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More than half the world’s population now lives in an urban area, and 75 percent will call a city home by 2050.

But while some cities are growing, others are shrinking. The challenges of balancing housing, mobility, public space, civic engagement, economic development, and environmental policy are quickly becoming universal concerns.

So, who is allowed to shape these urban spaces, and how do they do it?

Monday on Up to Date, Steve Kraske talks with documentary filmmaker Gary Hustwit about his attempt to frame a global discussion on the future of cities.  His film, Urbanized, joins Helvetica and Objectified as the third part of a documentary trilogy on design.

Hear More: You can attend a screening of Urbanized this evening at 7 at Woodruff Auditorium in the Kansas Union on the University of Kansas campus. The screening is free and open to the public. A Q&A with Gary Hustwit will follow the screening.

Gary Hustwit is an independent filmmaker based in New York and London. Hustwit worked with LA punk label SST Records in the late-1980s, ran the independent book publishing house Incommunicado Press during the 1990s, was Vice President of the media website Salon.com in 2000, and started the indie DVD label Plexifilm in 2001. Hustwit has produced eight feature documentaries, including the award-winning I Am Trying To Break Your Heart about the band Wilco; Moog, about electronic music pioneer Robert Moog; and Oddsac, an experimental feature with the band Animal Collective. In 2007 he made his directorial debut with Helvetica, a documentary about graphic design and typography. The film marked the beginning of a design film trilogy, with Objectified, about industrial design and product design following in 2009. Urbanized, about the design of cities, had its world premiere at the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival. A longtime advocate of self-distribution and directly engaging his audience, Hustwit is releasing Urbanized with a global screening tour, theatrical runs, and DVD and digital releases.


When I host Up To Date each morning at 9, my aim is to engage the community in conversations about the Kansas City area’s challenges, hopes and opportunities. I try to ask the questions that listeners want answered about the day’s most pressing issues and provide a place for residents to engage directly with newsmakers. Reach me at steve@kcur.org or on Twitter @stevekraske.
Stephen Steigman is director of Classical KC. You can email him at Stephen.Steigman@classicalkc.org.