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Today’s News - Tuesday, December 15, 2015

•   ArcSpace brings us Kiser's report on Emre Arolat's intriguing mosque in Istanbul, which "is the first time in mosque architecture women can pray in the same row as the men" (with lots of pix!).

•   Filler says SANAA's Grace Farms "exhibits far better taste and loftier cultural aspirations than the big-box spiritual supermarkets," and "conveys its elevated aims with a quiet perfectionism and elegant restraint that many will see as divinely inspired."

•   Capps considers Parry's 1 Undershaft: it's actually "kind of modest" among the towers in London's "Square-Mile Pantry" (a "luminescent stick of butter," perhaps?). "London has other things to worry about" (like 22 Bishopsgate).

•   Budds parses OMA's "mutable behemoth" in Rotterdam: the "pixelated mixed-use structure can morph over time, demonstrating a new paradigm for sustainable urban design."

•   Eror digs deep into Belgrade's top-down gentrification that's bringing a "little slice of Dubai" to the city's waterfront, and "represents the collective will of a people being trampled by politicians elected to serve them."

•   Wright wrangles with details of the aforementioned £2.5 billion Belgrade Waterfront project that "has some locals praising the modernization of their long-troubled city, while others cry foul, aghast at the project's hitherto-alien cityscape, unconvinced of its economic or social benefits" (large rubber ducks included).

•   A Dane and two Brits make up the shortlist for the new University of Cincinnati College of Business.

•   Hawthorne offers a rather depressing review of architecture in 2015: "the phrase 'soft target,' an architectural phrase if there's ever been one, has come, in all sorts of horrific ways, to define the year."

•   Wainwright and Moore offer a bit more cheer (or at least humor) in their reviews of the best of 2015: "From sublime Soviet bus stops" to Assemble's Turner Prize win + "From dumb towers to cool interventions," the gap widened "between the big and brainless and the small and thoughtful."

•   A reason for city park advocates everywhere to cheer: A new report crunches the numbers to prove "leafy gathering spots aren't just public amenities but GDP-boosting businesses."

•   O'Sullivan offers "the urban planner's guide to a post-COP21 world": "Melbourne's experience represents a coming-of-age of the urban sustainability movement. The private sector is listening to cities and responding."

•   The 10 cities honored with C40 Cities Awards and the "mayors who are doing the hard work of taking action on climate change - and delivering results."

•   Anderson reports on the recent ""Extreme Heat/Hot Cities" symposium: "It left me wondering, 'Gee, why didn't I think of that!'"

•   One we couldn't resist: Who knew North Korea's monument-making propaganda unit built "a cheesy museum at Cambodia's famed Angkor Wat temples - in hopes of soaking up coveted tourist dollars."

•   Call for entries: International Open Design Competition for a new Aarhus School of Architecture in Denmark + Call for abstracts for 9th Making Cities Liveable Conference in Melbourne next June + 2016 Architectural League Prize: (im)permanence (U.S., Canada, Mexico) + Deadline reminder: 2016 AIA COTE Top Ten and Top Ten + Awards.

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