I wrote this article for Living Green Magazine.
It’s about a brilliant documentary that premiered at the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival. Directed by Hustwit, it is a part of a trilogy of documentaries describing the creative process of contemporary design. The first two were Helvetica (2007) – about typography and graphic art, and Objectified (2009) – about manufacturing and product design.
I’ve seen parts of Objectified and I liked Hustwit’s perspective on things and his eye for detail so I was curious how he applied that to the design of cities.
Urbanized explains how the changes in the development of modernism influenced the changes in architecture and city planning. The film frames a global discussion on the future of cities by examining a range of urban design projects around the world: in New York, New Orleans, Bogotá, Rio de Janeiro, Santiago de Chile, Paris, Bristol, Mumbai, Beijing, Masdar, Cape Town, etc.
It was very cool watching the documentary from a perspective of a traveller, an urban geographer, and.. a cyclist, ha.
Modern town panning is not based on achieving idealistic layouts, it entails redeveloping and restructuring areas that need improvements and adapting them to challenges, such as accommodating urban population growth and economic fluctuations. Everywhere there are general difficulties in managing housing, mobility, public space, civic engagement, and environmental policy.
So, with world urban population projected to reach 75% by 2050, the question is:
how to do it sustainably?