Thanks, Ned, for that introduction. It’s so great to see so many people here, willing to show up for 90 minutes of free air conditioning on a Monday night.
My name is Ezra Glenn, and as Ned said, I teach in the urban planning program at MIT. My background is on the applied side of the field – I worked for over a decade in municipal government, including stints as the director of planning for the city of Somerville and director of community development for the city of Lawrence. So I came to MIT having worked a lot in the actual making of cities.
Over the past ten years, though, I’ve drifted a bit: I’ve become aware that there is a lot we don’t even really understand about cities – how they work, how they shape humans and human interactions, and what they mean to us. This has led me to move from “urban planning” to something more related to “urban studies,” and the culmination of that shift is a course I developed called “The City in Film.”