Five Funny Planning YouTube Videos

Chris Steins's picture

As the summer winds down, here are a list of the five funniest urban planning videos I've found on YouTube over the years, covering news for Planetizen.

Aloha from Kauai

At the margin of creativity, video can inject commentary, advocacy, and even satire into planning. Activist Koohan Paik has gained notoriety for "Discover Kauai," a satirical look at the effects of sprawl on the Garden Island that sets images of big boxes and fast food outlets against Kauai's peaks, palms, and cultural traditions. "The video took the island by storm," says Paik. "It was a successful catalyst in galvanizing community action against development."

Discover Kauai (2007)


America's Most Popular City?

Metropopular is an animated short film about what the cities of America would say to one another if they could talk. Frantic about a popularity contest in which these cities are competing, they jockey for top position while arguing between themselves. The film is directed by Jonah Hall and produced by Jason Heapy and Laura Lockwood, and is a PDI/DreamWorks film.

Metropopular (2001)


A Tight Fit

This clip recorded in 2007 by a tourist who decided not to get on a busy commuter Saikyo train in Tokyo shows the downside of high transit ridership. The background commentary by the tourist, "Dan" is almost as humorous as the video itself.

Off to Work (2007)


Pedestrian Congestion Charge?

"You are now entering Edinburgh City Centre's new Pedestrian Congestion Charging Zone. All pedestrians entering this section of The Royal Mile will have £1.00 automatically deducted from their mobile telephone account." What happens when Producer Richard DeDomenici implements a fake pedestrian congestion fee along Edinburgh's Royal Mile?

Pedestrian Congestion Charge (2005)


The Ultimate In Transit-Oriented Development

My all-time favorite video -- one where you can't help but be amazed by human ingenuity and resourcefulness -- is this video appropriately called "Flexible Urban Planning" (2007). Although the author, energizerbonny, doesn't identify the location, a colleague says that the train looks like it's in Thailand.

Flexible Urban Planning (2007)


Did I miss your favorite humorous planning video? Please share your favorite.

Chris Steins is co-founder and co-editor-in-chief of Planetizen.



Jess Zimbabwe's picture

Another one...

Hey Chris: Good picks, all.

Here's an addition that I suppose has serious value, but the tiny robot and prominent and re-appearing bottle of gin make me laugh.

Jess Zimbabwe (née Wendover), Director
Mayors' Institute on City Design

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