This is a conversation starter first, a video second. I’d love to hear your thoughts on cities, the future, and this project.

I shared some words, a reading list and featured interviewees here:

* Note that the first shot in the movie a « Garbage Truck in Taipei » is actually in Changhua City, also in Taiwan. Thank you Taiwanese friends for pointing this out!

Thank you to everybody who contributed! Trust me when I say that even if I didn’t get your footage in the cut, we can feel it in the finished product. I want to keep telling urban stories and building on these ideas – hope you do too. Knowledge is Power.

A collaboration with The Nantucket Project.
Edited by Thomas Niles
Graphics & Editing by Nate DeYoung
Produced by Sean Barth & Rich Peete
Executive Producer – Alex Klabin
Assistant Editor – Erin DeWitt
Music by George Langford
Additional music by William Onyeabor
Re-recording Mixer – Colin Alexander
Color by Irving Harvey

Jim Demuth’s Documentary about Shenzhen:
Precipitating Change by Nicol Ragland & Matt Eppedio:
cf. city flows by Till Nagel:

Special Thanks to Kristen & Alex Klabin
Special Thanks to Tom Scott & The Nantucket Project

Full credits in movie, I’ll post a doc shortly for more information about all contributors, materials, interviews, resources, etc.

50 réponses
  1. Robin
    Robin dit :

    Detroit is a hopeless, misguided wasteland, because it is mainly administrated by the same mentality that keeps much of Africa down, impoverished, and unstable. Get rid of the management and set up new, and it could then again flourish as anywhere else. Get managers from thriving cities, not ghettos. This isn’t what anyone wants to hear, but i hear no sound argument. Nobody claims it is racist when anyone says the Germans are great engineers, so, i am seeing and pointing out that black people simply are not good administrators. I mean no insult as there certainly are areas they more often do excel in way past me.

  2. Abhay Sharma
    Abhay Sharma dit :

    I always think that it is not good that the censorship that China does on their internet is not letting their people to communicate to such great minds and vice versa, I wish if China would end all that censorship drama to give their people a chance to become truly globalized by seeking the ideas and thoughts of the people around the world.

  3. Surreal Engineering
    Surreal Engineering dit :

    RESOURCES ARE FAR FROM BEING AT AN END ! Thats just a lie, im sorry.
    steel, oil, lithium, etc… There is more than enouth for development countrys, to built their feauture, and they wont listen to you, because its about life and death for them!

  4. adamklam1
    adamklam1 dit :

    seems like a pretty short and not so informative video for all the traveling you did and people you met. I thought this was like a trailer for a documentary movie… but… i guess this is it?

  5. Surreal Engineering
    Surreal Engineering dit :

    Super funny but not very well researched. This is more a wish, how a city should look like in your eyes. In reality: the worldwide GDP rises –> people buy more cars and US cities today will be the rolemodel for many development countrys in the future. Electric cars will make the cities more quieter tho, i agree that this is desireable. But only affordable in rich countrys 😀

  6. Abhay Sharma
    Abhay Sharma dit :

    The way our world had grown a average Joe didn’t got so much time to understand what things would be best for our long term welfare, this is the thing which had created many chaos which would be not too hard to remove if we would work together.

  7. Isaac Crawford
    Isaac Crawford dit :

    are you telling me you actually flew out to these cities and this is all you could get? seems very inefficient even if you’re trying to keep it short for attention spans.

  8. David B
    David B dit :

    Jane Jacobs — the poster child for NIMBY. If you notice when China actually had to act and build things — they went the Robert Moses route with those wide streets. Why not recommend him for people who actually have to interact with the real world.

    I also noticed that the people in Copenhagen were being penalized / forced to ride bikes by the government restrictions. Why romanticism that population for riding bikes — they’re more like prisoners on bicycle chain gangs. This is a big no-no for a free market capitalist society. Let the people do what they want and let the market develop a solution. Copenhagen is now out of the game for solving any problems for future transportation, their "big brother" government forced them into a future of bikes by looking into their crystal ball.

  9. Poutanas Malakopoulos
    Poutanas Malakopoulos dit :

    This is cool and ultimately for the greater good, but what happens outside of cities then? What about small towns and villages? Will they be destroyed, and take with them the concept of a quiet life, or will they continue to exist?
    Also, I’m sort of against building endless futuristic cities everywhere. People travel and visit somewhere because of its identity. I want to fly to Paris because it’s Paris, and see the Eiffel Tower, not "Building X 22" or whatever. Lagos shouldn’t be Rio, and Tokyo shouldn’t be Istanbul. All of these places are unique and creating modern, blank buildings for millions of people might take away the spirit and identity from cities.
    Not to mention that the idea of living in the same place as 10s of millions of people feels sort of scary and claustrophobic. Will there ever be such a thing like an empty street or alley ever again by 2050?

  10. Jose Caicedo
    Jose Caicedo dit :

    Great video! And really good content. I will have to disagree with the statement that every city can become a bicycle city. In flat cities thats possible, but in different topography conditions it is not possible. Some examples can be found in South America like Quito-Ecuador or Bogota-Colombia

  11. cryptoslice
    cryptoslice dit :

    large citys suck unless your young and single. citys with populations below 2m are big enough to have everything but small enough to not be over crowded

  12. Khaisar
    Khaisar dit :

    What I really want is to remove the huge boxs stacked on top of each other 100s of feet into the sky with no beauty. I like the denmark architecture model off shorter buildings, almost all mobil on foot and the buildings look gorgeous. I even heard we can fit the density of people in those buildings so if that’s possible I want to see that style everywhere !!

  13. Mr. Boomguy
    Mr. Boomguy dit :

    I’m SO glad that this video are getting so many views and likes. That just means, people cares, and Youtube ain’t hiding it for entertainment purpose.

  14. Slagar The Cruel
    Slagar The Cruel dit :

    Developers are always trying to push "the city of the future." Think World’s Fair demos. Nowadays just throw the tired and overused jingle word "Smart" in front of it. None of them, including this monstrosity in Korea or all those boondoggles in China are human scale cities, they’re just gleaming multibillion dollar showpieces letting you know real estate developers and bankers run the world and of course built to cater to King Car. The real cities of the future will not be big planned super projects built by utopian billionaires, they’ll be the cities of today made better; more livable, more grassroots, more clean, and more efficient. Also, all the talk of coming age of the "self driving car" is further away than people think and is greatly exaggerated and hyped.

  15. TheLoveCave1
    TheLoveCave1 dit :

    Fantastic video!! You totally changed my view and how I feel about cities. I work in big cities like San Francisco and the Bay Area, and commute 2-1/2 hours one way just to get to work and back. Insanity, I know. But that’s the choice I made twenty years ago because I couldn’t see myself raising a family in a big city back then. And now the cost of housing in the cities is off the charts… oh well.

    thanks for sharing.


    When I went to Las Vegas, I said this is the future! Communities will live under one roof ,where you have your restaurants , hospitals , grocery stores, bars, all in one! Climate control environment, it makes sense!


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