Urbanized is a feature-length documentary about the design of cities, which looks at the issues and strategies behind urban design and features some of the world’s foremost architects, planners, policymakers, builders, and thinkers.

Over half the world’s population now lives in an urban area, and 75% will call a city home by 2050. But while some cities are experiencing explosive growth, others are shrinking. The challenges of balancing housing, mobility, public space, civic engagement, economic development, and environmental policy are fast becoming universal concerns. Yet much of the dialogue on these issues is disconnected from the public domain.

Who is allowed to shape our cities, and how do they do it? Unlike many other fields of design, cities aren’t created by any one specialist or expert. There are many contributors to urban change, including ordinary citizens who can have a great impact improving the cities in which they live. By exploring a diverse range of urban design projects around the world, Urbanized frames a global discussion on the future of cities.

“Urbanized is a brave and timely movie that manages to strike almost exactly the right tone. The more people who see this movie the better.”
The Guardian

Urbanized had its World Premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival in September 2011. The film subsequently toured film festivals, special events, and art house cinemas worldwide, playing in over 100 cities in 20 countries. It was broadcast by VPRO, HBO Latin America, DR, and other international networks. 


Udo Andriof (Stuttgart 21)
Alejandro Aravena (Elemental)
Jon Bird (Open University)
Amanda Burden (NYC Department of Planning)
Ricky Burdett (LSE Urban Age Project)
Candy Chang (Civic Center)
Yung Ho Chang (Atelier FCJZ)
Noah Chasin (Bard College)
James Corner (Field Operations)
Mark Covington (Georgia Street Community Garden)
Joshua David (Friends of the High Line)
Ellen Dunham-Jones (Georgia Tech)
Kathryn Ewing (Sun Development)
Sir Norman Foster (Foster + Partners)
Grady Gammage Jr. (Gammage & Burnham)
Jan Gehl (Gehl Architects)
Alastair Graham (City of Cape Town)
Robert Hammond (Friends of the High Line)
Jacqueline James (Jonker & Barnes Architects)
Bruce Katz (Brookings Institution)
Tarna Klitzner (Landscape Architect)
Rem Koolhaas (OMA)
Rahul Mehrotra (RMA Architects)
Grover Mouton (Tulane University TRUDC)
Oscar Niemeyer (ONA)
Sicelo Nkohla (VPUU)
Eduardo Paes (Mayor, Rio de Janeiro)
Sheela Patel (SPARC)
Enrique Peñalosa (Former Mayor of Bogota)
Edgar Pieterse (African Centre for Cities)
Ric Scofidio (Diller, Scofidio + Renfro)
Michael Sorkin (Sorkin Architects)
Gangolf Stocker (Leben in Stuttgart)

Watch the trailer:

85 Minutes

Produced and Directed by
Gary Hustwit

Shelby Siegel
Michael Culyba

Director of Photography
Luke Geissbuhler

Associate Producers
Lucy Raven
Pamela Puchalski
Shelby Siegel

Associate Editor
Judah-Lev Dickstein

Assistant Editor
Hudson Lines

Additional Photography
Gary Hustwit
Ben Kempas
Martin A. Kuhnert
Ben Wolf
Bernardo Palmeiro
Kevin Fritz
Bing Bing

Sound Recording
David Curtin
Jessica Edwards
Sebastián Navarro
Rafael Ospino
Suresh Rajamani
Madeleine Dallmeyer
Christopher Ward
Julian Joseph

Original Score
Kristian Dunn

Production Assistance
Kevin Fritz (China)
Prabhat Gupta (India)
Interactive Africa (South Africa)
Ximena Sotomayor (Columbia)
Ben Kempas (Germany)
Sarah F. Cox (USA)
Billy Bacon (Brazil)