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Urban Geography
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America the Ugly [electronic resource]: Searching for a Better Way to Live

Since World War II, suburbia has taken over broad sections of America, squeezing out Main Street USA in favor of cookie-cutter subdivisions, shopping centers, and business parks. Is the New Urbanism-in which the needs of people, not cars, come first-the antidote for suburban sprawl? In this program, ABC News anchor Forrest Sawyer and correspondent Michel McQueen report on the housing paradigm called "traditional neighborhood developments" with architect and town planner Andres Duany, known as the Pied Piper of New Urbanism and creator of communities such as Kentlands, Maryland, and Seaside, Florida.
2007; 1998

Hutong [electronic resource]: Alleyways of Change in Contemporary Beijing

As Beijing prepares for the 2008 Olympics, most of the hutong-the city's small traditional dwellings and the network of lanes and alleys formed by them-are being demolished to make room for skyscrapers. This program explores social and cultural changes in historical Beijing, as seen in the life of a few ordinary citizens who still live in the hutong. The program includes computer models of the designing of ancient Beijing City.
2006; 2002

Water for the Cities [electronic resource]

This program takes a hard look at the mounting challenge of providing millions of people in urban areas with potable water and adequate disposal of waste water. To highlight the difficulties, segments focus on the water problems of the megalopolis, cities with populations of over ten million people, such as Lagos, Jakarta, and Mexico City. The massive logistics that enable Las Vegas to prosper in the middle of a desert are also explored.
2006; 2003

The City of Tomorrow [electronic resource]: New Models for Living

According to the UN, more than three-quarters of the world's population will live in cities by the year 2050, and the dimensions of urban development will be staggering: towns and cities will merge to form urban complexes with populations of 20 to 30 million. This program travels through Holland, the Ruhr area, and Berlin to observe the ways technology and the wealth of ideas from architects, urban planners, and researchers will change the future of cities worldwide. Discussion focuses on the visions that will make optimum use of space, meet transport needs and power requirements, and maximize quality of life for tomorrow's city dwellers.
2006; 2003

New York [electronic resource]: World's City

To describe New York City's cultural makeup, the best metaphor is a salad bowl rather than a melting pot. This program follows the Queens #7 subway line through a dazzling array of ethnic communities, each with its own distinct texture and flavor, illustrating demographic changes the city has undergone since the early 1990s. Less inclined to learn English and join mainstream society than previous immigrant generations, recently arrived New Yorkers are nevertheless part of a long-established pattern - which former Senator Bill Bradley (D-NJ) praises, while New York Senator Frank Padavan discusses fears that some conservative citizens harbor.
2006; 2004

Tokyo [electronic resource]: Neon City

Tokyo is one of the most technologically advanced cities on the planet, but Japan's low birth rate and the diversifying interests of its young people are causing Tokyo to rely increasingly on skilled immigrant labor. This program examines the implications of that change, gathering insightful commentary from a wide range of Japanese society about multiculturalism, racism, and interracial marriage. While the program cites one statistic saying 80 percent of Japanese citizens oppose foreign immigration, its anecdotal approach suggests more tolerance and sophistication. As the French CEO of the Nissan Corporation declares, Japan's involvement in globalization is here to stay.
2006; 2004

London [electronic resource]: Post-Imperial City

Defining the typical New Yorker has always been impossible; today, the definition of a Londoner is nearly as elusive. This program travels London's increasingly cosmopolitan neighborhoods, sorting through perspectives on immigration and resistance to it. Interviews with leaders and everyday citizens reveal distrust in several quarters; Lord Nazir Ahmed and East London Muslims cite examples of Islamophobia, and several Londoners express frustration with foreigners who refuse to conform. But a tour of the city's food markets reflects an astonishing diversity that is, according to many interview subjects, a source of newfound civic pride.
2006; 2004

Frankfurt [electronic resource]: Euro-City

An emerging high-tech focal point, Frankfurt has the largest foreign and immigrant population in continental Europe. This program studies the effects of that diversity, for Frankfurt specifically and within the larger context of German culture as it struggles with right-wing extremism. Rosi Wolf-Almanasreh of the Frankfurt Department for Multicultural Affairs focuses on the nation's anti-discrimination policies, while Frankfurt police officers, athletes, construction workers, and others detail experiences with diversity, both positive and negative. Contains mature themes associated with the city's sex industry.
2006; 2004

From Somewhere to Nowhere [electronic resource]: China's Internal Migrant Workers

High-density population centers of enormous size are springing up in China with dizzying speed, and with them comes an increased demand for migrant workers in construction, manufacturing, and mining. Through still images by Andreas Seibert and documentary footage by Villi Hermann, this program travels throughout China to vividly capture the experiences of these mingong, tens of millions on the move from the countryside to the cities in the too-often misplaced hope of building a better life for themselves and their families. An intriguing angle on urbanization fueled by explosive economic growth-and a moving composite portrait of laborers who typically toil in obscurity.
2010; 2009

Emerging Superpower [electronic resource]: Booming Bangalore

Almost every major bank and electronics company on the globe has an office-or posh, sprawling campus-in Bangalore. How did the city become a world-class business center, and in what ways has its development impacted the people living there? This program looks at the factors contributing to Bangalore's success, the complications of rapid growth, and the impact of a new middle class on a traditional society. With severe traffic jams, limited access to basic utilities, and new demands placed on family life, Bangalore is addressing both social and infrastructure problems so that it can retain the international trade it has attracted.

Challenges of Urbanization [electronic resource]: Inequalities in Bangalore

Bangalore's booming IT business lures so many new professionals every year that a separate industry has sprung up to help them settle in. But Bangalore also has more than 1,000 slum areas, and that is where most newcomers, arriving from poverty-stricken rural villages, will end up. This program explains why so many of India's poor continue to migrate to cities like Bangalore, the challenges they face when they arrive, and what the slum-residents themselves are doing to improve their quality of life. Illiteracy, caste discrimination, and the role of grass-roots community groups are all examined.

DEFORCE [electronic resource]: The Past, Present, and Future of Detroit

Once viewed as a model for urban America, Detroit has experienced what many believe to be the worst downturn in living standards and population of any large American city. Exactly how and why such a dramatic change occurred is still being debated, but the answers will undoubtedly shed light on challenges facing the U.S. as a whole. This documentary searches for the causes behind Motor City's disturbing decline. Questioning a widely held explanation that focuses on the collapse of the automobile industry, the film argues that Detroit's woes are largely political in nature. Viewers learn about vast socioeconomic differences between the city and neighboring communities and how issues connected to these disparities were mismanaged by federal, state, and local officials for decades. In to [...]

Mr. Smith Goes to Tokyo [electronic resource]

When Tomoko finds some messages for a Mr. Smith on a lost mobile phone, she finds herself on an "Alice in Wonderland" journey through Tokyo's boulevards and back alleys. From the tyranny of symmetry in soaring office blocks to buildings that look like spaceships, this creative documentary reveals the city's soul. And as Tomoko watches the sun rising over buildings ranging from imperial to space-age styling, from the height of function to the height of whimsy, the spirit of the city - encompassing past, present, and future - comes alive. This breathtaking documentary was created by Bafta-award-winning director, Iain Overton.

Climate Change [electronic resource]: Hot Times in the City

What are the health implications of global warming in urban areas? This program examines the medical repercussions of environmental change and crisis in Canada. Environmental and disaster relief experts, such as Steven King of Sustainable Environment Management and John Saunders of the Red Cross, discuss the risks, including heat stroke and water-borne diseases, associated with rising temperatures and severe weather in Toronto and Halifax. Then, the impact that rising sea levels could have on Vancouver and accompanying health threats are explained by engineers and landscape architects, like Robert Gonzales, a local director of engineering and public works.
2009; 2007

Requiem for Detroit? [electronic resource]

More than a requiem, this documentary touches on issues relevant to all students of American history and society by using Detroit as a window into many sociocultural aspects of American life. Major topics include industrialization, the birth of suburbs and consumerism, black migration and white flight, race relations, unionization, economic decline, and community renewal - all set to a sound track by famous Detroit musicians. Director Julien Temple effectively weds scenes of poverty and urban collapse to cheerful archival footage, infusing the film with an energy that is wry, hip, and gritty. The program ends on a hopeful note as images of decaying architectural gems and feral homes give way to citizen activists converting weedy lots into community gardens. With commentary by Grace L [...]

TEDTalks [electronic resource]: Carlo Ratti - Architecture That Senses and Responds

With his team at SENSEable City Lab, MIT's Carlo Ratti makes cool things by sensing the data we create. He pulls from passive data sets - like the calls we make, the garbage we throw away - to create surprising visualizations of city life. And he and his team create dazzling interactive environments from moving water and flying light, powered by simple gestures caught through sensors.

Haiti [electronic resource]: Where Did the Money Go?

After a 7.0 earthquake brutalized Haiti in January of 2010, Americans donated a stunning

The City and the Environment [electronic resource]

This program focuses on three facets of the urban ecosystem: the underground infrastructure that enables a city to function; traffic and the increasingly complex technologies required to manage it; and the trees in the city and the ongoing effort to protect city trees from the effects of urban pollution.
2005; 1993

The Growth of Towns and Cities [electronic resource]

This program looks on urban landscapes as a series of layers of architectural evidence, each of which is the key to another chapter in the history of the area, and another chapter in the way people's lifestyles have been changed by technology. The program examines how industrialization led to urbanization, which led to higher rents, overcrowding, and problems of sanitation, which in turn led to governmental controls; it also shows how railways and improved transportation opened up cities and led to the growth of suburbs.
2006; 1990