Better Cities Film Festival 2021

March: Vacancy Vortex

Expired April 5, 2021 1:00 AM
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Our March Theme is "Vacancy Vortex"

We've curated a special selection of films that show how vacant lots and properties are being reimagined and reclaimed.

We begin with Covid Didn't Do This which points the lens at the effects of ongoing intentional disinvestment that devastated urban neighborhoods long before Covid made its impact on city life. Then we go to Detroit where locals fight urban blight by casting a vision for new possibilities. Forgiving Earth: Voices from Detroit's Urban Farms introduces us to urban gardeners who are planting new hope for their neighborhood. Then we go to China in Shanghai Transitions which presents the other end of the spectrum. In this short film, tour Shanghai neighborhoods with local Dutch architects as they reflect on the impact of extreme, intense, rapid development. Lastly, we go to Barcelona with Landskating where marginalized urban spaces are reclaimed and redeveloped as skate parks. See how this small scale project brings joy and community to the neighborhoods.


A tour through the East Side of Buffalo, NY reveals that the economic catastrophe and disinvestment of urban neighborhoods has been going on for decades.

  • Year
  • Runtime
  • Director
    John Paget
  • Producer
    First+Main Films