Creating Cities

Andrew Sullivan —  Oct 10 2011 @ 8:21am

The filmmaker Gary Hustwit, of Helvetica fame, has a new film about urbanization. Nate Berg previews:

[T]here are so many shared characteristics between cities that they can always learn from one another, the film argues. Two of the projects featured in Urbanized—a community-building effort in a Cape Town township and a mass protest against a rail project in Stuttgart—emphasize the social implications of citymaking and design. "Ninety-nine percent of the shape of the city is a result of the top-down approach, at least in the formal design," [Hustwit] says. "Those projects that seem to work best are the ones using people in the city as the compass for deciding what the solution should be."

Greg Hanscom tones down the excitement over cities:

When the final 2010 Census came in, it made clear that we're not walking away from our lawn tractors and two-car garages anytime soon. An analysis of eight metro areas, including Chicago, Washington, D.C., and Austin revealed that in the past decade, 96 percent of the population growth occurred in the suburbs. … That's not to say that we're not on the verge of something here. A huge majority of Millennials — and a goodly number of their Boomer parents — say they want to live in cities. It just appears that, by and large, it's an aspirational notion.

An interview with Hustwit here.