Individualized for profit, yet harmonious in its whole, Düsseldorf has met and largely conquered the conflicting demands of economic growth and human environment.
This short documentary affords us an unusual and privileged view of the old city of Jerusalem, before and after the redevelopment of certain key sectors took place in the early 1970s. The man appointed to try to reconcile the need for change with traditional values is Montreal architect Moshe Safdie. His plans, shown in scale models, are in harmony with ancient architecture and encompass the “innocent doorways” that lead from walled streets to pleasant courtyards.
This short documentary examines the complex range of issues affecting urban transport in developing countries. After examining cost and available technology, as well as the different needs of the industrialized middle class and the urban poor, the film proposes some surprising solutions.
This short film explores the problems and potentials of small towns in the Drumheller Valley region of Alberta. Citizen participation in the growth and improvement of the region is encouraged through the Task Force on Urbanization and the Future. However, the Task Force initiative is eventually curtailed, as unemployment and uncertainty enter the picture. The film provides an interesting portrait of a region in socio-economic flux.
This short documentary features acclaimed author and activist Jane Jacobs' forthright, critical analysis of the problems and virtues of North American cities. Jacobs orients her fascinating observations around Toronto, to which she moved after leaving New York City because Toronto "is a city that still has options ... it hasn't made so many mistakes that it's bound to go downhill.” Her remarks, made in 1971, are prescient yet earnest and will interest all urban stakeholders. This colourful city film, accompanied by an upbeat, jazzy soundtrack, is a must-see for all civic and community groups—indeed, for all urban dwellers worldwide.
This feature-length documentary examines the reality of New York City in the 1970s, a place that had become a symbol of urban disaster. The 2 projects profiled attempt to tackle the problem of America’s biggest city: in a dilapidated part of the Bronx, a co-operative citizens’ movement tries to rejuvenate urban life; and WNET-TV uses its programming as an open forum for the public debate on urban issues.
This documentary presents a before-and-after picture of people in a large-scale public housing project in Toronto. Due to a housing shortage, they were forced to live in squalid, dingy flats and ramshackle dwellings on a crowded street in Regent Park North; now they have access to new, modern housing developments designed to offer them privacy, light and space.
This short documentary is part of a series hosted by American historian, sociologist, philosopher of technology, and literary critic Lewis Mumford, who was particularly noted for his study of cities and urban architecture. This episode explores the tension and mutual dependence of urban and rural areas. History shows that cities thrive best when they live in harmony and balance with the countryside. How can this balance be maintained or restored in sprawling metropolitan regions? The film is a revealing portrait of the discourses of urbanization that were circulating in the middle of the 20th century, including the development of what we know today as the suburbs.
This documentary recounts filmmaker Pierre Sidaoui’s immigration journey from the small Lebanese town of Abey to Montreal, the city he now calls home. Sidaoui had a carefree childhood, but civil war forced him and his family to flee Lebanon in 1982, the first in a series of moves that would ultimately separate him from his parents, brother and sisters. Two decades later, Sidaoui pauses to reflect. His precious family photos, carefully kept in a shoebox, bring forth a flood of memories - of family, landscapes, music and war. A touching meditation on the pursuit of happiness and the immigrant experience.
This Colin Low documentary from 1959 depicts Venice in all its splendor. In the tradition of Venetian painter Canaletto, the film captures the great Italian city’s elusive beauty and fabled landscapes, where spired churches and turreted palaces soar into a blue Mediterranean sky. Narration by William Shatner.
This short documentary is part of a series hosted by American historian, sociologist, philosopher of technology, and literary critic Lewis Mumford, who was particularly noted for his study of cities and urban architecture. This episode presents a study of the growing sterility, dullness and congestion that is destroying the vitality, variety and breadth that once made cities physically attractive and humanly creative.
Ibrahim is an 11-year-old Palestinian Arab boy living in East Jerusalem. We follow him on his way home from school as he passes through several distinct neighbourhoods—Orthodox Jewish, secular Jewish and an Arab neighbourhood where Palestinians wear traditional dress. Ibrahim’s life blends the modern with the traditional. He plays soccer and Nintendo and is at home with the older ways of his grandfather in Galilee and his nanny in the Old City of Jerusalem.
This short documentary is part of the Children of Jerusalem series, engaging portraits of Palestinian and Israeli children who live in the historic, much-contested city.
Ages 11 to 13
Family Studies/Home Economics - Housing
Social Studies - Environmental Challenges
Technology Education - Environment and Technology
What kind of cities do we want? Accessible, pleasant, pedestrian-friendly environments where apartments are smaller and more expensive? Or less costly homes on larger areas of land with services reachable by car? Canadian towns and cities need to look at this issue in terms of preferences, impact, awareness and affordability. Discuss in class.