The Business Case For Beautiful Libraries

By Lisa Rochon, Globe and Mail
February 10, 1012

The public library is a city’s epic living room – that’s why the French neoclassical architect Étienne-Louis Boullée designed his utopian library as a monumental, barrel-vaulted hall big enough to hold the memory of the entire world. That’s why the New York Public Library is a source of enlightenment and architectural pilgrimage. And it’s why every year 19 million people flood into Toronto’s libraries, many of them exhilarating, award-winning structures. Now, under constant fire from cities desperate to save money, libraries are figuring out how to get the message across that they are crucial to a vibrant civic life. More … 

Designing a Fix for Housing

By Jeanne Gang and Greg Lindsay, New York Times
February 9, 2012

Recent efforts to fix the housing market — including Thursday’s $26 billion settlement with five of the nation’s biggest banks — have focused purely on the financial aspects of the slump. A permanent solution, however, must go further than money to address issues that have been at the core of the crisis but have been wholly ignored: design and urban planning. More …