Is it time to give more power to the cities? VPRO backlight explores the growing and innovative power of the city in Eindhoven, Seattle and Hamburg.
Where governments are stuck in their own ambition and party politics, the cities are bubbling with energy, optimism and vigor.
Where national governments fail, many issues – in the area of environment, poverty, food production and health care – are resolved faster at the urban level and in consultation with the citizens.
Isn’t it time to give more power to our cities?
What happens when pragmatic mayors take more matters in their own hands and try to make their city the administrative center, outside of national politics?
Fed by a creative community of straightforward citizens, the city can become a new breeding ground for change. There is room for experiment.
A city in which citizens, through new forms of cooperation and binding referenda, become part of an actual democracy. The new city state.
Inspired by the books by political scientist Benjamin Barber (“If Mayors Ruled The World”) and Bruce Katz (“The Metropolitan Revolution”), and the mayors and citizens of Seattle, Eindhoven and Hamburg, VPRO backlight explores the growing power and innovative power of the city.
Originally broadcasted by VPRO in 2014.
© VPRO Backlight September 2014
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Director: Kasper Verkaik
Research: Chris Vijn
Production: Helen Goossens
Editors: Henneke Hagen, Frank Wiering
English, French and Spanish subtitles: Ericsson.
French and Spanish subtitles are co-funded by European Union.