While the cult of the star architect has soared over the decades and property developers have displaced bankers as the new super-rich, the figure of the local town planner has become comic shorthand for a certain kind of faceless, under-whelming dullard. [...]
“Planning has become unpopular, disconnected from the public and increasingly beholden to the developer rather than the people it is meant to serve.” — theguardian.com
At the broadest level, it's fair to say that urban mobility didn't have the most encouraging day. In recent years, conservative transportation policy has been much more inclined to favor highways serving rural and outer suburban regions than alternative modes that boost balanced city networks [...] But at the city and county level, where most transit initiatives occur, the midterms yielded a number of big victories, in keeping with the general success of transit ballot measures in recent years. — citylab.com
Barack Obama still has two long years left to cement his legacy as something between “yes we can” and “at least I tried”. Regardless of how history remembers him, Obama will always represent a shift from the old guard, an idealistic starting point for what (and who) future presidents could be. For now, though, his official museum, his keeper of secrets: couldn’t that still be a tangible change we can believe in? At least an architectural one? — theguardian.com
The 10-to-1 vote by the National Capital Planning Commission represented a significant milestone for the tribute to the World War II general and 34th president, which has been stalled since 2011. The vote allows the Eisenhower Memorial Commission to take its new design to the Commission of Fine Arts, the other federal agency that must give a green light before construction can begin. — washingtonpost.com
Regardless, there are two paths forward. One is to scrap the project and start over with an open public competition, which would cost around $17 million, according to the Congressional Budget Office. The other is to push forward with the existing plan to finalize the memorial design and begin breaking ground.
We favor the latter. [...] And the current design is nowhere near a “monstrosity,” as some have called it; it is a novel take on memorialization [...]. — washingtonpost.com
Homeowners who "pretend" to care about architecture are "nimbies in disguise" who in reality want to block any development in their local area, Boris Johnson has said.
In a scathing assessment, the Mayor of London said homeowners are dishonestly claiming they care about new homes being affordable or well-designed, in fact they simply oppose new developments entirely.
Mr Johnson has promised to increase house-building in the capital, and wants to see 45,000 new homes by 2018. — telegraph.co.uk
Obama has proposed a $302 billion, four-year transportation spending plan that is paid in part by closing corporate tax loopholes [...] The White House maintains that 65% of U.S. roads are rated in less than good condition, 25% of bridges require significant repair or can't handle today's traffic, and 45% of Americans lack access to transit. — Al Jazeera
Several thousand Palestinians, defying the urging of Hamas to remain in their homes, fled areas in northern Gaza early Sunday after Israel warned them through fliers and phone calls of major attacks to come. — New York Times
Thousands of Palestinians, heeding the warning pamphlets dropped by Israeli jets, are fleeing from Northern Gaza. Many are crowding inside United Nations-run schools. As the death toll rises – entirely on the Palestinian side – a potential cease-fire agreement developed by Egypt will be...
Low-lying south Florida, at the front line of climate change in the US, will be swallowed as sea levels rise. Astonishingly, the population is growing, house prices are rising and building goes on. The problem is the city is run by climate change deniers. — theguardian.com
Situating The Mound of Vendôme, the current exhibition on view at the Canadian Centre for Architecture, requires looking back into Paris' history after the French Revolution. For a tumultuous two months in 1871, the city was under the control of the Commune de Paris, a socialist revolutionary...
HOK has just unveiled its design for the Obama Presidential Library. Although several institutions in Chicago have submitted their own bids for the new museum and library, the global architecture and engineering office states that it submitted this design in coordination with the Museum Campus Foundation, which is an organization comprised of a number of community groups located in Bronzeville. — chicago.curbed.com
Old Indian cities like Varanasi, Amritsar, Kolkata and even Delhi, could be in for a facelift over the next few years with the Narendra Modi government planning to develop modern satellite towns around these cities under the 100 Smart City programme, while upgrading the decaying infrastructure of the old towns. [...]
All new cities will have integrated transport — modern bus systems, trams, metro rail and bicycle tracks — aided by satellite mapping, garbage disposal and solid waste management. — articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com
Before becoming India's prime minister and promising to make cities smart, Narendra Modi's campaign was focused on a slightly less lofty goal: "toilets before temples":The BJP leader is quite right to declare that India should spend less money on devotion and more on sanitation. According to...
On Thursday, Mayor Rahm Emanuel belatedly jumped into the fray after a public campaign against the sign on Chicago's second-tallest building spearheaded by the Chicago Tribune’s Pulitzer Prize-winning architecture critic Blair Kamin.
“Mayor Emanuel believes this is an architecturally tasteful building scarred by an architecturally tasteless sign,” Kelley Quinn, the mayor’s newly-appointed communications director, said in an emailed statement. — politics.suntimes.com
Trump responds in his typical classy style...Before I bought the site, the Sun Times had the biggest, ugliest sign Chicago has ever seen. Mine is magnificent and popular.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 12, 2014
Late last week, Chilean police arrived at Santiago’s Centro Cultural Gabriela Mistral and removed a white bin of gray ash — allegedly all that remained of $500 million worth of student debt notes.
In the video, which went viral last week in Chile, Papas Fritas confessed he had recently stolen the documents from the for-profit Universidad del Mar. Then he set them ablaze in a defiant, brazen act of art. — washingtonpost.com
Several factors contributed to the library’s decision: a study that showed the cost of renovating the 42d Street building to be more than expected (the project had originally been estimated at about $300 million); a change in city government; and input from the public, several trustees said. (Four lawsuits have been filed against the project.) — nytimes.com
“Obviously I respect the decision of the trustees and whoever’s been involved in the decision,” Mr. Foster said. “If I have any kind of sadness on the thing — besides obviously not having the project going ahead and having spent a huge amount of passion on the project with colleagues —...
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