Making Sense of Place "Phoenix: The Urban Desert" & "Cleveland: Confronting Decline in an American City"

Making Sense of Place "Phoenix: The Urban Desert" & "Cleveland: Confronting Decline in an American City"

Sat, 03/19/2011 - 7:00pm

Pictured: Phoenix AZ

Cities express the choices made by their inhabitants: where to live, how to get around and how to interact with the surrounding environment.

MAKING SENSE OF PLACE "Phoenix: The Urban Desert" & "Cleveland: Confronting Decline in an American City", airing Saturday, March 19 at 7 p.m. on WXXI World (cable 524/DT21.2), examines the complex questions of urban planning and regional identity by exploring the ways in which people participate in and experience their cities. The series illuminates the tensions between growth, economic development and quality of life in downtown areas, local neighborhoods and surrounding regions.

This series traces urban decay, the erosion of inner suburbs and the growth of outer suburbs in Phoenix and Cleveland, whose struggles with sprawl, population loss, economic development and troubled schools mirror those of many other cities and regions across the country. During each program, residents, business leaders, community groups, elected officials, activists and experts in land use and urban planning trace a narrative both of despair and hope.


Phoenix: The Urban Desert

In just 50 years, Phoenix has expanded from a small desert town to the sixth largest city in the country. This episode explores the impact of rampant development, which provides homes and jobs to 100,000 new residents each year, but also threatens the region’s unique ecology.


Cleveland: Confronting Decline in an American City

Once a manufacturing center and home to wealthy industrialists, Cleveland now suffers from out migration, racial and economic segregation and severe financial constraints. Many factors contribute to the patterns of the last several decades, including issues of race and class, taxes and schools, and major shifts in population and jobs. This episode examines the issues of urban decline and explores some of the hopeful opportunities for neighborhood revitalization.