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Today’s News - Tuesday, July 19, 2016

•   A grumpy sort of news day: Moore weighs in on the Stirling Prize shortlist: it's "a shortlist of second-bests - the prize has a knack for recognizing the good-but-not-great" (and bemoans "at least two outstanding works" that didn't make it).

•   Ben Willis bemoans how the architecture of "brandcentric" national chains "is destroying our sense of place" - it's "a sad irony that as the diversity of the American population is increasing, the diversity of our built environment is decreasing."

•   Sorkin takes a New York-centric view about the city's "architectural renaissance" as "gaming the system" for the 1% that produces "works of both genius and horror - the deck continues to be stacked against the public."

•   Elsea tackles the conundrum of perfecting an architectural language "that the 99% can understand. How many really know what we're talking about when we go on about placemaking, mixed use or fenestrations?"

•   Piano cuts 54 stories off his Paddington Pole, instead proposing an 18-story "floating" glass Paddington Cube (the Skyline Campaign cheers!).

•   Jenkins minces no words about what he thinks of the "squashed down" Paddington Cube: "So what of the box itself? The answer is, it is awful - a huge 18-floor glass box flown in from somewhere in Dubai" (and then some - ouch!).

•   Kadri, the "man who designed some of Mumbai's most iconic post-Independence architecture," talks about "his love and recent hate for the city," and "explains what led to its disastrous growth."

•   Davidson attempts to find a few good things to say about NYC's new 53rd Street Library - "a sleek but shrunken pit" with "a smattering" of books: "Neither architects nor librarians shaped this branch; a real-estate deal did," resulting in "a basement instead of a building."

•   Moore, on a brighter note, cheers a "notorious" London housing estate transformed into "some of the best housing in the neighborhood. What Ely Court achieves is not rocket science, but it is still too rare to see it done well."

•   Byrnes has a great Q&A with Leslie Koch re: "how Governors Island became New York's best new public space" (we couldn't agree more!): "We were picking a team, not a rendering."

•   Chaban cheers the Lowline, a "mole-man-style park," getting a thumbs-up from NYC's powers-that-be - as long as it hits certain benchmarks, "like proving that their gonzo light-movers can effectively sustain an acre of vegetation underground."

•   Morgan marvels at "one of the best examples of Modern architecture" - a former livestock pavilion in Raleigh, NC, "an engineering marvel" that "bears positive comparison with some of the magnificent grand spaces of history" (with pix to prove it!).

•   UNESCO adds17 Corbu sites to its World Heritage List.

•   It also warns that the Liverpool waterfront could lose its heritage site status if it doesn't comply with a two-year moratorium on new development; the mayor says no way.

•   Walker walks us through how Pokémon Go "actually turns the whole urban planning concept of placemaking on its head" with cities "already looking at ways to capitalize on this phenomenon" (no mention of walking off cliffs or into traffic, however).

•   Hearkening back to olden days, Yoo looks at SimCity's legacy, and how "gamification" has become "a powerful tool" for architects and planners "in the smart city era."

•   Sydney architect Thalis gets political, joining Mayor Clover Moore's team in her bid for re-election, bringing "influence and expertise to the chambers on planning decisions."

•   Diller takes home the 2016 ACADIA Lifetime Achievement Award for her "pioneering work at the intersections of architecture, art, technology and philosophy."

•   Call for entries: Call for Papers: UrbanPromo 2016 International Conference "A New Cycle of Urban Planning between Tactics and Strategy," in Milan this November.

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