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Today’s News - Thursday, December 15, 2016

EDITOR'S NOTE: Tomorrow and Monday will be no-newsletter days. We'll be back Tuesday, December 20.

•   Palafox on architectural activism and the "balance among social equity, the natural environment, economic development, culture and identity, and spirituality."

•   Grabar explains why cities will regret "cutting public transportation because they think ride-hailing services will fill the gap. It's a bad idea now. And it's going to look like a worse one in hindsight."

•   A look at how some are transforming alleys into "new enclaves that make communities safer, cleaner, and more prosperous."

•   Wachs considers what New Yorkers are really getting with Heatherwick's "Vessel" at Hudson Yards: the "renderings raise troubling questions - it feels like a Gilded Age geegaw foisted on the city by a 'benevolent' rich guy."

•   BIG's team wins the competition to create an umbrella identity for the five countries that make up the Nordic region.

•   A star-studded group of architects have designed prefabs that "aim to reinvent home-buying with a portfolio of striking residences that fuse low build effort with high design" (who isn't on the list?).

•   Lange and Lamster laud and lambast in their (always seriously amusing) review of 2016, handing out the Yeah Right, Award, Believe the Hype Award, The We-Told-You-So Prize, and so many others.

•   Mairs "looks back at 10 skyscrapers that have bent the rules in the past year."

•   Pei's Grand Louvre - Phase I in Paris garners the 2017 AIA Twenty-five Year Award: "Despite the rancor that surrounded the design's unveiling, he gave France an unexpected treasure."

•   Hawthorne parses the AA's Steele taking the helm of UCLA School of the Arts and Architecture just as the school "is taking on some ambitious new projects even as it has been reconstituting itself."

•   Call for entries: "Maintaining" seeks "bold ideas to use design thinking, creative financing, new technology, and community organizing to maintain our physical and social infrastructure."

•   Weekend diversions:

•   Rawsthorn cheers "Design Anatomy" in Tokyo, "a strange, obsessive exhibition, which is dense with information, playful in parts, and unfailingly intriguing."

•   Betsky cheers "Moholy-Nagy: Future Present" in Chicago that "shows how he found things crossing and even coming together in an era in which everything seemed to be coming apart."

•   Brasuell and Stephens round up Planetizen's top planning books for 2017.

•   Alberts picks "six projects that would have made for a very different NYC" from Goldin and Lubell's pick of 200 projects in "Never Built New York."

•   Hall Kaplan thinks the Jane he knew (the "Saint of City Planning") would approve of Kanigel's "Eyes on Street: The Life of Jane Jacobs" - "a sweeping biography, comprehensive and complimentary."

•   Green reviews Dauvergne's "Environmentalism of the Rich" peppered with "depressing environmental indicators showing how trends worldwide are going in the wrong direction."

•   Kuala Lumpur-based Lim Eu Jin has found a way to combine his love of being an architect and comic-book artist "with projects that straddle the fine line between architecture, orthographic drawings and the sequential graphic novel art form."

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