Rise Up

photo: Bradley Maule PhillySkyline.com

Among the recent media projects increasing our awareness of the connectiveness of global urban issues (Urban Age Project, Urbanized film) that deal primarily in statistics and trends, it’s nice to come across HIGHRISE, a project of the National Film Board of Canada and the documentary director Katerina Cizek.

HIGHRISE is an advocacy film and Internet project meant to give voice to the 1 billion people world-wide who live in apartment towers. Cizek’s idea is to use film to help high rise residents imagine improvements to their often crumbling buildings and to advocate for change.

The first HIGHRISE project was the lovely and moving “Out My Window,” which brings the Internet viewer into the world of high rise residents worldwide. You can scroll through their apartments, look out their window, listen to them, hear the sounds of the street below, and explore their urban context. The project provides an interesting sense of global urban geography and the built environment.

In “Thousandth Tower” and “Millionth Tower,” Cisek focuses on residents in Toronto public housing. The films are their vehicle for inventing ideas and capturing the public imagination.

photo: Bradley Maule PhillySkyline.com

All this is a reminder that we have high rises aplenty scattered across the Philly landscape. A lot of us forget this, I think, and many of the buildings themselves end up being hidden in plain view. Over the weeks to come, we’re going to do something to correct that, as we seek air, views, and perspective on residential towers–from Alden Park to Riverview (Southwark) Tower.

About the author

Nathaniel Popkin is co-founder of the Hidden City Daily and author of three books of non-fiction, including Philadelphia: Finding the Hidden City (with Peter Woodall and Joseph E.B. Elliott) and two novels, Everything is Borrowed and Lion and Leopard. He is co-editor of Who Will Speak for America, an anthology forthcoming in June 2018, and the senior writer of the film documentary "Philadelphia: The Great Experiment."



Leave a Reply

Comment moderation is enabled, no need to resubmit any comments posted.

Recent Posts
Jewelry Designer Adds Flair To Old Stable In East Passyunk

Jewelry Designer Adds Flair To Old Stable In East Passyunk

October 9, 2019  |  Art & Design, Preservation

An old horse stable in South Philly finds a new function in the fashion world. Stacia Friedman takes a look inside > more

Salvage City: Recycling History One Object At A Time

Salvage City: Recycling History One Object At A Time

October 7, 2019  |  Art & Design

One person's trash is another person's treasure, especially in the world of architectural salvage. Jacqueline Drayer takes a look at a new art exhibition at Philadelphia's Magic Gardens through the lens of the city's reclaimed materials industry > more

Special Collections Show Their Stuff For Archives Month Philly

Special Collections Show Their Stuff For Archives Month Philly

October 3, 2019  |  History

Archives Month Philly kicks off with a long list of October events in the Delaware Valley. Kimberly Haas spoke to archivists from across the region to get the details on what's in store this year > more

The Crowning Glory Of Christ Church’s Steeple Comes Down For Restoration

The Crowning Glory Of Christ Church’s Steeple Comes Down For Restoration

September 26, 2019  |  Preservation

In Old City, Christ Church's 265-year-old weathervane come down from the steeple to undergo restoration. Kimberly Haas has the details > more

Op-ed: Spreading The Gospel Of Deadbox, One Bottle Cap At A Time

Op-ed: Spreading The Gospel Of Deadbox, One Bottle Cap At A Time

September 26, 2019  |  City Life

In this essay Len Davidson makes the case for resurrecting a long-lost Philly street game that once contributed to the vibrance of neighborhood life and the human connection of row house culture > more

Concrete Cowboy Of Southwest Philly Finds A New Home At Bartram's Garden

Concrete Cowboy Of Southwest Philly Finds A New Home At Bartram’s Garden

September 24, 2019  |  City Life

After being ousted from vacant, City-owned land, an urban cowboy and his posse of young protégées find a permanent place to hang their hats. Sam Newhouse has the news > more