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Contested Streets
IMDB Rating: 6.9/10 from 36 votes
Release: 27 June 2006 (USA) /

Contested Streets

Genre: Documentary
Director: Stefan C. Schaefer,
Stars: , , , ,
Synopsis: Through interviews with leading historians, urban planners, and government officials, CONTESTED STREETS explores the history and culture of New York City streets from pre-automobile times to the present. This examination allows for an understanding of how the city, though the most well served by mass transit in the United States, has slowly relinquished what was a rich, multi-dimensional conception of the street as public space to a mindset that prioritizes the rapid movement of cars and trucks over all other functions. Central to the story is a comparison of New York to what is experienced in London, Paris and Copenhagen. Interviews and footage shot in these cities showcase how curtailing automobile use in recent years has improved air quality, mitigated noise pollution and enriched commercial, recreational and community interaction. Congestion pricing, bus rapid transit (BRT) and pedestrian and bike infrastructure schemes and looked at in depth. New York City, though to many the ... Written by Stefan Schaefer

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Critic Reviews


Cities are meant for people, not cars, and this film powerfully shows how cities can be designed and changed so they don't have to be clogged with cars and pollution but can facilitate walking and public transportation. By first telling the history of New York City Contested Streets outlines the history of how Robert Moses (who is currently undergoing a positive revisionist history) actually cut up NYC for cars even though he didn't even drive. It then goes on to look at London, Paris and Copenhagen to show how some once clogged cities are taking back streets for bikes, pedestrians and public transportation. Oh how it would great if politicians in New York City saw this and made some changes!

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