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Thread: "The City" a 1939 film.

  1. #1
    Nov 2010
    Washington, DC metro area

    "The City" a 1939 film.

    Something I came across whilst browsing the web. Made in 1939 and commentary written by Lewis Mumford.

    Part 1
    Part 2

    The point made in this film is that density and industrialization prevent the city from being a place where social interaction and socialization can occur. The solution presented is that cities must be open to nature and that separate uses should not be in close proximity to each other. I think we all know where this train of thought deposited us...

    From a historical perspective, I think it's very interesting to see some of the ways this idea was promoted, that this film saw it as a social justice issue, and not the personal-freedom-of-car-ownership that came about during the 1950s.

    So, what does everyone think?

  2. #2
    Dec 2009
    Hamilton, Ontario
    Quote Originally posted by bsteckler View post
    So, what does everyone think?
    Well, I learnt that sandwiches and coffee were the "mcdonald's" of the 1930s and that stealing an apple for your friend made you a real badass!

    in all seriousness, it's a fascinating outlook on how the ideal city was perceived back then. To me, our generation's response (new urbanism) is very similar to the call presented here, except we are trying to reverse the suburbia effect (density is OK).

    These quotes stuck out:
    "New cities aren't allowed to overcrowd or grow beyond the size that makes them fit for living in...
    Cooperation between machine, men and nature...
    Doing things together means cheapness or efficiency or better living"

    The postwar suburbs completely abandoned these ideas, which has led North America into its current precariousness and isolation.

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