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WEEKLY EMAIL: MAY 19, 2010


Havana: Nostalgia Is a Dangerous Business

FEATURED THIS WEEK : BELMONT FREEMAN

Havana: Nostalgia Is a Dangerous Business

"For the most part, the architectural press has perpetuated the myth that nothing of value has been built in Cuba in the last 50 years and that Havana is a city in a time warp that can and should be preserved intact and restored to its pre-revolution state." So argues Belmont Freeman in a critique of the literature on Havana architecture and urbanism — a literature that strongly influences U.S. impressions, given the longstanding travel ban. Freeman ranges widely, from rigorous and politically sensitive works of scholarship to the lavish picture albums of romantic ruins that fascinate foreigners and appall Cubans. We're pleased to be featuring his review just in advance of the Ninth Annual Congress of the Cuban Cultural Center of New York, the theme of which is "Cuban Architecture: A Historical Legacy." 
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UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND

School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation Selects New Dean

The University of Maryland has selected David Cronrath as the new dean of the School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation. Cronrath brings to the school experience in the post-Katrina restoration of Louisiana and a commitment to building a sustainable future.

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BETH WEINSTEIN

Self-Fab House

"Throughout the global architectural community there is a concern and interest, if not obsession, with the development of compact, self-sustaining dwellings," writes architect Beth Weinstein in her review of Self-Fab House, a compilation of the results of a competition sponsored by the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia. Weinstein questions the preponderance of schemes that feature lone houses in the wilderness — the self-fab primitive hut — yet commends the optimism of many of the proposals, and also their openness to new materials, ranging from algae to nanogel, inner tubes to biodegradable plastic.
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IX Annual Congress: Cuban Cultural Center

Cooper Union
New York City
05.15.2010

The IX Annual Congress of the Cuban Cultural Center of NY presents Cuban Architecture: A Historical Legacy, in association with the Society of Cuban-American Engineers and Architects and co-sponsored by the Cooper Union, the AIANY Global Dialogues Committee, the Architectural League and the Municipal Art Society.

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TIMOTHY BEATLEY

Green Metropolis

"Most Americans, including most New Yorkers, think of New York City as an ecological nightmare, a wasteland of concrete and garbage and diesel fumes and traffic jams, but in comparison with the rest of America it's a model of environmental responsibility. In fact, by the most significant measures, New York is the greenest community in the United States." So argues journalist David Owen at the start of his latest book, Green Metropolis. Urban planning professor Timothy Beatley reviews the book here, finding much to agree with, but also questioning whether New York, and especially Manhattan — in so many ways a compelling exception in the American experience — can really provide a model for the greening of U.S. cities. 
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PLACES ARCHIVE: WINTER 1983

In No Order Whatsoever

Just before his death in 1984, the influential urban planner Kevin Lynch compiled a list of topics he thought important for the future of cities. The list is as relevant as ever.
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Pratt Institute, School of Architecture

PARTNER SCHOOL

Pratt Institute, School of Architecture
The work of the students here at Pratt shows a clear appreciation and understanding of the possibilities of architecture today, as the mission of the school is dedicated to design and a complete understanding of the making of cities and buildings. The spirit of advancing architectural ideas in terms of both form and technique is at the essence of the transformation of contemporary design.

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Boomtown 2050: Scenarios for a Rapidly Growing CityBoomtown 2050: Scenarios for a Rapidly Growing City
Richard Weller

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