Did you know most of the best urban documentaries are available online?
In this article, we are reviewing some of our favorite documentaries about Urban planning for you to see.
Table of Contents
Best Urban Documentaries
If you are looking to get a better handle on urban planning and urbanism as a whole, learning is always a fine first step.
Why not, then, take a moment to look at some of the best urban documentaries we have selected?
Why Watch Urban Documentaries?
There are many reasons to think about investing your time in watching urban documentaries. Some of the main reasons that we suggest you invest your time into this would include, but are not limited to:
- Learn about the problems that face cities: A city is not the city that you visit today – it’s the many years of history that led to this point. Watching urban documentaries helps you to grasp that better.
- Get to understand local communities: The communities are the true heart of any urban city, and these urban documentaries show you the lives they lead – and the challenges they face.
- Grasp urban geography: While not for everyone, urban geography is something that you need to grasp if you are going to be traveling properly. This helps you to understand geographical changes.
With this in mind, you should now feel ready to start learning in full.
The Best Urban Documentaries
Now that you have a good idea of why you should watch, let’s take a look at something just as important – what to watch.
Some films provide more details than others – so, where should you start when evaluating the best urban documentaries to watch?
- Understand pros and cons of urban design
- Learn from major architectural experts
- Understand how policy comes to be
Full of detail and interesting information, Urbanized is going to help you understand how these cities come to be. Planning, politics, and persuasion. It’s an illuminating watch that will show you just how hard urban planning actually can be.
- Learn from expert designers
- Understand human objective relationships
- Find out about iconic inventions
This particular urban documentary is going to give you a greater idea of how the world invented some of its most useful innovations. Speaks to experts from all sides who are involved in making the world a different place, mostly through their own innovation and unique, insightful ideas.
- Go from Brooklyn to Brazil
- See a global garbage dump
- Understand the environmental impact
This urban documentary shows you the consequences of our wasteful and finite lifestyles. This shows you the impact that our desire to toss things away and replace them immediately has on the world, especially on areas where economics are still imbalanced, such as parts of rural Brazil.
- Full of comical insight
- See domestic and foreign situations
- A very vivid, detailed account
A must-watch for anyone who has considered life in suburbia. A fine choice that should leave you with one of the most satisfying and comical urban documentaries on the web today. Full of useful insight that is put across by Canadian comic genius Gary Burns and journalistic expert Jim Brown.
The Pruitt-Igoe Myth
- Understand a construction marvel.
- See why the project failed
- Learn the myths and reality
The Pruitt-Igoe housing project was supposed to be a game-changer, but in reality, it merely led to many more issues in its two-decade run. This urban documentary breaks down what happened with the project and why it was such a critical failure in the end.
A Convenient Truth: Urban Solutions from Curitiba, Brazil
- Understand the problem/solution of cities
- Learn from a living example
- Understand effective, realistic urban changes
By focusing on one of the fairest and most functional cities in Brazil, this shows you how we can make mass changes to our urban and natural environment without having a negative impact on the people. Easily one of the most informative urban documentaries you will find.
The End of Suburbia
- Understand the problem with suburbia
- The consequences of suburban projects
- The challenges in changing life
This documentary shows us how the American way of life, living in suburbia, has actually caused as many problems as it solved. A great documentary that shows us why suburbia exploded, and why it has become such a critical part of day-to-day American life.
The Human Scale
- Showcasing how to change cities
- The problem with modern urban life
- Focusing on interactional change
A deep and thought-provoking piece, The Human Scale is one of the best urban documentaries at offering solutions. It’s full of useful ideas that could, one day, be used to help better and improve society all across the world, leading to genuine societal adjustment and change.
Citizen Jane: Battle for the City
- Follow Jane Jacobs’ journey
- Understand NYC’s destruction
- See the power of communities
This awesome documentary follows Jane Jacobs as she takes on big-name developers who have their eyes set on iconic New York neighborhoods. A great example of how community and personal power can lead to mass change when its least expected. A fantastic, satisfying watch about ordinary people’s power.
- Life in suburbia examined
- The isolation and struggle
- The lack of innovation
This is a critical take on the impact of suburban life and how it leaves people with feelings of loss, isolation, exclusion, and an inability to build a community that cares about one another. Also focuses on the lack of innovation and thinking in most forms of urban building – including the ‘McMansion’ fad and its consequences.
Best Urban Documentaries
Highly satisfying in the extreme, these urban documentaries should all give you some great ideas about what to look out for when you are visiting local communities.
It’s easy to be insensitive about the change that takes place in many urban locations, but this collection of books and guides should go some way to making sure you can change that.
So, which urban documentaries do you think sounds the most exciting?
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