Making Sense of Place Film Series A documentary film and educational outreach project launched by the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy
Phoenix: The Urban Desert About the Film Partners Advisory Group Credits Script Interview List Viewer Comments About the Film's Themes Lessons for Middle and High School Classrooms Maps Current Viewing Opportunities and Related Events Community Outreach Internet Resources Related News Articles Order Phoenix: The Urban Desert on VHS or DVD FAQ Contact Us
Making Sense of Place – Phoenix: The Urban Desert
About the FilmA documentary special and educational outreach project produced by Northern Light Productions in collaboration with the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy
Making Sense of Place – Phoenix: The Urban Desert is a one-hour documentary film about urban growth and change in and around Phoenix, Arizona. In only half a century, Phoenix has expanded from a small desert town into the sixth largest city in the country.
Through the eyes and voices of Phoenix residents, the film explores the interrelationships both caused by and affecting individual choices, the democratic process and market forces in the region. Many factors contribute to this development pattern, which is providing homes and jobs to 100,000 new residents each year but is also threatening the region's unique desert environment.
The film seeks to educate and inspire citizens to engage in a better-informed civic dialogue about social equity, diversity, economic opportunity and environmental quality. Viewers learn more about the tensions between growth, economic development and quality of life in downtown areas, local neighborhoods and surrounding regions. While Phoenix is the case study in this film, the personal stories and narrations about the forces that shape current growth patterns are applicable to many other cities and regions across the country.
Phoenix: The Urban Desert was shot on location between September 2001 and April 2002. The film includes both original photography by Northern Light Productions and rich historical and archival footage. The producers conducted in-depth interviews with citizens who live and work in the region, local officials, and experts in land use and urban planning.
Broad educational outreach is a key component of the Making Sense of Place film project. Partnerships and collaboration with community organizations, civic groups and other institutions will enhance the impact of the film. Resource materials to be used in conjunction with the film include a moderator's guide to facilitate discussions following film showings; a teacher's guide for classroom use; and this website to enhance the learning experience of the film.