Watch Radiant City, How Urban Sprawl is Eating the Planet

radiant radiant city image

Image credit National Film Board

Four years ago I reviewed Radiant City, a sort of cross between documentary and drama by Gary Burns and journalist Jim Brown. Spacing describes how "together they demonstrate how urban sprawl is eating the planet. They look at the brutalizing aesthetic of strip malls and listen to fears about the soul-eating suburbs. Making heavy use of cultural references, they riff off sitcoms and reality TV and drop names from Jane Jacobs to The Sopranos while all the while using a wide range of cinematic devices to examine what happens when cities get sick and mutate."

Now it is free and online.

At the time I found it to be a strange mix, combining Jim Kunstler, Ken Greenberg, Andreas Duany and Mark Kingwell with - the Moss family, trying to survive in suburban Calgary. The poor family has a hard time keeping up with Kunstler, gleefully chewing up the scenery.

Definitely worth a watch, courtesy of Canada's National Film Board.

More on sprawl:
Radiant City: A Documentary about Suburban Sprawl : TreeHugger
Urban Sprawl: It's the American Way. For Now. : TreeHugger
Why Tackling Urban Sprawl Is More About Proper Planning Than Eco-Towns & Green Buildings : TreeHugger
Chicken vs Egg: Does Suburban Sprawl Represent the Free Market or Over-Regulation? Neither. : TreeHugger

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