Fig.1 Anna Reeves (1994), "La Vie En Rose" (short film excerpt) Aotearoa New Zealand, 16mm 7 minutes.
"During the planning and construction of Disneyland, Walt had been introduced to the basic concepts of urban design and slowly became a self-taught expert in the field. Such seemingly dry concepts as city planning and urban decay fired his imagination. When Disney's Chief Archivist Dave Smith catalogued Walt's office in 1970, one of the books on a shelf behind Walt's desk was architect Victor Gruen's The Heart of Our Cities: The Urban Crisis, Diagnosis and Cure.
'Walt was serious about that city,' Marty [Sklar] explains. 'And he had a lot of work being done at the time' to explore its viability. Walt asked for Marty's help to coalesce his thoughts so he could produce a film to explain the project, and, over the next several months, Marty wrote a script for a 24-minute film that detailed the 'Florida Project.' In the film, an ebullient Walt explains the concept of Epcot - a full-scale city of the future where people would live, work, and play in comfort. An international shopping district would re-create scenes from around the world, and American industry would have a showcase for the latest technologies.
Walt shot the short film in October 1966. Eight weeks later, he was gone.
The brief-but-potent film, however, lived on. It was shown a handful of times in early 1967 to key constituencies: the Florida Legislature, invited guests (for a packed presentation in a Winter Park theater), and once on statewide television. The film proved vital in convincing both the Legislature and voters that Disney's Florida Project should be approved, which it was. From the moment the project was given the go-ahead, Marty says, the Company's resources were dedicated to getting Walt Disney World up and running and to regaining confidence in the absence of its founder and leader."
(John Singh and Steven Vagnini, 07 June 2012)
"Painter, photographer, filmmaker, set designer, teacher, metalworker, [Alexander Rodchenko] revelled in the new freedoms thrown up by the Russian Revolution and was fiercely committed to liberating art for the masses.
Whether it was his blueprint for the ideal working man's club showcased at the Paris Exhibition of 1925, his illustrated covers for engineering manuals or his pioneering film poster for Sergei Eisenstein's classic Battleship Potemkin, Rodchenko's experimentation embodied the spirit of the early Soviet era.
But just as he thrived in the intellectual ferment of the Lenin years, like so many other artists-cum-revolutionaries of the period he was to fall foul of Stalin's increasingly paranoid and brutal regime.
Today his influence lives on, not only inspiring modern-day photographers like Martin Parr, but his designs are perhaps best known for the art school chic they afford to the covers of records by the Scottish indie band Franz Ferdinand."
(Arifa Akbar and Jonathan Brown, 2 January 2008, The Independent)
Alexander Rodchenko (1925). "Lengiz books on all subjects!"
"Fifteen urban designers, business leaders, arts and tourism representatives, geo-tech experts, architects, environmentalists, students and a Central City resident for 57 years will share their ideas for Christchurch's Central City in the Speakers' Corner at this weekend's (14 and 15 May) community expo."
(Rebuild Christchurch, 14 and 15 May 2011)
[It's not very often that whole cities are re-designed as is the case with Christchurch in Aotearoa New Zealand. While earthquakes continue to shake the region Christchurch residents are making plans for the future. The Christchurch City Council invited key stakeholders to present their perspectives as part of their public consultation process. In doing so Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology (CPIT) Dean Dr. Jane Gregg and Creative Industries Faculty Stakeholder Manager Martin Trusttum explain their vision for a "Creative Christchurch" based on the concept of precincts.]
"The world's first zero-carbon city is being built in Abu Dhabi and is designed to be not only free of cars and skyscrapers but also powered by the sun.
The oil-rich United Arab Emirates is the last place you would expect to learn lessons on low-carbon living, but the emerging eco-city of Masdar could teach the world.
At first glance, the parched landscape of Abu Dhabi looks like the craziest place to build any city, let alone a sustainable one.
The inhospitable terrain suggests that the only way to survive here is with the maximum of technological support, a bit like living on the moon.
The genius of Masdar - if it works - will be combining 21st Century engineering with traditional desert architecture to deliver zero-carbon comfort. And it is being built now.
Masdar will be home to about 50,000 people, at least 1,000 businesses and a university.
It is being designed by British architects Foster and Partners, but it is the ruler of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who is paying for it. And it will cost between £10bn (USD$15bn) and £20bn (USD$30bn). "
(Tom Heap, BBC News)
[Profiled on the BBC Radio 4 programme 'Costing The Earth: Eco-City Limits' Monday 29 March at 2100 BST]