The ubiquitous L.A. mini-mall is the 1980s love child of bad tax laws and shortsighted planning policies. But we have them all around us — every street corner it sometimes seems — and they’re not getting any prettier as they age. I propose that we embrace the mini-mall and make it a positive feature of the contemporary urban landscape.
Hand over the mini-malls – Los Angeles Times
The building boom in the capital of the United Arab Emirates rivals that of Dubai. But Abu Dhabi hopes to distinguish itself with ambitious green architecture
In recent weeks, the rivalry between neighboring United Arab Emirates Dubai and Abu Dhabi has been heating up on a world stage—most notably with the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority’s purchase of a $7.5 billion stake in Citigroup (C) (BusinessWeek.com, 11/27/07), which came on the heels of Dubai’s investment in Sony (SNE) in late November.
Abu Dhabi Builds Its Architectural Cred– Business Week – Reena Jana
On the edge of downtown Detroit, just east of the Chrysler Freeway and not far from Detroit’s still-troubled neighborhoods, lies Lafayette Park, one of the nation’s most beautiful — and most obscure — residential developments. Composed of three sections — a high-rise apartment building and 21 multiple-unit townhouses on the western border, 13 acres of landscaping down the center, and twin apartment towers on the east — Lafayette Park holds the largest collection of buildings in the world designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe.
Called “oft-overlooked” by the Harvard Design School and “a little-known jewel of modern urbanism” by Detlef Mertins, a professor of architecture at the University of Pennsylvania, it should be renowned, both for its loveliness and for its ability to thrive through Detroit’s dark times of riots, destruction and middle-class flight.
The Biggest Mies Collection – WSJ.com Wall Street Journal – Julia Vitullo-Martin
The Tampa City Council voted 4-2 on Thursday to rezone the 20-year-old outdoor shopping complex for a $100 million makeover that includes condominium towers and stores.
“This is the only true urban village in the city,” said Councilman Charlie Miranda, who also voted to approve the original village plans in the 1970s. “It will give the city the opportunity for a lot more walkers, a lot more activity and a lot more communication with people.”
Miranda said the project is another indication of a changing city.
“It’s becoming more and more likely that Hyde Park, if you take out Bayshore, is the centerpiece of this wonderful city,” he said.
Hyde Park Plan Clears Hurdle Tampa Bay Online