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Architects outraged as shopping mall is voted Scotland’s most popular building | Scotland | The Times & The Sunday Times

The winner in the search to find Scotland’s best building of the last hundred years is . . . a shopping mall in Glasgow. Princes Square in the centre of the city has been voted the country’s favourite modern structure, beating competition from significant cultural landmarks including the Scottish parliament and the National Museum of Scotland. The award has prompted a heated exchange in architectural circles with experts describing the choice as “undeserving” and “crass” while one critic was told “he should get out more”. Housed in a Victorian building on Buchanan Street, Princes Square underwent significant development in 1987…

Life shouldn’t be ugly just because you’re poor | Comment | The Times & The Sunday Times

[Mr. Hayes, the Transport Minister] did touch on a problem that is both important and gritty. There is a kind of inequality that few mention in this country — an inequality that is as stark and dispiriting as the rest. Let’s call it aesthetic inequality. Many deprived areas are horribly ugly — and we should take more seriously the effect this has on people’s spirits and lives. In the debate on poverty, all energy is expended on weighty issues such as welfare, education and housing. The views that frame our lives don’t get a look in. Yet how does it…

Older, Smaller, Better: New Findings from Preservation Green Lab | National Trust for Historic Preservation

In The Death and Life of Great American Cities, written in 1961, Jane Jacobs observed, “Cities need old buildings so badly it is probably impossible for vigorous streets and districts to grow without them. ”Older, Smaller, Better: Measuring How the Character of Buildings and Blocks Influences Urban Vitality, a new report from Preservation Green Lab, validates Jacobs’ long-respected, but largely untested hypothesis — that neighborhoods containing a mix of older, smaller buildings of different ages support greater levels of positive economic and social activity than areas dominated by newer, larger buildings. The three study cities — San Francisco, Seattle, and…

Our Precious Urban Lives – The New York Times

This is how it is playing out here in Sydney. In every direction the city center is ringed by desirable neighborhoods with exorbitant housing prices, where residents can dine, work and shop without ever traveling far from home. It is a beautiful life, and effective at reducing car travel. But there is a darker side to it. The urban village ethos has encouraged prosperous neighborhoods to turn inward and even take pride in not connecting with fellow citizens in the suburban areas beyond. The language we still hold on to about the inner city disguises the changes that have taken…

James Didier Symposium returns to Judson

The Judson University Department of Architecture and the Association for Christians in Architecture will host the fifth annual James Didier Symposium On Christ & Architecture Sept. 15-16. …. This year’s symposium will include an impressive roster of featured guest speakers who will take on challenging and relevant topics: • “Places of the Heart: How We Learn to Love” at 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 15. Calvin College professor of philosophy and author James K.A. Smith will address the Judson community, including architecture students and faculty, visiting architects, arts professionals, as well as place-based and home schooling educators. He will explain what…

The real ‘Bilbao Effect’ | CNU

… the museum alone had not transformed the city. Bilbao’s transformation was the product of major investments in environmental decontamination, flood protection, and riverfront redevelopment, as well as its significant expansion of the public transportation system, and perhaps most important, major improvements to its streets, squares, and parks. Indeed, collectively, these initiatives were the reason that the city was full of satisfied shoppers, ordinary grandmothers, international business leaders, curious teenagers, talented workers, and everybody else. Source: The real ‘Bilbao Effect’ | CNU

A Mormon Tycoon Wants to Build Joseph Smith’s Mega-Utopia in Vermont

Nicole Antal, a 30-year-old librarian in Sharon, Vermont, was putting together a town report in late January when she stumbled upon a series of odd land purchases: In just three months, a Utah-based foundation had quietly bought more than 900 acres of nearby farmland, an area larger than Central Park. All of the land was either adjacent or close to the birthplace and memorial of Joseph Smith, founder of the Mormon Church. “I’ve always loved mysteries,” says Antal. “And this seemed like a good one.”That evening, when Antal got home to the 450-square-foot house she’s building with her husband, she strapped…

English Village Becomes Climate Leader by Quietly Cleaning Up Its Own Patch – The New York Times

ASHTON HAYES, England — This small village of about 1,000 people looks like any other nestled in the countryside.But Ashton Hayes is different in an important way when it comes to one of the world’s most pressing issues: climate change. Hundreds of residents have banded together to cut greenhouse emissions — they use clotheslines instead of dryers, take fewer flights, install solar panels and glaze windows to better insulate their homes.The effort, reaching its 10th anniversary this year, has led to a 24 percent cut in emissions, according to surveys by a professor of environmental sustainability who lives here.But what…