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Saturday, June 23, 2012
Honolulu Premiere: "Urbanized" - Designing Cities, Working Cities
By Robert Thomas @ 1:40 PM :: 5259 Views :: Maui County, Education K-12, Energy, Environment

by Robert Thomas, InverseCondemnation.com

Thanks to the Land Use Prof Blog for getting the word out about the most recent documentary from filmmaker Gary Hustwit, "Urbanized," which will have its Hawaii premier this weekend as part of Interisland Terminal's "Manufacturing Reality" film series.

The film examines how cities are designed -- whether on purpose or though usage -- and what works and what doesn't. It covers a range of issues: zoning, architecture, mass-transit, sewage, redevelopment, sprawl, smart growth, and economic inequality. Urbanized features planners, architects, artists, and lawyers (including colleague Grady Gammage, Jr., with a different perspective on "sprawl" in Arizona), discussing their visions of urban design.

From the film's description page:

Urbanized is a feature-length documentary 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% 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? Unlike many other fields of design, cities aren’t 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.

Especially key for Honolulu: the bits about rail vs. Bus Rapid Transit and traffic. The entire film is compelling, and though-provoking. We will have a complete review soon. But in the meantime, here's your chance to see Urbanized yourself.

Details: Urbanized (Gary Hustwit 2012), Saturday, June 23, 7:00 p.m., at R&D, 691 Auahi Street, Honolulu, 96813, 808-550-8457. More details, and ticket purchase here. If you can't make it, the film is available on DVD/Blu-ray, for streaming, and on Netflix.

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