. urban focus film series






Beltline Communities’ work with local residents, businesses, developers and government over the past decade catapulted the Beltline neighbourhoods into the spotlight and attracted over $1 billion in new investment to the area – condos, businesses, grocery stores, public institutions and parks.

The group’s latest venture is Beltline Urban Focus, a new film series which aims to engage Calgarians in thinking about their city.

Beltline Urban Focus opens October 15, 2009 with “Living City: A Critical Guide”. The film features Toronto Star urban affairs columnist Christopher Hume, as he travels coast to coast to assess the condition of Canada’s cities. The film marks Hume’s return to Calgary. At the 2007 Beltline Urban Forum he explored why Calgary must re-conceive its notion of back alleys in its centre city neighbourhoods (see http://www.beltline.ca/BuzzVol1No3.pdf).  Hume has great praise for Beltline Communties’ grass roots work (see Star reprint http://www.beltline.ca/BuzzVol1No4.pdf  pg11), but he is decidedly skeptical of Calgary’s “well intentioned” city hall planners and amazed by the low quality of public spaces in one of Canada’s wealthiest provinces. He asks “why don’t Calgarians demand more”?

The film surveys Canada’s major cities, alternately revealing their successes and struggles in the important task of city building. 

Hume is hopeful but worries, "unless we recognize that the health of a city, its well being, is vital to our way of life, Canada will never realize its full potential."

Beltline Urban Focus then zooms in to the local: hosts Beltline Planning Group follow the film with discussion on several new and newsworthy developments in the Beltline district.


Christopher Hume in "Living City: A Critical Guide"