The fine folks from PPS have put together a list of movies that they believe "illustrate Placemaking principles quite beautifully" and they're asking for your suggestions for more. At their Placemaking blog they've collected ten of their favorites, "with explanations of why we think they tell great stories about place."
Included on the list are a lot of classics, such as Ikiru, directed by Akira Kurosawa, in which "A bureaucrat who learns he is dying of stomach cancer unexpectedly finds a sense of purpose in his life by cutting through red tape to get a park built for neighborhood children."
Also included are a couple of more recent films such as Hugo, directed by Martin Scorsese, in which "The balletic interplay of people in Hugo's grand train station – travelers, shopkeepers, musicians, lovers – is a thrill to watch. Scorsese has created a place so vibrant, and so real, that you long to step into the screen and inhabit it yourself."