URBANIZED: A Movie by Gary Hustwit

The World Bank's South Asia Multisectoral Decentralization Group announces a presentation by Andy Kotikula, Economist, SASEP.

LPSI News: Posted March 2, 2012

Urbanized is a feature-length documentary (90 minutes) 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. Over half the world's population now lives in an urban area, and 75 percent will call a city home by 2050. But while some cities are experiencing explosive growth, others are shrinking. The challenges of balancing housing, mobility, public space, civic engagement, economic development, and environmental policy are fast becoming universal concerns. Yet much of the dialogue on these issues is disconnected from the public domain. Who is allowed to shape our cities, and how do they do it? Those of us who live in cities experience them mainly at eye and street level. Each urban environment has its own character and can therefore seem more like the result of natural processes than of complex human intentions. A city develops organically, through the complex interplay of economics, biology and countless local, individual decisions, but also by means of planning on the part of architects, engineers and politicians. Unlike many other fields of design, cities are not created by any one specialist or expert. There are many contributors to urban change, including ordinary citizens who can have a great impact improving the cities in which they live. By exploring a diverse range of urban design projects around the world, Urbanized frames a global discussion on the future of cities.

Here is what some critics had to say: "Urbanized" is a fast zoom out to the big picture: "The colonies or hives in which we arrange, display and support our lives" (Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times); "even viewers with deep knowledge of modern urban planning are likely to learn something from the carefully selected images and thoughtful interviews that make up most of 'Urbanized'." (A.O Scott, New York Times); "A rich, ambitious exploration of the ways our surroundings are shaped, and the subtler ways they shape us." (Emma Dibdin, Total Film)

Urbanized the third part of Gary Hustwit's design film trilogy, along with Helvetica and Objectified, was released in early 2012 and is currently being screened at film festivals and cinemas worldwide. It features among others Udo Andriof (Stuttgart 21), Alejandro Aravena (Elemental), Jon Bird (Open University), Amanda Burden (NYC Department of Planning), Ricky Burdett (LSE Urban Age Project), Candy Chang (Civic Center), Yung Ho Chang (Atelier FCJZ), Noah Chasin (Bard College), James Corner (Field Operations), Mark Covington (Georgia Street Community Garden), Joshua David (Friends of the High Line), Ellen Dunham-Jones (Georgia Tech), Kathryn Ewing (Sun Development), Sir Norman Foster (Foster + Partners), Grady Gammage Jr. (Gammage & Burnham), Jan Gehl (Gehl Architects), Alastair Graham (City of Cape Town),Robert Hammond (Friends of the High Line), Jacqueline James (Jonker & Barnes Architects), Bruce Katz (Brookings Institution), Tarna Klitzner (Landscape Architect), Rem Koolhaas (OMA), Rahul Mehrotra (RMA Architects), Grover Mouton (Tulane University, TRUDC), Oscar Niemeyer (ONA), Sicelo Nkohla (VPUU), Eduardo Paes (Mayor, Rio de Janeiro), Sheela Patel (SPARC,) Enrique Peņalosa (Former Mayor of Bogota), Edgar Pieterse (African Centre for Cities), Ric Scofidio (Diller, Scofidio + Renfro), Michael Sorkin (Sorkin Architects) and Gangolf Stocker (Leben in Stuttgart). The screening will be followed by a short discussion.

Chair: Ming Zhang, Sector Manager, Urban, South Asia Region, World Bank
Discussion Panel: TBA
Thursday, March 8, 12:00 - 2:00 PM, MC 10-850.

The presentation is at the Main Complex of the World Bank, 1818 H Street N.W. For a visitor's pass or more information, please contact Tara Sharafudeen at tsharafudeen@worldbank.org.