Saving the City: Remaking the American Metropolis


Saving the City: Remaking the American Metropolis is a 13-part television series with related educational material highlighting successful and unsuccessful examples of urban development throughout the US and Canada. The programs are arranged by theme, not city, so we can compare and contrast what works and what doesn't in different places, focusing on downtowns and surrounding neighborhoods, the most visible and visited parts of our cities.

We examine how cities change, and what forces make those changes; who funnels money into downtown development and who decides where it goes; how we set standards and move forward for the future. We show why cities can be good, fun and enjoyable; why some work well, why some do not. We look at what we do wrong, what we do right, and what we can learn as remaking the American metropolis continues to be a major focus of public and private policy and investment.

It is an especially timely topic, given the ongoing debate about continued sprawl, energy consumption and environmental sustainability along with the recent comeback of many major cities.

“How do we make our city centers more alive?” That’s the question this series answers, and that answer is vitally important for our nation’s future. After watching Saving the City, you will never look at cities the same way again.

Filmmaker Bio(s)

Ron Blatman (executive producer/producer) is currently working on Saving the City: Remaking the American Metropolis, a 13-part TV series in the works highlighting successful and unsuccessful examples of urban redevelopment throughout the US and Canada focusing on downtowns and nearby neighborhoods.

He was also an executive producer/producer for Saving the Bay: The Story of San Francisco Bay, a national prime time PBS TV series that aired over four weeks in 2011 and continues to be repeated around the country. Narrated by Robert Redford, Saving the Bay covers San Francisco Bay from its origins to the present and highlights three pioneering women who saved the Bay from becoming little more than a river in the 1960s. The series won four regional Emmy awards including for Best Documentary. Screenings were held for members of Congress at the US Capitol and in conjunction with the state legislature in Sacramento.

Ron previously worked in real estate development and finance in his native San Francisco and on Wall Street in New York, as well as serving as Director of Business Development in the San Francisco mayor's office in the early 1990s. He was the mayor’s point man for keeping the San Francisco Giants baseball team in the city as well as catalyst for a major new Federal office complex.

Ron earned an MBA in Finance from the Wharton School and a concurrent Master of City Planning from the University of Pennsylvania. He also holds a BA in Architecture from University of California, Berkeley.
Film Details
  • Country(ies): USA/Canada
  • Language(s): English
  • Director(s): Ron Blatman
  • Producer(s): Ron Blatman, Joan Saffa, Rob Weiss
  • Editor(s): Blair Gershkow
  • Website:

FSP 1548