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Notebook on Cities and Culture S4E1: An American Rediscovery with City Walk

Colin Marshall sits down at the Old Pasadena offices of Rigler Creative with Thomas Rigler, Steve Reich, and Caitlin Starowicz, creators of City Walk, a new television and web series from KCET and Link TV on the transformation of American cities and our ability to walk in them. They discuss the walkability of Old Pasadena right beneath them; City Walk‘s origin as a project purely about the health benefits of walking, and how it expanded; their own discovery of the new walkability of American cities as they shot and researched the show, how they found they’d already been documenting that “wave of change” almost inadvertently; their insights into the vision of park planner Frederick Law Olmsted; the buildup of frustration with postwar American cities, and what planning for and living around the car has to do with it; what they felt when experts elsewhere argued that, in fact, Los Angeles is the city of the walkable future; how they learned the distinctive urban language of this city, whether they grew up here or came to it later; the end of one form of the American Dream, the beginning of another, and the consequent “slumming of the suburbs”; how much the context for their interview and urban exploration material has widened with time and additional research; what it takes to make a show about experiences, not messages; City Walk‘s distinctive aesthetic, meant to represent the life of a city itself, and how the Iverson Mall Walkers fit into that; and how they revived the magazine-format show for the internet just as cities have revived themselves for the 21st century.

Download the interview from Notebook on Cities and Culture’s feed or on iTunes.

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