Main content

The Suzuki Diaries: Future City

Eighty percent of us now live in an urban setting. How we tackle food, land use, energy, housing, and waste issues will determine whether our cities evolve, or decline.
Father and daughter environmentalists, David and Sarika, embark on a cross-country journey of exploration, housed within a compact, 'off-the-grid' Airstream trailer. It's a small space with little room for excess or waste, making it a perfect metaphor for an efficient way of living.

In Montreal, they discover both large and small operations trying to revolutionize the production and distribution of food in urban settings. In Toronto, they find the 'natural world' is included as the city grows. The Edmonton Waste Management Centre is a world leader in recycling and composting - they'll soon be turning waste into biofuel. And Vancouver has found new ways of thinking about energy, transit and housing.

'A great film that I thoroughly enjoyed watching. From innovative urban agriculture in Montreal, waterfront redevelopment in Toronto, waste management in Edmonton, to transportation and green buildings in Vancouver, the father-daughter duo showcase how cities are moving towards a more sustainable future. A must see for faculty, students, and others interested in learning more about how our urban environments can be transformed to meet the challenges of the future.' Dr. Hilary Nixon, Associate Professor of Urban and Regional Planning, San Jose State University

'The 21st century will be defined by the world's cities: their rapid growth, their affordability, equity and quality of life, how green and sustainable they become. With Canada as a case study, David and Sarika Suzuki do an impressive job scouting our urban future, uncovering a route at once challenging and bold. The question is, will we follow their lead?' William Shutkin, President and CEO, Fellow in Sustainability Practice, Presidio Graduate School, Author, The Land That Could Be: Environmentalism and Democracy in the Twenty First Century

'The quest for urban sustainability is one of the most important and enduring questions of the twenty-first century. This journey through urban Canada offers a timely and unique examination of how Canadian cities are adapting to the pressures of urbanization. Future Cities offers excellent and informative case studies that demonstrate how cities can overcome the limits of urbanization and use density to their advantage. Highly recommended.' Dr. Thomas J. Vicino, Associate Professor of Political Science, Director, Master of Public Administration Program, Northeastern University, co-Author, Cities and Suburbs: New Metropolitan Realities in the US


Main credits

Suzuki, David T. (Host)
Cullis-Suzuki, Sarika (Host)
Obodiac, Hadley (Director)
Obodiac, Hadley (Producer)
Verma, Tina (Producer)

Other credits

Directed and produced by Hadley Obodiac; producer, Tina Verma; editor, Carole Larsen; original music, Tom Third, cinematography, Michael Sweeney.

Docuseek2 subjects

Distributor subjects

Canadian Studies
Climate Change/Global Warming
Environmental Ethics
Green Building
Local Economies
Political Science
Renewable Energy
Science, Technology, Society
Sustainable Agriculture
Urban Studies
Urban and Regional Planning


David Suzuki, Sarika Suzuki, food, land use, energy, housing, waste, Montreal, urban agriculture, Edible Campus, McGill University, School of Architecture, Santropol Roulant Community Food Program, rooftop gardens, volunteering, jardins suspendus, hanging gardens, community involvement, Lufa Farm, rooftop greenhouse, hydroponics, coconut matting, Toronto, brownfield development, Waterfront Toronto, waterfront development, commuting time, Sugar Beach, largest urban renewal project in North America, sustainability, Underpass Park, bring families back to the city, Sherbourne Common, cleaning water, public art, water education, landscape architecture, infrastructure, public art, parks, development, urban streams, Don Valley, Evergreen Brick Works, Detroit, Christopher Marcinkoski, capturing carbon dioxide, biofuels, algae production, Edmonton, carbonized wood, Shafraaz Kaba, reusing wood, Edmonton Waste Management Services, waste to biofuels facility, cathode ray tubes, waste as resource, compost, Vancouver, Sadhu Johnston, Canada Line, building around transit nodes, public transportation, sewer heat system, University of British Columbia, green design, wood waste to heat and electricity, Center for Interactive Research on Sustainability, elements lab, laneway houses,"The Suzuki Diaries: Future City",Bullfrog Films

Related Films

Planet Neighborhood

The latest in energy saving technology and good design.

We Are Not Ghosts

Detroiters are reinventing the old Motor City as a vibrant new self-sustaining…

Designing A Great Neighborhood

A model co-housing project, where future residents participate in the…