The Omnibus Roundup – Copenhagen, Police Academy, Starrett, Coney, Chang, plus Gehry & the death of urban planning

So over in Copenhagen, President Obama has addressed the United Nations Climate Change Conference. Check out the full speech here. Guess how many time he mentions the word “city.” And read Yonah Freemark’s observations of what the US can learn from the host city, a very different take than the one Vishaan Chakrabarti advanced on the Omnibus earlier this week.

Closer to home, ground has been broken on the new Police Academy building in College Point, Queens. Unfortunately for police cadets, it’s about a mile from public transportation. But at least it has parking for 3,000 (!) cars.

Starrett City, the largest publicly-assisted affordable housing complex in the nation, will remain in the Mitchell-Lama Program and will therefore remain affordable for another 30 years.

In Coney Island, Thor Equities and the City have finally closed on a deal in which Thor sells half of its real estate holdings to the City and proceeds to develop hotel and retail on its remaining six acres.

Looks like BLDGBLOG shares the Omnibus’ love of all things Candy Chang. Geoff Manaugh has two posts up this week about her recent work: the recently released Tenants’ Rights Flashcards, and the Vendor Power! poster produced as part of the Center for Urban Pedagogy’s Making Policy Public series, a project well known by Omnibus readers.

Also, newsflash: Frank Gehry has some, um, opinions. #1: Don’t call him a starchitect. #2: Architects serve customers. #3: Urban planning is dead. In response to the Independent’s Michael Day asking if he should be designing more socially engaged or less lavish buildings, Gehry has this to say: “I can’t just decide myself what’s being built. Someone decides what they want, then I work for them. Look, I went to city planning school at Harvard and I discovered that you never got to change a fucking thing or do anything. Urban planning is dead in the U.S.” Also check out the Infrastructurist’s take on the interview.


The Roundup keeps you up to date with topics we’ve featured and other things we think are worth knowing about.