Urbanity, a movie by Jacques Lévy (and Ítalo Calvino)

In the last couple of weeks I have been preparing for my final PhD oral exam. While searching for new publications by key authors I referred to in my research, I came across a movie by Jacques Lévy called Urbanity – concept framed in my thesis based upon his publications amongst others.

The movie has been added to Vimeo a year ago, so shortly before I submitted my thesis.

If you are interested in cities, how they function, the challenges they face, and of course their urbanity, I’d highly recommend this movie.

Here are some of my highlights:

‘If urbanity can be defined as a combination of density and diversity, it must not be forgotten that an element of urban diversity comes from our relationship with time. A city limited to one time period has amputated one part of its own urbanity. New towns or other parts of a city built from scratch suffer specially from this deficiency.’

*  *  *

‘The disempowered city, the divided city, the fragmented city… Maybe one day our descendants will ask how people could ever have done this to the city. That is to say to themselves.’

*  *  *

‘What city do we want? It is a fundamental question for society and for each one of us. For one way or another it is the model of urbanity desired by urban dwellers that will win the day. The models of urbanity found throughout the world are not a result of mere chance, they are the synthetic outcomes of the expectations, attitudes, and acts of a multitude of actors.’

*  *  *

Quick thesis update: The final PhD oral exam is scheduled for next Monday (18th). After that I am hoping to share my experience and preparation strategy here on the blog. Fingers crossed… Hopefully this will be a last sprint!

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