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15 Youtube Videos You Need to Watch to Increase Your Environmental Planning Knowledge (UPDATED!)

Watch these videos to gain a global perspective of local issues in urban planning and development.

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Youtube is a media giant!

The platform hosts a LOT of videos about any subject, from cats to volcanic eruptions.

As learning is a lifetime process, Youtube is a gold mine for knowledge professionals like environmental planners.

Here are 15 Youtube videos that you should watch to gain a global perspective of local issues in urban planning and development.

When I was an assistant professor, I used some of these Youtube videos as reflection exercises.

I encourage you to do the same!

Find similarities in your local setting and formulate possible solutions!

7 principles for building better cities

What it is about

Building better cities (what Charles Montgomery calls happy cities) must combat one key villain: sprawl.

Why you should watch it

Building cities to accommodate growing populations must be geared towards climate-change adaptation and mitigation.

As environmental planners, our responsibility is not only for the present generation but also for the future generations.

The Future of Cities

What it is about

Features sustainable cities globally in an exciting and inspirational manner.

Why you should watch it

Urban planning starts with vision. The examples cover cities in both the developed and the developing countries.

Although planning should always be contextualized to the real situation, the examples will help environmental planners learn what cannot work.

Read: Increase your urban planning knowledge by following these sites!

Lagos: Africa’s Fastest Growing Megacity

What it is about

Highlights the struggle to balance global development and local citizen issues.

Why you should watch it

Lagos is a model for megacities in the developing world. The sustainability of cities involves social acceptability and inclusivity of every sector.

Filipino environmental planners will surely relate to the difficulty of managing dense populations in limited space.

Japan’s Independent Kids

What it is about

Encapsulates the relationships between cultural geography and urban planning. Japan’s case demonstrates how culture influences infrastructure and vice versa.

Why you should watch it

Children are the future of generations.

Urban planning is especially required to promote the safe movement of children.

The video demonstrates the great influence of culture to urban choices, highlighting how accessibility of safe transportation and infrastructure has been molded by the Japanese culture of work.

Why a Shrinking French City Is Making Transit Free

What it is about

Insights from the mayor of Dunkirk, France about the importance of public transit and making it free.  The mayor describes free public transit as both environmentally and socially beneficial.

Why you should watch it

At present, public transit is more a privilege than a right. More efficient and comfortable transit tend to be more accessible to higher-income people.

Read: 4 Major Urban Planning Themes from the Dream EDSAs of 9 Urban Planners and Architects

Environmental planners and other sectoral planners should strive to rid the roads with discriminatory modes of transportation, towards what Dr. Cresencio Montalbo calls “dignity of travel.

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The best stats you’ve ever seen

What it is about

A 2000s presentation by the famous Hans Rosling about preconceived ideas towards global population data and information

Why you should watch it

In local planning processes, environmental planners should be able convey their message to stakeholders with already established principles. The environmental planner is not expected to change peoples’ views but for peoples to consider their message for sustainable urban planning.

Read: Here are sustainable cities in the Philippines!

How megacities are changing the map of the world

What it is about

A global perspective about megacities being more influential in the global framework than countries.

Why you should watch it

Megacities are expected to increase in both number and size. As megacities grow, their roles as functional centers also increase in importance.

The talk by Parag Khanna provides an array of research ideas about global cities.

Read: An Overview of Secondary Cities!

What is the tragedy of the commons?

What it is about

A comprehensible animation about the “tragedy of the commons,” a fundamental principle in environmental science, particularly resource management.

Why you should watch it

Albeit being heavily debated and revised through time, the tragedy illustrates the worst-case scenarios of improper resource management. The tragedy is not confined in natural resources management – even street parking, public space and waste management exhibit the principle.

Interested in solid waste management planning?

The next generation of African architects and engineers

What it is about

Presents ingenious architectural ideas from Africans including floating houses and communities

Why you should watch it

Urban planning requires creativity because urban areas have less space for large populations. The ideas of African architects and engineers prove that contextual interventions are the most effective.

Become a Filipino Environmental Planner!

Reel Time: Isinulat sa Tubig

What it is about

Demonstrates the importance of inclusive infrastructure projects, especially in remote parts of the Philippines

Why you should watch it

Environmental planning is a technical and political exercise.

The realization of infrastructure projects clings on both the capability of the government to complete projects and the willingness of the government officials to prioritize these projects.

How Hong Kong Built the World’s Best Transit

What it is about

Hong Kong’s Mass Transit Railway (MTR) pays for itself, unlike most public transit systems in the world that are subsidized by the government.

Why you should watch it

A model of transit-oriented development, the MTR’s relatively young infrastructure is more than 100% profitable!

Government planners can learn how to package transportation interventions for social acceptability and at least reduce dependence on government funds.

The social equity of the MTR is controversial, however, primarily because of its perceived impact to high housing prices. Studying the Hong Kong MTR is a lesson in sustainability.

The traffic solution most cities haven’t tried

What it is about

Traffic congestion in New York City can be curbed through congestion pricing, a traffic management measure that has worked in London.

Why you should watch it

The traffic policy aims to discourage unnecessary private vehicle use by charging zonal fees in districts with congested traffic.

Beyond being a vehicle reduction scheme, congestion pricing is also a social equity mechanism. Through congestion pricing, private vehicle owners pay for road use more equally as their non-private-vehicle-using counterparts.

In short, cities reduce their subsidy for private vehicle users.

CNN Philippines Town Hall: Urban Development

What it is about

A panel of private experts and government officials discussing opportunities and challenges in urban development in Metro Manila.

Why you should watch it

The panel includes Arch. EnP. Paulo Alcazaren, one of my personal inspirations in environmental planning.

In his words, it’s not planning if you don’t anticipate.

What a driverless world could look like

What it is about

Wanis Kabbaj, a transportation planner, proposes finding inspiration for transportation solutions from the “most sophisticated transportation laboratory”our cardiovascular system.

Why you should watch it

Environmental planners will benefit from multidisciplinary thinking and systems thinking.

Hard solutions like construction and engineering may not be sufficient to solve urban planning issues without complementary soft solutions like social justice and poverty alleviation.

Superblocks: How Barcelona is taking city streets back from cars

What it is about

SUPERBLOCKS! Barcelona’s radical attempt to reclaim public space.

Why you should watch it

Urban planning is also a revolutionary profession.

As the (misattributed) saying goes, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.”

Watch the whole playlist!

Suggest videos!

Do you have other videos about urban planning? Link these videos in the comments!


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