The Social Life of Small Urban Spaces by William H. Whyte

This witty and original film is about the open spaces of cities and why some of them work for people while others don’t. Beginning at New York’s Seagram Plaza, one of the most used open areas in the city, the film proceeds to analyze why this space is so popular and how other urban oases, both in New York and elsewhere, measure up. Based on direct observation of what people actually do, the film presents a remarkably engaging and informative tour of the urban landscape and looks at how it can be made more hospitable to those who live in it.

Running time: 58 min, Year released: 1980

William H. Whyte – Social Life of Small Urban Places from Robin van Emden on Vimeo.

A complete delight…flows with humor, verve, insight and pleasure…An excellent analysis of major factors of urban design.
–AFVA Evaluations

A film by William H. Whyte
Produced by The Municipal Art Society of New York

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