Urbanize Media

CitySpeak features the visionaries who are designing, building, and reimagining cities as we know them today. From the shimmering skyscrapers of Hong Kong to the stuccoed bungalows of Los Angeles, cities across the globe develop through a familiar pattern. Like the cell cycle of an organism, buildings are constructed, demolished, and reconstructed in a chaotic choreography performed to the rhythm of each city. Join host Max Masuda-Farkas as he interviews the people shaping the cities we love, right down to the parcel, block, and neighborhood.

Season 2 Trailer - Bruce Katz
Trailer 1 min 29 sec

All Episodes

In the season finale of CitySpeak, Los Angeles City Planning Director Vince Bertoni shares some of the joys and challenges of running one of the largest urban planning organizations in the nation.

Jun 9

30 min 14 sec

With nearly 600 gas stations dotting the Los Angeles landscape, the rise of the electric vehicle presents an opportunity for the city to repurpose a significant portion of its urban fabric. Yan Krymsky, a design director at Perkins&Will, discusses some of his ideas for what L.A.—and other car-centric cities like it—should do with its gas stations.

May 25

26 min 12 sec

Eric Jaffe is the Editorial Director at Sidewalk Labs, an urban innovation company with a plan to tackle sustainability and affordability in cities around the world. Eric joins Max to highlight some of the company’s revolutionary technologies.

Apr 28

23 min 9 sec

Ken Steif is a data scientist, city planner, and professor at the University of Pennsylvania Weitzman School of Design, where he leads the school’s Master of Urban Spatial Analytics program. In his new book Public Policy Analytics, he explains how the public sector can catch up to private industry in adopting data science to make wiser, more efficient decisions.

Apr 6

30 min 31 sec

Saskia Sassen is the Robert S. Lynd Professor of Sociology at Columbia University where she researches globalization and migration in the context of global cities, a term which she coined in her 1991 book of the same name. Professor Sassen looks back on the three decades since the publication of her seminal study and offers her predictions on what’s in store for cities in the decades still to come.

Mar 23

22 min 45 sec

Tyler Duvall is the CEO of Cavnue, a company that is designing and building roads optimized for autonomous vehicles. He joins Max to answer a central question: What will the infrastructure of the future look like?

Mar 9

22 min 25 sec

In the season premiere of CitySpeak, Max Masuda-Farkas is joined by engineer, architect, and inventor Carlo Ratti. Ratti is the head of MIT’s Senseable City Lab, where he leads a team of researchers designing technologies for the cities of tomorrow.

Feb 23

23 min 18 sec

Karin Liljegren is the founder and principal of Omgivning, an architecture and interior design firm that specializes in taking old buildings and giving them a new life. This practice is known as adaptive reuse architecture, and a quick glance at Omgivning’s portfolio will reveal that it is at the forefront of this practice. Karin and Max discuss the special responsibility that the adaptive reuse architect holds as the chief conservator of a city’s architectural history.

Aug 2020

25 min 29 sec

Jonathan Lee is a Principal and Managing Director of George Smith Partners, a national provider of capital market services to the commercial real estate industry. Jonathan joins Max to discuss the impacts that the pandemic has had on real estate lending and the changes he foresees for the wider market as we emerge out of the pandemic.

Aug 2020

23 min 33 sec

Samantha Millman is the President of the Los Angeles City Planning Commission, the central forum for members of the public to voice their opinions on the real estate development projects under consideration in their city. Tensions run high at the Commission—the casual observer could easily mistake the virulence and vitriol for what you might hear at the British House of Commons. As President, Samantha acts as both mediator and adjudicator, so Max sits down with her to learn more about what it’s like to try to facilitate meaningful dialogue between two groups that rarely play nice.

Jul 2020

21 min

Doane Liu is the Executive Director of the Los Angeles Department of Convention and Tourism Development. His sole mission—to raise up Los Angeles’ status as a convention and tourism destination—has been dealt a serious setback ever since the coronavirus spread across the Southland. Max and Doane dig into the numbers and forecast just how long the decline in tourism might last.

Jul 2020

16 min 5 sec

Jim Arnone is in his thirtieth year as a partner at international law firm Latham & Watkins. As the firm’s Global Chair of the Environment, Land & Resources Department, Jim has helped his clients navigate the uncertain and treacherous terrain that is California land use law. Over the course of his long career, Jim has seen this body of law grow to become the behemoth it is today, garnering praise from some and opprobrium from others. Listen in as Jim chats with Max about housing, the California Environmental Quality Act, and his outlook on the future of land use regulation in the state.

Jun 2020

26 min 14 sec

In the season premiere of CitySpeak, Max Masuda-Farkas is joined over Zoom by Bruce Katz, co-author of The New Localism and Executive Director of the Nowak Metro Finance Lab. Bruce has spent his career churning out new ideas for how cities can maintain their preeminence as the engines of economic growth in America. Since the coronavirus pandemic began, Bruce’s work has taken on a whole new urgency.

Jun 2020

24 min 16 sec

CitySpeak is back. In the season premiere of CitySpeak Season 2, Max is joined by Bruce Katz, co-author of The New Localism and Executive Director of the Nowak Metro Finance Lab. Tune in June 9. 

May 2020

1 min 29 sec

Eric Owen Moss is the principal and lead designer of his eponymously named architecture firm Eric Owen Moss Architects. Alongside his formidable portfolio of international projects, Mr. Moss is widely known for almost single-handedly designing the Culver City neighborhood known as the Hayden Tract, a fantasy world of experimental architecture developed in collaboration with Mr. Moss’s longtime partners and friends, Frederick and Laurie Samitaur-Smith. Tune in to the final episode of CitySpeak Season 1 for a conversation that reaches far beyond the bounds of architecture, from the effect of the Vietnam War on the young architects of that decade to how Mr. Moss’s design philosophy was born out of Homer’s Odyssey.

Sep 2019

23 min 2 sec

Carolina Miranda is an arts and architecture writer for the Los Angeles Times and has had her work featured in a wide range of national and international publications. Ms. Miranda’s writing embodies what art historian Barry Bergdoll defined as the purpose of architecture criticism to be “a bridge between the professional activity of the designing architect and the role of the citizenry.” In this episode of CitySpeak, Ms. Miranda dons her critic hat to talk urbanism, local history vs. history writ large, and the role of architecture criticism within the ever-changing narrative of urban development.

Sep 2019

33 min 40 sec

William Witte is the Chairman and CEO of Related California, the West Coast arm of the Related Companies and one of the largest real estate developers in the state. Mr. Witte’s profile defies easy classification—his over 30 years leading Related California’s extensive development portfolio of over 16,000 residential units followed after a long career in the public sector, serving as Deputy Mayor and Director of Housing under then San Francisco Mayor Dianne Feinstein, working for the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and even training as an urban planner at the University of Pennsylvania. In this episode, Max interviews Mr. Witte about NIMBYism, his work with Frank Gehry on The Grand, and several other Related matters.

Aug 2019

31 min 31 sec

Frances Anderton is the host of the popular radio program DnA: Design and Architecture, a weekly show on KCRW public radio. Born and raised in the ancient, historic city of Bath, England, Ms. Anderton chose her decidedly less ancient home of Los Angeles after visiting LA in 1987 on a story for the Architectural Review magazine about the city’s young architectural vanguard. Since then, she has become one of the most prominent voices (figuratively and aurally) in defining LA’s unique brand of urbanism. The Rodney King Riots, how LA compares to the UK, and the perils of too much historic preservation—tune in to hear Ms. Anderton discuss these topics and more in this second episode of CitySpeak.

Aug 2019

28 min 58 sec

In the debut episode of CitySpeak, Max Masuda-Farkas interviews the 41st Mayor of Los Angeles, Antonio Villaraigosa. Dubbed by LA Weekly as “the Subway Mayor,” Mayor Villaraigosa was mayor from 2005-2013, promoting a new vision for Los Angeles as “a city of smart growth,” the fruits of which are just beginning to bear today. Listen in as Mayor Villaraigosa chats with Max Masuda-Farkas about everything from why cities are becoming more powerful than nations and how he wrangled the federal government to actually put its money where its mouth is on transportation.

Jul 2019

18 min 24 sec