Today’s News - Tuesday, July 21, 2020

●  Alissa Walker delves into why "urbanism hasn't worked for everyone" - creators of projects like Atlanta's BeltLine "have almost universally failed to consider the effect they will have on the Black people who already live in those cities. Lynn Ross of Urbanist Leaders of Color isn't hopeful that white-centered urbanist groups can grow to encompass Black needs."

●  King sees hope - and problems - with the Plan Bay Area 2050: It "will be more crowded - planners want to make it more equitable, too" - but "even if all 25 strategies are implemented, the Bay Area of 2050 won't blossom into an egalitarian paradise - despite the proposed investments in affordable housing, gentrification and displacement" will still "threaten lower-income residents of neighborhoods that have convenient access to transit or jobs."

●  Lynn Sweet re: the Obama Presidential Center in Jackson Park: "The debate over the use of a historic park has exposed race and class fault lines in Chicago when it comes to the questions of whose voices should prevail" - the first Black U.S. president "'deserves to be recognized, honored, for what he accomplished, not remembered for what he destroyed.'"

●  Betsky has high hopes for architect Michael Marshall's "promising and intriguing proposal" for a rating system similar to LEED "for equity in architecture firms" - but warns of pitfalls - the "effort will require focusing on confronting unconscious bias and conscious exclusion, both in the educational system and the discipline as a whole."

●  Sitz parses the NCARB By the Numbers 2020 report that "includes early findings from a survey on equity, diversity, and inclusion in licensure conducted with the National Organization of Minority Architects" - the findings "highlight the need for culture and systematic shifts throughout the profession."

●  Jessica Lynne reports on the launch of The Nexus Podcast, "a showcase for Black scholars, writers, designers, and educators" in a collaboration between Harvard GSD, the school's African American Student Union, and the Loeb Library.

●  Marcus Fairs on the Architects Climate Action Network calling on Foster + Partners to withdraw from the Amaala airport project in Saudi Arabia (with "climate-controlled hangars for private jets") - "or resign as a signatory of the Architects Declare movement - for the time being, in order to safeguard the integrity and credibility of the initiative."

●  Kimmelman takes on how, "30 years on, the Americans with Disabilities Act/ADA has reshaped American architecture and the way designers and the public have come to think about civil rights and the built world. But there's still a long way to go."

●  Q&A: Trinity Simons, executive director, Mayor's Institute on City Design, queries MICD founder and former mayor of Charleston (for 40 years!) Joseph P. Riley re: "the project he considers to be his life's most important work" - Charleston's International African American Museum, and "the importance of telling history in the places where it occurred."

●  Margolies on the battle over Sugimoto's plans for the Hirshhorn Museum's Sculpture Garden; critics question "why it isn't being accorded the same respect that is being bestowed upon the [Bunshaft-designed] building."

●  Nate Berg, on a brighter note, parses the 13 "bold, and often comparatively weird" - but now falling apart - Modernist buildings, "from a flying saucer-shaped concrete memorial in Bulgaria to sphere-topped towers in Kuwait City, set "to receive significant conservation grants through the Getty Institute's Keeping It Modern program."

●  The National Building Museum names Brent D. Glass, former head of the National Museum of American History, as Interim Executive Director while it searches for Chase Rynd's replacement.

●  Nayeri reports that, while Christo's plan to wrap the Arc de Triomphe in Paris is on track, "his collaborators hope they can pull off one more feat": a gigantic big brother to his Serpentine Lake mastaba "permanently installed in the Abu Dhabi desert."

●  Depressing news: arson is suspected in the blaze at France's Nantes Cathedral: "Authorities were quick to point out that the blaze inflicted less damage than the devastating inferno at Notre-Dame" last year.

COVID-19 news continues:

●  Kennicott re: understanding "the role of architecture post-pandemic": Is this "a revolutionary moment, a call to rethink everything? It seems we want an architecture that does everything. But what does that look like in real life?"

●  Sisson parses a new C40 Cities report that explains "how the '15-minute city' could help post-pandemic recovery as an economic boost for coronavirus-ravaged municipal budgets - very doable in cities of any size."

●  Meg Holden, director, Urban Studies at Simon Fraser University, outlines three types of love for a city: "If we love our cities, we'll make better decisions about their future after the COVID-19 pandemic. Decolonized urban planning permits us to think about cities loving us back. Different kinds of love feed and starve our cities."

●  Kuth Ranieri Architects suggests "micro-hoods" for downtown San Francisco: "With COVID-19 proving that many companies can operate on full-time remote staffs," vacant office space can be put to new use - helping with the city's "gaping need for low-cost housing and injecting lifeblood into the city's urban core" (cool graphic presentation).

●  The AIA's new COVID-19 Frontline Checklist, developed by architects and frontline workers, "provides strategies to support health care staff and patients."


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