Monthly Archives: January 2012

“Big City 1980”: a great video from 1961

Posted by Ezra Glenn on January 06, 2012
Film / No Comments

I recently came across an absolute gem from the video archives of the MIT Museum, called Big City 1980.  It’s an hour-long film produced by CBS in 1961 to coincide with MIT’s 100th anniversary, and it explores some possible futures for the coming generation of cities.  In 1961 the world was forecasting a doubling of the urban population in just 20 years, and the video looks ahead to how existing cities (Philadelphia) will need to change and how entirely new mega-cities will spring into existence (Brasilia).  Wonderful footage, nice (albeit hokey) framing by the talking heads, and a great window into one of the profession’s greatest generations.


The film was digitized by the museum as part MIT’s 150th anniversary celebration.  I’ve embedded it all here, or you can see it on TechTV.

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