Saving the City is a multi-part documentary series now in production that highlights successful and unsuccessful examples of urban development throughout the US and Canada so that we can learn to create better places. There will also be a robust educational program accompanying the series.

Our focus is on downtowns and nearby neighborhoods, the most visible and visited parts of our cities. 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 at the local level to get things done.

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


Programs are arranged by theme, not city, so we can compare and contrast what works and doesn’t work in different places. Telling stories about individuals and small groups making a difference, our goal is to empower citizens to more actively participate in their local communities and to demand better results.

“There is a widespread belief that Americans hate cities. I think it is probable that Americans hate city failure, but, from the evidence, we certainly do not hate successful and vital city areas.”
– Jane Jacobs in The Death and Life of Great American Cities


“What is the city but the people?”
– William Shakespeare in Coriolanus

Support Saving the City

Help us complete our opening two episodes as we are well into production and now editing thanks to generous support from the William Penn, Packard, Hewlett, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia Foundations, the Heinz Endowments, an Urban Land Institute leadership group and individuals led by George Miller. We have also just launched our funding drive for the next three episodes in the series covering housing, parks and families.

Contributions are tax-deductible and all funds go through the International Documentary Association, a 501c(3) non-profit.

Even small amounts make a big difference…

Saving the Bay PBS Series

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. 

Learn more, including video clips and an extensive Education section, below.