29 DOCUMENTARIES Chinese Bubble (2011) Different points of view on the real estate boom in China. A struggling taxi driver cannot afford any of the empty apartments that he photographs while roaming Beijing. A con- struction worker is fully aware that his toil rep- resents the hopeless existence of a worker who is building skyscrapers while he is not making enough to eat. Meanwhile, a developer of the same skyscrapers basks in the limelight of a re- vered tycoon. A good insight into China’s real estate market, the main source of wealth there in the early 2000s, and the fact that this wealth does not trickle down too much to those who work in the industry. https://www.youtube.com/embed/q3kwey- 4TUOQ Million Dollar Shack (2015) A homemade documentary made by a fami- ly in the Northern California Bay Area who found themselves priced out of the neigh- borhood they grew up in. The Silicon Valley boom created there the most expensive housing market in the U.S. A series of personal stories illustrate the plight of regular California fam- ilies who have no chance to compete against Chinese investors, tech executives, and land- lords who raise rents 300% in one year. This is a megacity area that has also created me- ga-commuters. For example, we learn the story of Maryann Creasy Rieger who was forced to commute some 180 miles a day between her home in Fairfield and her job at Yahoo on the Peninsula when CEO Marissa Mayer put an end to telecommuting. A reportage from the trenches of a real estate war between cash-rich investors and young families. https://www.youtube.com/embed/SBjXUB- MkkE8 Global Cities: Short History (2016) Brookings Book Club event where interna- tionally renowned global urbanist Greg Clark discussed his book Global Cities: A Short History with Financial Times columnist Edward Luce. Because it is a Brookings Institute public interview about a book, it has a more scientific and intellectual approach to the subject than typical documentaries on commercial TV. It provides a good overview of what makes a city a global hub, what is their future, and which cities are falling out or rising to global prom- inence. An interesting discussion follows on cities’ sustainability in terms of strategy and factors of vulnerability due to coastal locations. The discussion lasts only an hour; then they just left the camera running, so you can skip the second part of the video. https://www.youtube.com/embed/ye- 4jVf9MPW0 Global Cities: The Rise of Urban Networks (2017) While large cities have existed since the Sumerian times, the speed and scale of urban transformations in the last few decades are both enormous and alarming. Over one million people are added to the global urban population every week. The documenta- ry explores the changes in the new urban landscape with good footage, but the voice- over commentary is a bit mind-numbing as if written by a robot rather than a human. It states a lot of facts without any analysis, all of it delivered in techno-speak, so viewers should beware. https://www.youtube.com/embed/Ncq8ec- cy-bY Megacities: New York (2015) A National Geographic documentary on the NY transportation system. https://www.youtube.com/embed/EsH- 0O0Uo9IQ World’s Largest Underground City: Chicago (2016) An episode of National Geographic in the Mega Engineering series, the documentary “Good history is a question of survival. Without any past, we will deprive ourselves of the defining impression of our being.” –Ken Burns