Countdown: The 12 Most Influential Streetfilms of All Time

With the 10-year benefit for Streetsblog and Streetfilms coming up on November 14 (get your tickets here!), we are counting down the 12 most influential Streetfilms of all-time, as determined by the impresario himself, Clarence Eckerson Jr. The countdown starts with the second-most-viewed Streetfilm ever.

Lakewood: The Suburb Where Everyone Can Walk to School

Publish date: April 28, 2014

Number of plays: 470,000 (second all-time)

Why is it here? This Streetfilm struck a nerve with people across the United States, perhaps because many people can still remember walking or biking to school when they were kids, or wish their children could do it safely today. In Lakewood, where the city has preserved and actively encourages walking to school, you can see what the trip to class and back home was like when most students did it on foot.

Fun fact: This film nearly didn’t happen. Why? I was in Cleveland to shoot video for three days, and it rained almost the entire time — except from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. on this day!

  • I rode the bus to school in suburban Detroit in the 1960s and early 1970s, and from the ages of 8 to 16 rode my bike on both residential streets and occasional major roads because there were no bike lanes at that time either. Today I am a 3rd-year MURP Regional Sustainability student at the University of Colorado after a 30-year career in the trucking and wholesale fresh food industry.

    My own opinion for one of the greatest urban street movies of all time was the 1971 movie The French Connection starring Gene Hackman. You can learn a lot about city life and urban transportation planning reality by watching this film. Who says that NYC is a sustainable urban area, as this movie will give you a much different perspective. Rated R for a lot of violence and a little skin.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_French_Connection_(film)

    Here is another of my favorite urban street videos. This video shows how unsustainable and unsafe the act of delivering 12 tons of cement to a road construction job site in NYC is.

    Do remember that loaded trucks can take 2-3 times the distance to safely stop as cars and 4-5 times the distance to stop as bicycles, which most often don’t have brake lights, a problem which can cause an extra 1-2 seconds of following driver reaction time too.

    Speaking of urban sustainability this study was new today (August 31st): “Study assesses climate change vulnerability in urban America. The study contends that most city planners have yet to prepare for climate-related risks and the consequences”.

    Climate change impacts on regional food supply and fresh water supply sustainability across the Southwestern US and Mexico is one of primary research interests.

    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/08/160831085039.htm

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