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Today’s News - Wednesday, August 27, 2014

•   ANN Feature: Forte explains how to avoid "greenwash," and poses questions to ask, and resources for answers, to help select products that will best meet green projects' - and the planet's - sustainability needs.

•   Our apologies for leading yesterday's news with ArcSpace's "7 must-read architectural manifestos" - today you can actually find out what they are.

•   Must-reads re: the Hadid/Filler/NYRB kerfuffle:

•   Russell: a "retraction should not have been hard to get; a suit simply extends the damage to her reputation - principally done by her own flippancy."

•   Pedersen: his first response is to question: "who the hell is giving Zaha Hadid career advice these days?

•   Kats: Hadid's legal actions are "serving as a counterattack against the architect's many critics, not an answer to their very legitimate concerns. Filler's mistake was factual, not a lapse in critical judgment."

•   Davies calls into question the Global Livability Index: it "has little relevance for permanent residents of a city or for urban policy-makers."

•   Hume ponders Toronto landing on Forbes's list of most influential cities in the world: "we're too stressed to enjoy that distinction. It will cost money to become the city the world thinks we are."

•   Flint finds lessons for the future of St. Louis - and Ferguson - in the long-gone Pruitt-Igoe public housing projects: "How much can land-use planning really make things better anyway, given the roiling and deep-seated tensions, mistrust, and unemployment."

•   Marshall muses on whether there's a future for Jacobs's "sidewalk ballets" when more city residents live in air-conditioned "elevator apartments" and "don't participate in the life of the streets" - never mind the growing dearth of mom-and-pop shops where one used to be able to leave one's keys (but there are some signs of change).

•   Grabar gives a most interesting take on how air conditioning "remade modern America: "Vernacular architecture was rendered obsolete," and "public space, whose importance and vibrancy bloomed in the heat, suffered from the competition."

•   Litman basically lambasts the Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey: "there are good reasons to question their analysis methods, starting with their definition of "house.'"

•   DePillis examines the high cost of building cities for kids (i.e., families): "over the long run they justify the cost. That's why, at the same time that it was building a playground for millennials, D.C.'s government poured money into education."

•   Patsarika reports on a new study that looks at what architects and landscape architects "can learn from designing with children about how to break down their own creative barriers."

•   Wainwright minces no words about the façadism trend: "What do you get when you force developers to build around historic façades? A match made in hell" (with pix to prove it - yikes!).

•   Johannesburg has big plans to "re-stitch" urban communities back together with its "Corridors of Freedom" plan, starting with "a stylish pedestrian bridge," but "getting communities to live side by side with each other will be no easy task."

•   Litt places his bet on who will win in the competition to design a lakefront pedestrian bridge to (finally) link Cleveland to its waterfront (looks good to us).

•   Kimmelman looks at how, "left to corporate specialists who churn out too many heartless buildings, hospitals are a critical frontier for design," which also poses "a larger, fundamental question about the role of architects, and to what extent they can or should be held responsible for how buildings work."

•   Dana Goodyear does a "part deux" re: Ban and the "limits of virtuous architecture": "Just as the environmental movement spawned greenwashing, the altruistic bent of the under-35 generation has given rise to goodwashing."

•   Birnbaum uncovers a smoking gun from 1977 that proves the Frick Collection's "temporary" Page-designed "verdant oasis" was designed as "a permanent garden" - which could throw a spanner in the works for its expansion plans.

•   Stratigakos offers a thoughtful take on how women architects in the past and today have and "are challenging and changing the status quo" in the still male-dominated profession.

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