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Editorial

Headlines from other publications this week 

Every day we update WAN with the latest project news, competitions and award entries but we can’t be everywhere at once. In order to make sure you, our international readership, don’t miss out, we are launching a weekly round-up of headlines from other online publications called ‘In other news…’

In other news this week…

Gizmodo calls Frank Gehry the world’s worst living architect

Frank Gehry’s most colourful building to date is due to open shortly in Panama, sparking a frank opinion piece by Gizmodo’s Geoff Manaugh. Entitled Frank Gehry Is Still the World’s Worst Living Architect, the article attacks Gehry’s portfolio of high-profile projects and accuses him of designing ‘the worst new residential building in New York City’.

Manaugh’s commentary is riddled with curses and critique, despite acknowledgements that Gehry ‘used to be an interesting architect’. The piece is clearly divisive and has amassed comments from Gizmodo readers in both camps, while Archinect is asking ‘Gehry worst living architect? Reasonable critique or typical Gizmodo link bait?’

The Guardian considers the social scramble for rented homes

Writing from San Francisco, The Guardian’s Alex Steffen illustrates how ‘housing affordability is the urban crisis of our day’. Using examples of social inequality in densely-populated areas around the world, Steffen demonstrates how our rapidly expanding cities are unable to provide fair opportunities for urban dwellers.

Unaffordable cities: this criminal lack of housing is a global scandal argues that past attempts to provide balance to issues of affordability - subsidies for lower income brackets, price controls, renters’ rights, etc - have been ‘seriously inadequate’ and that the answer is to ‘build more housing’ with alternative methods that ‘fundamentally alter parts of our cities’.    

AJ asks: Should we build on floodplains?

Over the past few weeks the UK has been battered by wind and rain causing widespread flooding. While drizzle and gusty breezes are commonplace this time of year, the storms of 2014 have been unusually violent and, as a result, entire communities have found themselves underwater.

The Architect’s Journal has responded to this weekend’s particularly vicious precipitation with an article entitled Flood debate: Should we build on floodplains? Author Richard Waite found that a ‘no go zone’ approach rather than ‘build-and-defend’ is the method of choice for UK experts.

Russian ‘urban ninjas’ scale China’s tallest tower

This week a hair-raising video went viral. The focus of this thrilling footage was Gensler’s Shanghai Tower, currently under construction and due to be the tallest tower in China when it completes later this year.

The video lasts 5 minutes and 20 seconds and was shot by two Russian ‘urban ninjas’ who scaled the structure seemingly without safety equipment, including a construction crane above the 120th floor. Shanghai Tower's Marketing Director has thus confirmed that the team are 'looking into some countermeasures' to prevent repeat performances from urban ninjas.

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