Tuesday, September 25, 2012


US/GB © 2011 Gary Hustwit / Swiss Dots. P+D: Gary Hustwit. DP: Luke Geissbuhler. M: Kristian Dunn. S: Brian Bracken. ED: Michael Culyba, Shelby Siegel. Featuring: see my rough notes beyond the jump break. 85 min. Blu-ray from Films Transit with some English subtitles for non-English interviewees viewed at Kinopalatsi 10, Helsinki (Helsinki Film Festival), 25 September 2012.

IMDb 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."

A terrific documentary on new urbanism. Half of the world's population now lives in cities, and soon many more. I have been aware of Gary Hustwit's design trilogy (Helvetica, Objectified, Urbanized), and having seen this movie I definitely want to see the first two.

Many of the world's top urban architects and planners (see my rough notes beyond the jump break) were interviewed for this documentary. Its value as a documentary record on them is tremendous, and with its sober approach Urbanized can also be warmly recommended for education purposes.

I like the global perspective and the positive and activist approach in this movie.

Rough notes: Interviewee: Amanda Burden - I: Noah Chasin - I: Ricky Burdett - now 50% live in cities, soon 66% - MUMBAI will be the biggest city - I: Sheela Patel - I: Rahul Mehrotra - I: Edgar Pieterse - SANTIAGO (Chile) - I: Alejandro Alasvano - participatory design - history of city planning - Paris and baron Haussmann - the City Beautiful movement - the Garden City movement - essential to modernism - I: Ellen Dunham-Jones - BRASILIA (Brazil) - I: Oscar Niemeyer (born 1907!): Lúcio Costa was the head planner - I have built 23 churches yet I'm an atheist - I: Jan Gehl - the ultimate modernistic city - cars are a global issue - BOGOTÁ (Columbia) - restrict parking, it is not a fundamental right - I: Enrique Peñalosa - there was a lack of self esteem - the Transmilenio transport system - raise bus status - raise status of cycling and walking - high quality bicycle circumstances - COPENHAGEN - I: Jan Gehl - the policy of cycling - the Copenhagen style bike lane - cycling has doubled in ten years - people are more fit - there is less pollution - movable chairs - eye command is 100 meters in depth and horizontally - NEW YORK - I: James Corner - the High Line - I: Joshua David - I: Robert Hammond - I: Ric Scofidio - symbiosis with nature - NYC Dept of City Planning - the legacy of Robert Moses the master builder - his insensitivity legendary - the reaction in the 1960s of Jane Jacobs to Robert Moses's plan to knock down most of Greenwich Village - eyes on the street - loss of the heart of the city - American dream: home ownership - the sprawl - I: Grady Gammage, Jr. - into the desert - PHOENIX, Arizona - DETROIT - some cities bloom, others shrink - I: Bruce Katz - I: Mark Covington - self-organized urbanism - BEIJING - I: Yung Ho Chang - I: Rem Koolhaas - CCTV headquarters - BRIGHTON (GB) - the energy campaign - I: Sir Norman Foster - RIO DE JANEIRO - I: Eduardo Paes - favelas - CAPETOWN (South Africa) - the Khayelitsa township - I: Edgar Pieterse - I: Alastair Graham - I: Kathryn Ewing - I: Mr. Big (of Khayelitsa) - I: Jacqueline James - I: Tarna klizner - I: Sikelo Nkohla - NEW ORLEANS - the devastation - I: Grover Mouton - the case of Brad Pitt - planning fatigue - after Katrina - the "I Wish This Was" sticky note campaign - STUTTGART (Germany) - unser Protest wird schärfer - the Stuttgart 21 project - I: Udo Andriof - the plan about the bullet train from Paris to Budapest via Stuttgart - the web of rails underground - the case of the 200 year old trees - ein grünes Projekt - I: Gangolf Stocker - I: Fritz Mielert - I: Michael Sorkin - the "Before I die I will... " sticky note campaign - optimism about the city - "I'm city obsessed" - "this is the century for city lovers".

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