VPRO, Urban Century
How the World Becomes a City
From 13 September
We are living in the Urban Century. Currently, more than fifty percent of the world population is living in cities – many of them in slums - and cities are continuing to grow. The VPRO considers this reason to both look back and to look ahead, to connect thinking about the future of the city with experiences from the past. Which factors define the quality of life in cities? How does urban life take shape and how can we improve it? In a number of new productions, VPRO explores various new ideas and perspectives on the city.
During two weeks in September popular VPRO programs such as Buitenhof, Andere Tijden, Draadstaal, Tegenlicht, Villa VPRO, Metropolis and Holland Doc all focus on the issue of urbanization.
VPRO produces and broadcast five television documentaries in co-production with the IABR, five radio documentaries and five internet productions, including the audio-visual archive Open City (with radio broadcasts since 1926 and film since 1913), and the dedicated website eeuwvandestad.nl. This website contains citizens’ input on how to improve life in the city, a web log and guidelines by artists for special city walks.
Urban Century presents audio and video content about cities in several new ways. On the website most programs are made available on demand in high resolution and accessible through the use of keywords. All radio and television programs on the city are available as free downloads and pod casts during the exhibition Open City: Designing Coexistence in the NAI.
Curator: Bregtje van der Haak
Television, radio, internet, VPRO Magazine, and NAI
Most programs are in the Dutch language or subtitled in Dutch.
Overview of the VPRO's Urban Century project:
Tegenlicht: Amsterdam Makeover 2040
Amsterdam is an old lady, but she is set on having a metropolitan make over. After all, cities have to keep on developing to survive on the global stage. But the question is how they should grow in an ecological and economically sustainable manner?
[14 September, approx. 8:55 pm, Channel 2]
Tegenlicht: Grand Paris. The President and the Architect
French President Sarkozy has ambitious plans for the Paris of the future and is looking for the right architects. Tegenlicht has been following one of the candidates, the Dutch architect Winy Maas.
[21 September, approx. 8:55 pm, Channel 2]
Metropolis: New to the City
Over a period of six months four migrants are being filmed in four different cities in the world while trying to find their way in and coming to terms with a completely new way of living.
[21 September, approx. 10:50 pm, Channel 2]
Holland Doc: Stayin’ Alive In Jo’burg
In 2010, one of the sites for the World Football Championships will be in Johannesburg’s infamous downtown, where tens of thousands of illegal African immigrants have taken refuge. Will it be possible to satisfy the FIFA, clean up the city and make it safe?
[22 September, approx. 10:50 pm, Channel 2]
Tegenlicht: I am Gurgaon: The New City in India
Four million people in one huge gated community, a satellite of New Delhi: Is Gurgaon the latest Ponzi Scheme or the model for the future megacity that will soon emerge all over India?
[28 September, approx. 8:55 pm, Channel 2]
These five documentaries are a co-production of the VPRO and the IABR with the support of the Netherlands Architecture Fund.
Buitenhof discusses the future of the city.
[13 September, approx. 12 am, Channel 1]
The satirical TV program Draadstaal devotes an entire edition to
the theme of the city.
[20 September, approx. 8:25 pm, Channel 3]
Andere Tijden: Who is Building? Wibaut!
Andere Tijden focuses on Floor Wibaut – Amserdam's dynamic and socially conscious city councilor during the Interbellum.
[24 September, approx. 5:25 pm, Channel 2]
NOVA, a daily current affairs program, will focus on the theme of the city.
[between 21 and 28 September.]
Villa VPRO – Bureau Buitenland: Addis Ababa
To cope with an influx of migrants, the Ethiopian capital must build apartment buildings at breakneck speed, but it has no experience in constructing high-rise buildings.
[17 and 18 September, approx. 3:30 pm, Radio 1]
Holland Doc Radio: Looking for the next Wibaut
City Councilor Floor Wibaut was one of the most dynamic politicians active in 20th century Amsterdam. Is there anyone out there ready to follow in his footsteps?
[20 September, approx. 9:02 pm, Radio 1]
Villa VPRO – Bureau Buitenland: Detroit
Once the prosperous center of U.S. car manufacturing, the city of Detroit has now fallen on hard times. Tragic portrait of a city in decay.
[24 and 25 September, approx. 3:30 pm, Radio 1]
Villa VPRO – Bureau Buitenland: Jakarta
Jakarta has been blighted by permanent traffic jams and spatial-planning incompetence. Jakarta’s governor Fauzi Bowo has now forged an ambitious plan to get the city moving again, using buses and trains. But will he be able to deliver?
[1 and 2 October, approx. 3:30 pm, Radio 1]
Villa VPRO – Bureau Buitenland: Istanbul
The invasion of large numbers of conservative and religious people from the countryside into Istanbul has had a huge impact on the cosmopolitan character of the city.
[8 and 9 October, approx. 3:30 pm, Radio 1]
Central website: eeuwvandestad.nl
Open City (archive)
Open City is a newly created audiovisual archive centering on the city, containing approximately 200 hours of film and video (since 1913) and 100 hours of audio recordings (since 1926).
Droomstad Web TV (film clips about The Good Life in the City)
Droomstad collects and presents film clips showing all the things that make life in the city worthwhile and lend it quality. The clips are by the VPRO and by citizens from all over Holland.
City One Minutes (2400 1-minute film clips: 100 cities x 24 hours)
A collaborative artwork by international artists in 100 cities. Each artist has captured life in his or her own city over a 1-hour period and condensed this into a 1-minute film clip. 100 cities x 24 hours = 2400 film clips, all available on a dedicated website.
Soundtrack City (audio tours)
Soundtrack City Amsterdam invites residents to go out onto the streets and rediscover their own city with the aid of 8 special audio tours compiled by artists.
Promised Land (web documentary)
A web documentary on Holiday Parks, where most of the houses are now being occupied permanently by inhabitants who often have no other choice. Portrait of a new form of urbanization.
Digital channels: Holland Doc and History 24
The VPRO’s digital theme channels offer old and new documentaries and projects, including a 24-hour documentary on Berlin.
hollanddoc.nl | geschiedenis.vpro.nl
Holland Doc 24 – Selections by experts
From 19 through 25 September, and several times each day, the digital documentary channel Holland Doc 24 will broadcast five documentaries selected and introduced by urban experts. The documentaries are also available on the
Internet at hollanddoc.nl.
Live Radio: Villa VPRO
Live radio coverage of the opening of the International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam.
[24 September, approx. 4 pm, Radio 1
Radio: De Avonden
A radiophonic version of the special IABR-dedicated issue published by the literary magazine De Gids.
[26 September, approx. 8 am, Radio 6]
Exhibition: New Urban Myths
An exhibition examining urban myths.
[26 September - 4 October]
Venue: Former office of the Trouw Newspaper, De Verdieping - Wibautstraat 127,
Trendspotting Istanbul reports on the 11th International Istanbul Biennial – an international exhibition on contemporary art with a particular focus on Istanbul’s rich cultural heritage.
[21 October, approx. 10.50 pm, Channel 2]
Installation: T_Visionarium Open City
T_Visionarium Open City is a digital audiovisual archive comprising approximately thirty hours of digitalized video material on the city- documentaries, reports, clips and interviews - from the rich past of the VPRO and other Dutch broadcasting corporations. The T_Visionarium bundles this material thematically, along with editorial meta-data. The result is an innovative interface, a 3-D system that offers visitors a spectacular and interactive cinema experience, giving them the opportunity to browse through the material and to remix it as they want. T_Visionarium was developed by the i-Cinema Research Center in Sydney (Jeffrey Shaw) and the Zentrum für Kunst und Medien in Karlsruhe, Germany (Peter Weibel), and has so far only been shown in its experimental phase, in Spain and France. This first presentation in the Netherlands is presented by the VPRO and the IABR in cooperation with the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision, International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA), and Image for the Future. Made possible by the Amsterdams Fonds voor de Kunst and the Mondriaan Foundation.