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Jet set

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Manhattan is witnessing a wonderful set-piece battle over the proposed new Olympic stadium to be built in a largely residential area (if it goes ahead).

The project involves extending the subway, and supposedly producing a car-free stadium, courtesy of UK environmental engineer Battle McCarthy. But not everyone is convinced the development is a good idea, not least the editor of the Architect's Newspaper, the Manhattan fortnightly launched earlier this year. According to AN, the proposed stadium is a giant real estate deal which will result in development of a group of tower blocks once the floor area ratio of the neighbourhood is changed;

moreover, there will be underground parking for 5,000 cars; and money intended for low cost housing (some $300 million) will be diverted into the scheme by the city authorities. It needs a Tom Wolfe to do justice to this, especially as New York Times critic Herbert Muschamp is set to give up architecture for fresh fields.

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