I think it was a wonderful moment in American history. I thought what Michelle Obama was attempting to do was to draw that link to show that it isn't just what's going on in the White House now and isn't it great that there's a black family there, but there's a much longer history that needs to be appreciated...
[It was] just grueling, grueling kind of work. And nobody was really willing ... to do it. So slave labor played a massive role in getting this city built. — Clarence Lusane
On issues related to the funding, mass transit, biking, and the environment, the two parties have staked out dramatically different views about how they envision the future of the nation’s transportation system.
Democrats are proposing an expansive increase in federal support for transportation investment, with a focus on building access to opportunity, bolstering access to non-automobile modes, reducing the impacts of climate change, and maintaining the role of unions. — The Transport Politic
the set is a shotgun marriage of Star Trek and Macbook modern, with perhaps a touch — in the rounded stairs, lighted from below — of Art Deco. [...]
The goal seems to be a series of smooth surfaces to which none of the more direct ad hominem verbal attacks or accusations of plagiarism might stick — a slate that can be wiped clean whenever a change in tone or direction is wanted. Call it Teflon minimalism. — latimes.com
In May 2015, the citizen platform Barcelona en Comú (Barcelona in Common) catapulted Ada Colau into power as the city’s first female mayor. Ten months earlier, the group didn’t even exist.
With no money and little experience, just how did they wrest the city from the entrenched political caste that had been running it for the past 40 years? Not surprisingly, Barcelona en Comú has since been inundated with requests for an answer... — the Guardian
“Trump ... believes in using expensive materials that convey prestige and wealth, and people buy into that,” said Jerold Kayden, professor of urban planning and design at Harvard University. He said in some ways the legacy of Trump buildings is a matter of taste. “To some they are the height of ambition and the height of prestige and to others they are gaudy, but he has certainly pioneered with some others architecture as brand.” — marketplace.org
Gov. Jerry Brown [...] laid out a revised game plan for dealing with California’s persistent drought, making some conservation rules permanent while also moving to give communities more of a say in deciding how much water they must save.
Brown issued an executive order enshrining a conservation ethic in state regulations — banning permanently some wasteful water practices and ordering regulators to develop new water-efficiency standards designed to drive down long-term urban use. — latimes.com
Infrastructure was once at the heart of American public policy. Works such as the Los Angeles Aqueduct, Hoover Dam, and the Interstate Highway System transformed the economy. Today, we spend significantly less, as a share of G.D.P., on infrastructure than we did fifty years ago [...] polls show that infrastructure spending is popular with a majority of voters across the income spectrum. Historically, it enjoyed bipartisan support from politicians, too. If it’s so popular, why doesn’t it happen? — newyorker.com
The Polish government plans to demolish about 500 Soviet monuments throughout the country, head of the Institute of National Remembrance Lukasz Kaminsky said in an interview with online portal Onet.pl, the RBC news website reported Thursday.
Kaminsky — whose institute is responsible for investigating crimes against the Polish nation — said that plans for the demolition of the monuments, would be sent to local authorities in the coming weeks. — the Moscow Times
The idea, besides removing as many vestiges of Communist rule as possible, is to create a concrete expression of the nationalism [Hungary’s prime minister, Viktor Orban's] governing party espouses. [...]
“These projects, when lumped together, probably constitute the biggest such concentrated architectural project in Budapest in 100 years,” [...]
“He is trying to take the existing city and put it back to the shape it had before 1944...The park is a victim of this whole political machinery.” — nytimes.com
...eye-catching edifices began as China’s way of announcing its arrival as a powerful player on the world stage. Now, however, the Chinese government has changed course: It has officially declared this to be “weird” architecture that must be stopped. Chinese leaders have turned their backs on these structures, a shift that underscores China’s new conception of itself and its ambitions for the future [...] — the New Republic
Adorned with gold and marble, [the Trump Tower] looks like Saddam Hussein went on a shopping spree with Liberace.
To make way for its construction, Mr Trump demolished the handsome Art Deco Bonwit Teller department store. He promised to donate its bas-relief carvings to the Metropolitan Museum of Art but it turned out they were too expensive to remove so they were smashed to pieces on site instead. — Financial Times
As architects, we are living at a time of shifting paradigms. [...] It’s why I’m so interested in how architects and urban planners engage with other fields – economics, security, the environment and so on. Our challenge must be to go beyond architecture and speak the languages of these other disciplines, before translating our discussions into formal design proposals. [...] Our ultimate focus is still on form, but what informs this has expanded dramatically. — theguardian.com
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