Urbanized: What Makes a Better City?

In an effort to sustain and improve community connectedness, Columbia Association (CA) hosts the Community Building Speaker Series, a thought-provoking lineup of events and speakers covering topics that stimulate us to discuss, engage and build our sense of community here in Columbia.

On Tuesday night, CA, in partnership with Howard County Library, hosted a screening of “Urbanized.” It’s an exceptionally well-produced documentary by Gary Hustwit that takes a close look at a variety of cities, large and small, and their successes, failures and future challenges.

Interviews with some of the most innovative architects and policy-makers in cities all over the globe explore questions like: What makes a better city? How can the quality of life and community be improved? How can demography be better managed? How can environmental sustainability become a common value? From the prose of utilities like septic systems and transportation to the poetry of landscape and architectural aesthetics, everything must be taken into consideration when it comes to quality of life in city settings. This is thoughtful urbanization as science and art.

Following the screening, the floor was opened to provide a community platform for every willing voice among the more than 80 people in attendance. In a related exercise, everyone was given an index card and a pen and asked to write the answer to the prompt: “I wish Columbia were ______________.” The results will be compiled into a “wordle” word cloud to display the most popular wishes. We’ll post a link to the results inside a week. Stay tuned!

If you missed this opportunity and would like more information about the documentary, visit urbanizedfilm.com. The library (East Columbia Branch) has some copies available for checkout as well. Here’s the trailer.




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Filed under Downtown Columbia & Planning

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