townsend tackles "smart cities," and offers "three easy steps for a smart urban future."

•   Ratti makes the case that "we don't need to build new cities - a simple reboot of the existing ones will do"; what we need is "not smart cities but smart citizens."

•   Ransford calls for younger people to get involved in community planning: what he sees are "people like me - those of us with a lot of grey hair. We need to find new ways of reaching out to the people who are going to be living 25 and 30 years from now."

•   Lamster x 2: Houston's Astrodome finds itself in a real Catch 22: "in a twist that would make Joseph Heller proud, it sits in vacant limbo as work crews empty it of toxins, a derelict symbol of the future, unsure of what tomorrow will bring."

•   He offers a great (though sad) round-up of "Modernism under threat in Texas and beyond" (some already lost).

•   Hume waxes practically poetic re: Toronto's soon-to-open Aga Khan Museum and Ismaili Centre: "a dramatic intrusion of elegance" that "has quietly but decisively remade the neighborhood"; the landscape alone is "an act of urban reclamation, it is unprecedented, magnificent."

•   Kamin gives (mostly) thumbs-up to the new Godfrey Hotel Chicago: "What could have been just another cereal box of a building is an eye-grabbing composition...successfully synthesized into a muscular Chicago whole."

•   Moore gives a standing ovation to the new Everyman Liverpool theater, "a thoughtful, well-crafted space" that "imparts an exceptional sense of wellbeing" throughout.

•   Eye candy for the day: Google Amsterdam's makeover, where the "garage meets Dutch pride" with a lot of "quirky elements" (you expected anything else?).

•   Ulam reports on the uplifting winning design (and runners-up) in a competition for a green affordable housing development that "will integrate low-income families with ex-convicts recently released from prison."

•   Saffron minces no words about huge murals planned for Philly's Fairmount Park (and murals in general): "The standard-issue images of Boathouse Row and scullers are clichéd and already look old."

•   Four postgraduate landscape architecture students from Down Under explore how NYC's "'landscape celebrities' Central Park and High Line connect people to the city": they may "sit at two ends of a design spectrum in approach, yet they share critical experiences."

•   Clouse offers an in-depth look at how trade sanctions have unleashed an "urban farming revolution" in Cuba, and how Havana's agricultural infrastructure "provides an exemplary precedent that could be applied worldwide."

•   Arieff goes in search of the sound of silence in an adventure at Arup's Sound Lab (architects: take heed, says she).

•   Heller's hilarious (and disdainful) take-down of Florence, Italy's search to rebrand itself: "opening up the creation process to every Tomasso, Ricardo, and Harry can lead to mediocrity - and in this case, I'd argue, it did."

•   USITT opens the curtains on its 2014 Theatre Architecture Award winners.

•   Eyefuls of Think Space's Culture & Society competition results.

•   Call for entries: SEFA's 2014 Student Design Competition/Scholarship Award: design a piece of lab furniture to "enhance the laboratory learning experience."

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