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.


Everywhere in the world a lot of changes are coming at people. Cities are becoming more important, bigger, higher denser, fuller, newer and smarter.

Shanghai is one of the largest cities in the world, and has undergone a huge metamorphosis in recent years. A lot is being demolished and a lot is being built. Things go wrong, but there is also a lot of beauty to be seen.

Three Dutch architects who live in Shanghai each tell in their own way how they look at the transitions of this mega city. They look at the development of living environments, the growth of the city, and leisure activities.

Not from some theory, but from the experience as a resident of Shanghai.

  • Year
  • Runtime
    34 minutes
  • Language
  • Country
  • Director
    David Lingerak
  • Cast
    Harry den Hartog, Tjerk Reijenga, Joost van den Hoek