A small group of our staff screened Urbanized tonight and we were treated to a cinematic shunpike through some of the most unique urban environments across the globe. Starting in a crowded and poverty stricken Mumbai, where basic infrastructure needs dominate the planning discussion the film quickly globetrotted to an amazing variety of other urban areas from Rio to NYC, Detroit to Beijing, Stockholm to Cape Town, each with challenges and successes that can influence how we think about revitalization efforts in our own communities.
There were too many great moments to recount and text could never describe the images that made the movie compelling. Seeing cities and the built environment in this way is eye-opening. This film will surely make its way into planning and landscape architectural curriculums alongside Whyte’s The Social Life of Small Urban Spaces.
Urbanized is the third documentary film by Gary Hustwit (after Objectified and Helvetica) that examines urban planning through a mix of stunning imagery, quirky interviews, and stirring data. Aside from the wonderful cinematography there is a host of great interviews with leaders in the planning field and some great insight from a broad cross-section of urban thinkers.