Thursday, July 7th, 2011

The Coolest and Best City Videos

I have posted quite a few “city videos” in the course of blogging. These are usually unofficial short pieces, often art projects, and frequently featuring time lapse, tilt shift, or other techniques to produce a very cool “music video” about a particular place. I thought I’d share a compilation of some of the coolest and very best of these today. If you have other suggestions, please post a link as a comment.

A lot of these are high quality uploads that more than justify watching them in full screen mode. Enjoy!

You’ve Got to Love London

This one was an instant classic (if the video doesn’t display, click here).

Le Flâneur (Paris)

Here’s a variant on the time lapse approach (if the video doesn’t display, click here). The creator of this video discussed his techniques over at National Geographic, but alas the post seems to have expired (or I can’t find it).

Little Big Berlin

This is such an incredible video. It doesn’t necessarily beat you over the head with the coolness of the place like the London and Paris videos, but instead gives you slices of everyday life in way that reveals the city to you. Even the classical soundtrack (Franz Liszt’s “Hungarian Rhapsody #2”) is awesome. (If the video doesn’t display click here).

Le Tour de France Grand Départ 2010 (Rotterdam)

This one actually is a promotional video, shot for the Grand Départ of the 2010 Tour de France. But it’s a great video about cycling and Rotterdam generally. This one I particularly love since the music is a delightful original composition by Erwin Steijlen, featuring vocals by Alma Nieto and Steve Balsamo. (If the video doesn’t display, click here).

Inter // States (Tokyo)

This video by Samuel Cockedey isn’t as good as the rest of them on the whole, but if you’re a transport geek like me, you’ll definitely like it (if the video doesn’t display, click here).

New York City

The best of the city videos all seem to be from overseas cities (though interestingly the London and Paris ones were made by Americans). Here are a couple of great New York timelapses, however. First, one from James Ogle (if the video doesn’t display, click here).

And one by Mindrelic called “Manhattan in Motion” (if the video doesn’t display, click here).

A Summer Sped Up (Chicago)

Here’s a reader suggestion that I can’t believe I’ve never seen before since I live in Chicago at present. (If the video doesn’t display for you, click here).

Hope you enjoyed these.

Topics: Architecture and Design, Civic Branding, Urban Culture
Cities: Berlin, London, New York, Paris, Rotterdam, Tokyo

15 Responses to “The Coolest and Best City Videos”

  1. Tony says:

    Suggestion re: Chicago Summer

  2. Tony, great suggestion. Crazy that I haven’t seen that one before. I added to the main article in fact. Thanks!

  3. Another suggestion (Akron): University Park Alliance: Our Core City Vision–L8

  4. Michael says:

    Great videos!

    I might suggest Ann Arbor:

  5. Sid Burgess says:

    Has anyone seen a video like this of Seattle?

  6. Amanda says:


    A San Francisco time lapse, although not up to par with the others:

  7. AJ says:

    Here’s a great video that’s on par with the others. It’s a tilt-shift stop motion of Milwaukee during a snow storm. It’s a lot of fun to watch.


  8. Betty Barcode says:

    Don’t forget Buffalo, the nation’s favorite punching bag, and why it doesn’t deserve that reputation:

  9. Gavin says:

    Cool post. Another add for San Francisco

  10. sonofsoma says:

    one for the cool/best list.. or just to enjoy

    ‘the unseen sea’…

    san francisco & bay … unique, beautiful, moving
    hi-def. shot mostly from the hills above oakland

    san francisco

  11. cardenasj says:

    Here are two from Portland, Oregon.

    Portland is Better Than Your City

    Travel Portland


  12. Jeff says:

    Way. Cool. Great vids and all the contributing comments were just as interesting. The tilt-shift from AJ of Milwaukee was really cool at the airport.

  13. Adam says:

    DC – my city!

    Where I tweet about DC: @aw_dc

  14. Rob Voigt says:

    Great examples!
    Although different in focus – I recently used ‘paper craft’ animation to create a series of short videos that describe key contemporary Planning issues. The intent is that these videos are freely available for Planners, and citizens to facilitate their communication/education initiatives. The first ones focus on active transportation:

  15. Suggestion – Night City with Leni Schwendinger – Greenwich Village after dark.

    Through close observation of public, private and found light sources in locations throughout Greenwich Village, Leni presents a unique way of experiencing the city after dark.

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