• Saving the City
    Remaking the American Metropolis

    Telling stories through the eyes of people who use the city, Saving the City is a 13-part national TV series in the works along with related educational material highlighting successful and unsuccessful examples of urban development throughout the US and Canada.  Our focus is on downtowns and nearby neighborhoods, the most visible and visited part of our cities.  The programs are arranged by theme, not city, so we can compare and contrast what works and what doesn’t in different places.

    We just successfully completed our first shoots in Philadelphia, interviewing 23 people for stories tracing the evolution of Center City from the 1930s through today — Pittsburgh and Los Angeles are next.

    Help us meet our big matching grant — thanks to the Packard, Hewlett and Philadelphia Foundations, a group of Urban Land Institute governors and former board chairs (Wayne Ratkovich, Jim Klingbeil, Fritz Grupe, Jim Curtis and Joe Canizaro) and several San Francisco-based funders led by George Miller, we have raised over $215,000 to meet a $250,000 matching grant from the William Penn Foundation in Philadelphia. Even small amounts help. To contribute please go to: 

    http://www.sffs.org/filmmaker360/saving-the-city-remaking-the-american-metropolis#.V2I-XyMrKvM

    All contributions are fully tax-deductible and go through the San Francisco Film Society, a 501c(3) non-profit.

    Why Saving the City now?

    Saving the City can be viewed as an antidote to the dysfunction in Washington and most statehouses by highlighting how the public, private and philanthropic sectors are working together on the local level to get things done.

    America has always had a love-hate relationship with cities. Over 80% of us live in urban areas, a number projected to reach 90% by 2050.  As people and capital continue moving into cities, there is a great opportunity to improve the urban experience by learning from communities across the continent.  Not taking advantage of lessons learned risks having many cities continuing to do things the way they always have, which often means settling for the most expedient solutions rather than the best possible ones.

    Exploring what we have been doing in the name of remaking our cities is an especially timely topic given the recent popularity of urban living along with ongoing debates about equity, energy consumption, and environmental sustainability and resiliency.  Showing how individuals and small groups make a difference, our goal is to empower citizens to more actively participate in their local communities and to demand better results.

    After watching Saving the City, you’ll never look at cities the same way again!

     


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    Saving the Bay

    Saving the City Executive Producer Ron Blatman also produced Saving the Bay: The Story of San Francisco Bay. Narrated by Robert Redford, the four part series was a PBS national prime time special and continues to air. The series received four regional Emmy awards including for Best Documentary.

    To learn more about Saving the Bay, including video clips and an extensive Education section, please visit www.savingthebay.org.

    Support Saving the City