Cities on Film

This series of acclaimed documentary films, presented by Planetizen Courses, explores the evolving ambitions of urban planning, from the prominent figures of history to the contested spaces of the present day.

The Social Life of Small Urban 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.

60 Mins
AICP CM
SACPLAN CPD
Film

The Human Scale

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.

81 Mins
AICP CM
SACPLAN CPD
Film

Urbanized

The documentary film "Urbanized" debuted at the Toronto International Film Festival in September 2011 and succeeds in popularizing a conversation about urbanism, urban planning, and cities in a way that few cultural artifacts have managed before or since.

86 Mins
AICP CM
SACPLAN CPD
Film

Make No Little Plans: Daniel Burnham and the American City

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.

58 Mins
AICP CM
Film

The Pruitt-Igoe Myth

The 2011 documentary film “The Pruitt-Igoe Myth” documents the rapid rise and fall of a housing complex in St. Louis. Pruitt-Igoe became a symbol for the failure of public housing policy in the late 20th century.

84 Mins
AICP CM
Film

City Dreamers

The film "City Dreamers," directed by Joseph Hillel and released in 2018, tells the story of four women designers who worked to shape North American cities throughout the 20th century and into the 21st century.

81 Mins
AICP CM
Film

Lewis Mumford on the City 1: The City - Heaven and Hell

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.

29 Mins
AICP CM
Film

Lewis Mumford on the City 2: The City - Cars or People?

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.

29 Mins
AICP CM
Film

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