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Today’s News - Wednesday, February 25, 2015

EDITOR'S NOTE: Tomorrow is this week's "floating" no-newsletter day - we'll be back Friday, February 27.

•   Five finalists vie for the 2015 EU Prize for Contemporary Architecture - Mies van der Rohe Award (lotsa culture with wine and student happiness thrown in for good measure).

•   Semuels delves deep into why developers are still building sprawl and ever-larger McMansions: it's still the American Dream - with a touch of anti-Agenda 21'ers thrown in for good measure (a fascinating - if depressing - report!).

•   Perhaps developers should delve into the ULI's newly-launched "How Housing Matters," a free online database that "links the location, affordability, and stability of a community's housing to effects on education, health, and the economy."

•   Dale delves into what Queensland is doing "to finally get off the outdated jobs-versus-environment seesaw" that offers lessons for a lot of other places.

•   Caruso's Q&A with Rifai, an architect and General Secretary of the UN World Tourism Organization re: "the positive effects of mega-events, and why tourism is a human right."

•   Glaeser explains why "London has the edge now over New York."

•   A quick (and amusing) take on Glaeser's points re: London vs. NYC: "Granted, he was standing on a podium at the top of the Shard surrounded by Londoners, but we like to believe he was being genuine nonetheless."

•   Lorrimer offers "10 challenges facing architecture and ways to turn them into opportunities - architects have been staring into the headlights for far too long."

•   The U.K.'s Soft Landings is about to take off elsewhere: it's a "new collaborative process to solve the myriad issues that can lead to gaps between design intent and as built performance."

•   Fisher is in a bit of a fume about Minneapolis zoning and building codes to ensure "visual interest": "when zoning officials try to regulate aesthetics, watch out!"

•   Ostby argues that "there seems to be some confusion between Thomas Fisher" and zoning officials' "attempt to limit the use of certain materials - both groups are after the same thing. They should talk. Who knows what could happen? Maybe something beautiful."

•   CASE's Davis profiles three firms who "are among a new class of architectural practices investing in research. If technology is going to change architecture, why shouldn't it be architects who lead the research and development?"

•   Eyefuls of Mamani's "spaceship architecture" in Bolivia that has "been derided as kitschy-looking cohetillos" - but fans "say his colorful 'new Andean' style has served to reinvent a city once aesthetically monochromatic" (it makes us smile!).

•   Betsky basks in his "lasting impressions" of Jerde's festival architecture: "Jerde sold me on the idea that architecture, however big and however much part of our consumer culture, could be functional and fun."

•   PlanPhilly leaves UPenn to join WHYY/, but will still be in touch with PennPraxis.

•   Mark March 8 on your calendar and help ArchiteXX celebrate women architects on International Women's Day by contributing Wikipedia entries on notable women in architecture, design, urban planning, and construction.

•   A good reason to be in Toronto in May (besides - hopefully - spring weather): TCLF's Second Wave of Modernism III conference: Leading with Landscape: What does it mean for a 21st century city to be historic and modern at the same time?

•   Call for entries (deadline extended!): Axis Civitas: Gowanus by Design 3rd international design competition.


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