Big Cities: Colin Boyd Shafer

Immigrant Support Systems

Big cities attract dreamers from all over the world. This episode features the people building communities of inclusion for immigrants.

In Toronto, an artist attempts to photograph immigrants from every country in the world as part of his Cosmopolis Project. Along the way, we meet one of his photo subjects and a small chorus of urban thinkers who explore the true meaning of “diversity”, the profound economic dislocation experienced by new immigrants, and why we need cities and their inhabitants to co-produce each other. Video produced by NFB in Canada.

Every year, thousands of European migrants arrive in Stockholm, hoping to find work so they can support their families. They often end up in the streets, forced to beg. In this story, we meet Mircea, a former top-level athlete-turned-dedicated-volunteer for the cause of European migrants in Stockholm. He's committed to making a difference, fighting prejudice and helping the most vulnerable people in the city. Video produced by UR.

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Traffic Alternatives

Urban planners and average citizens around the world are working to improve transportation in congested cities. In Bangkok, an architect fed up with his daily commute studies the combination of traditional boats and modern trains to beat traffic. In Bogota, a professor and his students develop a citywide electric car sharing system to ease congestion in dense urban areas.

Videos by Thai PBS in Thailand and TAL in Colombia. 

Heart of the City

The heart of many large cities lies in their historic neighborhoods but across the world, the cultural vitality of these neighborhoods is threatened by the forces of gentrification and aging infrastructure. Hear from the people of Boyle Heights in Los Angeles and the Old Quarter in Hanoi, Vietnam as they work to improve and preserve their communities.

Cooperative Housing

People are rethinking housing arrangements in growing cities across the globe. Many are ditching the confines of traditional apartments and opting for communal living. In Seoul, three families band together to build the home of their dreams and the urban support system they’ve never had. On a larger scale, participants in a housing cooperative in Lyon band together to share space and the responsibilities of homeownership in a Vertical Village.

Featuring segments by KBS and QLM.

Sustainable Urban Farming

Maintaining a sustainable way of life through organic farming is possible — even in big cities. In this episode, a woman in the favelas of Rio de Janeiro shows us how to maximize every last bit of local produce, while urban dwellers and beekeepers in Paris are developing a culture of sharing in rooftop gardens.

Videos produced by TAL in Brazil and QLM in France.

Bringing Life to Public Spaces

Two groups strive to reinvigorate public spaces amid blocky apartment structures and rigid urban development. An artist collective from Spain travels the globe to create murals that draw life back into dwindling public centers. In Medellin, Colombia, urban gardeners create green spaces that beautify the community and empower its citizens.

Immigrant Support Systems

Big cities attract dreamers from all over the world. This episode features the people building communities of inclusion for immigrants.

Helping Hands

Many people enjoy the anonymity found in city living, but this also creates dangers for more vulnerable people like the homeless and elderly.

In Malaysia, an organization called Rice & Roses feeds the needy, paying particular attention to those living on the streets of Georgetown, Penang. The group of volunteers prepares meals and delivers them, and offers free education to street children.

  • 2019-12-05T18:00:00-08:00
    Link TV

Traditional Practices

Looking back to traditional practices can help us find modern solutions to various environmental and social issues of city life.

In Q'ewe, Peru, we follow Victoriano Arizapana, a Native leader nicknamed “The Engineer” as he leads the construction of the Q’eswachaka bridge. Residents from four different communities participate in the three-day construction of a traditional rope bridge using ancestral techniques taught through their Inca heritage.

  • 2019-12-12T18:00:00-08:00
    Link TV