Heights of fashion in the world of architecture: Gehry to Koolhaas – Times Online

Despite appearances to the contrary (black polo necks, black suits, black round Corbusier spectacles, black shoes offset with one luridly neon element), architects are as fashion-conscious as regular human beings. They just love a trend! Cast your eye over our skylines and it’s like flicking through Vogue – or, mostly, the shopping pages in Take a Break. First a style appears – sported by some avant-garde Isabella Blow-a-like such as Rem Koolhaas or Herzog & de Meuron – next thing you know every architect in the country’s copied it from the architectural magazines, run it up in their sweatshops and covered our high streets in it. One minute it’s edgy, next it’s your local Asda. Five years ago it was buildings shaped like wedges. Since the Gherkin, it’s all curves. Once Rafael Viñoly’s Walkie Talkie’s gone up in the City, though, all skyscrapers will have to look like electrical goods.

Heights of fashion in the world of architecture: Gehry to Koolhaas – Times Online.

Museum seeks $120M

Plans are evolving, but if the Cincinnati Museum Center succeeds in its quest for state, public and private funding, it will have up to $120 million. to restore its t1933 glory.

It has asked Ohio for $20 million spread over eight years (four budget cycles), and will go after the rest from other public and private sources.

“We’ve been studying it, and continue to study it, and that’s why I don’t have definitive answers,” said Center spokesman Rodger Pille. “But there are things here that need to be done, sooner rather than later.”

Read more @ The Enquirer – Museum seeks $120M.

Jerusalem deconstructed

Over the past three millennia Jerusalem has known its fair share of master builders, from Kings David, Solomon and Herod to Suleiman the Magnificent and mayor Teddy Kollek. But the city has also known a mirror-image legacy of monumental and municipal projects that were stillborn or abandoned.

Read more @ Jerusalem deconstructed | Jerusalem Post.

China: Going Green, Going It Alone

Clean-tech investors, like those that swarmed the U.N. headquarters last week, have been drooling over investment prospects in suddenly-green China. Maybe it’s time to curb the enthusiasm.

“China expects local capital to fund 90 percent of the infrastructure and other investment needed to meet its goal to get 15 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2020,” a top Chinese environmental official told Reuters at a climate-change shindig in Monaco (following Bali and Honolulu, yet another hardship destination for climate negotiators.)

China recently passed a renewable-energy law similar to the European Union’s that mandates a big increase in the use of clean energy like wind- and solar power over the next decade. And in China, a big percentage increase means a big increase: To make wind power 10% of the installed electricity capacity — an amount that the wind industry says is realistic – China needs to install 120 gigawatts of wind turbines. Perspective check: That’s more wind power than currently installed worldwide, or two entire Spains, or roughly 120 mid-sized nuclear plants.

Environmental Capital – WSJ.com : China: Going Green, Going It Alone.

Urban Trees Survey

The largest ever survey of urban trees in England has been published.

The survey shows that although national tree health has improved markedly since the last survey in 1992, with trees being maintained much more regularly by councils, there has been a decline in the number of older trees in towns and cities and overall planting rates of new trees has fallen.

Trees play a key role in reducing the impacts of climate change in urban areas and are important to residents of towns and cities. The report found that most trees make a considerable or outstanding contribution to the quality of neighbourhoods.

Urban Trees Survey – article by Landscape Institute.

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