Category Archives: Cities

Cinematic Short Films: Bordeaux & Saint Emilion

Filmed and edited by: Matteo Bertoli

Bordeaux, city and port, capital of Gironde départementNouvelle-Aquitaine région, southwestern France. It lies along the Garonne River 15 miles (24 km) above its junction with the Dordogne and 60 miles (96 km) from its mouth, in a plain east of the wine-growing district of Médoc.

The dry soil of Médoc attracted settlement as early as the Bronze Age; and, at least since Roman times, Bordeaux has been a flourishing town and port, with connections particularly with Spain and Britain. As Burdigala, it was the chief town of the Bituriges Vivisci, a Celtic people. Under the Romans it was the capital of the province of Aquitania, which extended from the Pyrenees to the Loire. In the 4th century Burdigala, then the capital of Aquitania Secunda (one of the three parts into which the emperor Diocletian had divided Aquitania), was described by the writer Ausonius, a native of the city, as a square, walled town and one of the great educational centres of Gaul. During the decline of the Roman Empire, the region around Bordeaux entered a period of political instability from which it recovered only when the dukes of Aquitaine established themselves early in the 10th century.

Travel: Exploring The City Of Prague, Czech Republic

Prague is one of the most-visited cities in Europe. Before the coronavirus pandemic, overtourism was a real problem here: It was often so crowded that it was almost impossible to move around the historic Old Town, as well as around Charles Bridge, Hradcany Castle Hill, and Wenceslas Square.

What’s it like today, after the pandemic, and what ideas are there for tourism in Prague in the future? DW’s Nicole Frölich visited the Czech capital, and was surprised at what she discovered. Have you ever been to Prague?

Prague, capital city of the Czech Republic, is bisected by the Vltava River. Nicknamed “the City of a Hundred Spires,” it’s known for its Old Town Square, the heart of its historic core, with colorful baroque buildings, Gothic churches and the medieval Astronomical Clock, which gives an animated hourly show. Completed in 1402, pedestrian Charles Bridge is lined with statues of Catholic saints.

Travel Tours: A Day In Salzburg, Austria (4K)

Salzburg, city, capital of Salzburg Bundesland (federal state), north-central Austria. It is situated in a level basin on both sides of the Salzach River near the northern foothills of the Alps and the Bavarian (German) border. The historic centre of the city, with its rich mix of art and architecture, was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1996.

Salzburg was originally the site of a Celtic settlement and later of the Roman town of Juvavum. About 700 CE the Benedictine Abbey of St. Peter and the Nonnberg Nunnery were founded there by St. Rupert. Salzburg was made a bishopric by St. Boniface in 739 and was raised to an archbishopric in 798. Its archbishops were acknowledged as princes of the Holy Roman Empire in 1278, and the city became the seat of their powerful ecclesiastical principality. Among the most notable of the prince-archbishops were Wolf Dietrich von Raitenau (reigned 1587–1612), who brought Italian Renaissance architecture and styles to the city, notably by offering commissions to the Italian architect Vincenzo Scamozzi for public squares, a cathedral, and other buildings; Markus Sittikus von Hohenems (reigned 1612–19), who continued to rebuild the city with another Italian architect, Santino Solari; Paris, Graf (count) von Lodron (reigned 1619–53), who founded the city’s university (1622); and Leopold Anton von Firmian (reigned 1727–44).

Filmed in October

Phoenix: How America’s Hottest City Cools Itself

Phoenix, Arizona is coming up with innovative ways to beat the heat.

Phoenix, the capital of Arizona, is accustomed to a hot desert climate, but day and night temperatures have been rising due to global heating and the city’s unchecked development, which has created a sprawling urban heat island.

Scorching temperatures have made summers increasingly perilous for the city’s 1.4 million people, with mortality and morbidity rates creeping up over the past two decades, but 2020 was a gamechanger when heat related deaths jumped by about 60%.

Walking Tour: Caen In Normandy, France (4K)

Caen is a port city and capital of Calvados department in northern France’s Normandy region. Its center features the Château de Caen, a circa-1060 castle built by William the Conqueror. It stands on a hill flanked by the Romanesque abbeys of Saint-Étienne and Sainte-Trinité, which both date from the same period. The multimedia Mémorial museum is devoted to World War II, the 1944 Battle of Normandy and the Cold War.

Cultural Traditions: The Artists Of Taipei, Taiwan

Taipei is a very modern city with a rich history. Many of the artists who live here are finding ways to keep Taiwan’s unique cultural traditions alive.

Video timeline: 00:00 Intro 00:54 Dadaocheng, meeting Zo Lin, foraging artist 02:14 Grassland’s Private Garden with foraging artist Tiffany Lai 06:41 Ximending, meeting comic artist Yeh Yu Tung 07:21 Wan Nan Building 08:11 Yeh Yu Tung’s Studio 10:23 Dadocheng Wharf 11:00 Taipei Main Station, Meeting Hsu Yenting, sound artist 12:35 Shing-Chen Street 14:04 Exhibition Hall Ever Burning 15:46 Jian-Guo Traditional Market, meeting contemporary artist Paco Uong 20:24 Taipei Tien-Hou Temple with collage artist Ni Jui Hung 22:13 Yat-Sen Park 22:53 Jui Hung’s Studio 24:50 Xiangshan

The host of this episode Allison Lin is an actress and photographer in Taipei, Taiwan. She studied interactive multimedia design at the Houston College of Art in the US. Allison meets the artists Zo Lin & Tiffany, Yeh Yu Tung (comic artist), Hsu YenTing (sound artist), Paco Uong (contemporary artist) and Ni Rui-Jung (collage artist).

Travel Guide: The Food & Sights In Valencia, Spain

Our Valencia travel guide! Never before has a city taken me quite like Valencia did. A weekend break to this Spanish gem inspired me to return just two weeks later to film an episode in Valencia.

Video timeline: 00:00 – Intro 01:05 – Transport 03:19 – Sponsor 04:31 – Food 10:28 – Money

Spain has a lot of great cities but there’s something about Valencia that just makes me…happy. The weather maybe? Or perhaps the food? Or the friendly people? Most likely it’s that elusive combination of all three. Valencia is one of those cities that has something to offer all year round.

The port city of Valencia lies on Spain’s southeastern coast, where the Turia River meets the Mediterranean Sea. It’s known for its City of Arts and Sciences, with futuristic structures including a planetarium, an oceanarium and an interactive museum. Valencia also has several beaches, including some within nearby Albufera Park, a wetlands reserve with a lake and walking trails. 

Urban Planning: Will The Cities Of The Future Float?

A new industry of floating infrastructure is emerging to help adapt to rising sea levels. There are two distinct approaches that are being put forth as possible solutions: retrofitting homes to be amphibious and building floating cities.

Amphibious homes can preserve the accessibility of the house and maintain the congenial front porch culture in places like Louisiana, said Elizabeth English, founder and director of The Buoyant Foundation Project. English’s design places a steel frame beneath a house, and then below that, in the crawl space, buoyancy elements. Her team then recommends adding elements to prevent lateral movement so the home will not float away while on the surface of floodwaters.

She estimated that a contractor could do such a retrofit for about $20 to $30 per square foot, but cautioned the Federal Emergency Management Agency currently discourages this type of building practice. Modern floating cities are the brainchild of architect Bjarke Ingels. He told CNBC he hopes his Oceanix City, which is currently slated to be built in the harbor near Busan,

South Korea, will be “a city that is the most resilient city you can imagine, but at the same time, the most enjoyable city that you can imagine.” “We really hope that it will be a successful project and we would like to replicate it in other parts of the world,” Maimunah Mohd Sharif, executive director of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme, told CNBC of the Oceanix development.

She said the world must look more into adaptation and hopes that the project can help mitigate or even solve the problem of sea-level rise. Would you live in a floating city or retrofit your home so it floats during floods? Watch the video above to learn more about what life could be like in these innovative climate change adaptations.

Walking Tours: Side In Southern Turkey (4K)

Side is a resort town on Turkey’s southern Mediterranean coast. An ancient port city, it’s known for long beaches and Greco-Roman ruins. In the center are the remains of the 2nd-century Antique Theater, which seated up to 15,000. The white marble columns of the Hellenistic Temple of Athena stand near the harbor. Other sites are sprinkled throughout, with finds housed at the Side Museum, a restored Roman bath complex. 

City Views: A Walking Tour Of Old Havana In Cuba (4K)

La Habana Vieja (Old Havana), declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1982, is the historic center of the city of Havana. It is formed by a harbor and the official center, the Plaza de Armas. There you will find all kinds of picturesque monuments, fortresses, churches, palaces, etc. It is full of authentic architectural treasures from different periods and offers one of the most comprehensive collections of urban buildings in all America. This area of the city alone is home to more than a thousand buildings of historical importance with various examples of distinguished architecture ranging from Baroque to Art Deco.

Unlike typical colonial cities, Havana was developed on not one, but four main plazas: the Plaza de Armas, which was the military and defensive center as it had a fortress and a large courtyard used for military parades; the Plaza de la Catedral, which with its cathedral was used as the religious center; the Plaza Vieja, which was the commercial hub as it housed important markets; and the Plaza de San Francisco de Asís, which was the main point of exportation and importation as it had a port where Spanish ships docked.