Browse our library of planning courses
This short documentary film is the second part of a larger series hosted by Lewis Mumford, an American historian, sociologist, philosopher, and literary critic whose studies in the 20th century included attention to cities and architecture that persists in influence into the present day.
This short documentary film is the first part of a larger series hosted by Lewis Mumford, an American historian, sociologist, philosopher, and literary critic, who wrote the book The City in History on which this film is based. The film originally aired in 1963. This first film in the series uses historic footage from all over the world for a kind of meditative effect, punctuated with Mumford's philosophical observations on the past, present, and future of cities.
Warning: Some graphic images appear in the last third of this film.
The life and achievements of architect and urban designer Daniel Burnham offer a chance to witness the application of the social agenda of the City Beautiful movement, of which Burnham was one of the most famous practitioners.
The Human Scale juxtaposes the urban experiences of cities across the World to raise questions about the costs of modernity and to argue in favor of city planning that reclaims the public realm for social life. This new approach to planning is measured by walking distances, social interactions, and social inclusion, rather than vehicle speeds and parking spaces.
What makes good public spaces work, and why are some public spaces underused? Over the course of this film, William Whyte details insights into seven basic factors of successful public spaces: suitable space, interaction with the street, the sun, food, water, trees, and, finally, a term Whyte calls triangulation, or the ability of a public space to bring people together.