Urbanized

Synopsis: A documentary about the design of cities, which looks at the issues and strategies behind urban design and features some of the world's foremost architects, planners, policymakers, builders, and thinkers.
Genre: Documentary
Director(s): Gary Hustwit
Production: IFC Center*
  1 nomination.
 
IMDB:
7.4
Rotten Tomatoes:
100%
NOT RATED
Year:
2011
85 min
$36,208
Website
1,098 Views


Cities today have been doing

the same thing

that they've done for

three, four, five thousand years.

They've been the place where

the flows of people,

the flows of money,

the flows of goods have coalesced.

Cities are always

the physical manifestation

of the big forces at play.

Economic forces,

social forces,

environmental forces.

The thing that attracts us to the city

is the chance encounter,

it's the knowledge that you'll

be able to start here,

end up there, go back there,

but that something unexpected

will happen along the way,

that you'll make a discovery.

That, in a way, is the magic of cities.

Urban design is really

the language of the city.

When you walk down a street,

everything you see has been designed.

The width of the sidewalk,

where trees are planted,

the scale of the trees,

how the street furniture interacts.

How many stores you have per block,

the height of the buildings,

where they set back.

Each one of these things

has been thought about.

The thing about urban design

is that unlike it being

a solitary enterprise of an

artist sitting in her or his studio,

what you really have is

a multi-disciplinary group of people

coming together working

on the same project

but coming from very different

perspectives,

having different agendas,

and different roles.

So you've got the architect.

You've got the developer

or group of developers.

You have state and federal

and city agencies.

You have the public,

which is a major component.

You have landmarks or other

historically minded groups.

And they all come together

to work against and with each other

in order to bring the project

to fruition.

These can range from small,

temporary interventions

to massive large-scale

infrastructural projects.

Forces of change are happening

on every level.

Technological change, new forms and

modes of transportation.

The eventualities of man-made

and natural disasters.

These are all things that are going

to be addressed by urban design.

The world today is changing

pretty dramatically,

shifting toward more and more

people living in cities.

Cities accelerated relatively slowly

from pre-Greek, pre-Roman times.

It took centuries

to reach those numbers which might

be something like a million.

By the 20th Century

10% of the population

of the world was living in cities.

Only two years ago it was 50%.

And if we continue at the pace

we are, which we will,

it will be something like 75%

in forty years' time.

The pace now is putting an enormous

amount of pressure and strain

on any system

which has limited resources.

33%, roughly,

of new urban dwellers today

live in slums.

That's a third of the world's

population...

without the most basic amenities,

without sewers,

without water, without sanitation.

Today Mumbai has the same number

of people as the whole of London

living in slum conditions.

And Mumbai is set to become

the biggest city in the world in 2050,

therefore bigger than Tokyo.

That means the slum population,

if it were to be the same

or roughly like it,

would be New York and London

put together.

What you have in this city

is a situation where...

the real estate developers

on the one hand

and the slum dwellers on the other

are actually carving out

the design of the city.

The poor people are doing it because

the plan has no space for them.

The construction industry produced

a huge housing boom for the top 10%

and then increasing crisis

for everyone else.

The big downside

of informal settlements

which needs

to be urgently resolved

is the question of health

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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"Urbanized" Scripts.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 28 May 2020. <https://www.scripts.com/script/urbanized_22652>.

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