Day of reckoning comes for Washington Square Park

GREENWICH VILLAGE. Robert Moses had to quit trying to remake Washington Square Park after decades of protest. Yet the Bloomberg administration is now closing in on Moses’ goal by keeping its redesign under wraps for nearly three years. The last of several lawsuits aimed at stopping the plan is expected to be decided today.

Assemblywoman Deborah Glick wrote Mayor Michael Bloomberg last month asking him to reconsider the plan in light of a process that “consistently attempted to circumvent any type of exchange with the community.” Last May, Community Board 2 rescinded its approval, saying it hadn’t seen an “accurate” design. This claim was backed up by a state appeals court, which acknowledged “essential aspects” were not disclosed but let the city proceed. patrick arden / metro new york

Landscape architect to head Ann Arbor’s planning department

A 20-year landscape architect and veteran of two local private development services firms will take over a key role in Ann Arbor’s planning department starting on Dec. 3.Connie Pulcipher will become the city’s senior planner, filling a role that has been vacant since Coy Vaughn left for a job with Washtenaw County in the spring.

She will supervise five planners and a support staff, and her responsibilities will include site plans and planning reviews.  Ann Arbor Business Review

Belt Collins buys Colorado firm

Architecture and consulting firm Belt Collins Hawaii Ltd. said yesterday it has acquired Colorado landscape architecture firm Shapins Associates. Shapins, founded 18 years ago, has 12 employees in its Boulder, Colo., office and is currently handling between 50 and 60 projects on the mainland, said Bill Bobzien, executive vice president of the office. The company’s name has been changed to Shapins Belt Collins, and one landscape architect has moved from Hawaii to join the Colorado team, he said. more at Star Bulletin

Demand For Landscape Architecture Services Remains Strong

Washington, DC, November 19, 2007— Despite a housing slowdown, the vast majority of landscape architecture firms report they are just as or even more busy than before, according to a third quarter survey by the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA). More than three out of four firms reported steady or increased billable hours compared to the previous quarter, and four in ten firms were planning to hire additional staff. more at ASLA.org

The politics of remembering Ground Zero

NEW YORK – Michael Arad achieved the dream of many architects: He won the competition to design the memorial to the victims of September 11, 2001, in Manhattan. If he had thought, somewhat naively, that his plans would be implemented in the format he envisioned, he was quickly disillusioned. Arad, a young architect who seemed steeped in euphoria and quite astounded by his win, became caught up in an imbroglio of politicians, architects, public officials and interest groups. more at haaretz.com

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