Friday, January 2, 2015

Media Policy Center

Edens Lost & Found

Edens Lost & Found

The Ini­tia­tive

For the first time in Amer­i­can his­tory, more peo­ple (80 per­cent) are liv­ing in cities than in rural areas. Though peo­ple move to urban areas for bet­ter job prospects and a bet­ter life, this demo­graphic shift inevitable places an enor­mous strain on nat­ural resources, such as air, water, and energy reserves.
Edens Lost & Found high­lights what com­mu­ni­ties all across the coun­try are doing to revive their ecosys­tems and, as a result, improve the qual­ity of life of all its cit­i­zens. Award-winning film­mak­ers Harry Wiland and Dale Bell her­ald an excit­ing sea change in the rela­tion­ship between ordi­nary cit­i­zens, envi­ron­men­tal groups, and local gov­ern­ment. This PBS spe­cial series wit­nesses and records a new spirit of coop­er­a­tion among neigh­bors, plan­ners, archi­tects and builders, city offi­cials, and gov­ern­ment agencies.
Cit­i­zens and com­mu­nity lead­ers are wak­ing up to the fact that we can­not depend on “big gov­ern­ment” any­more to solve our prob­lems.  If cities are going to sur­vive– let alone thrive– we have to come up with cheaper, cleaner, smarter ways to deal with these envi­ron­men­tal hur­dles.  The book and four-part PBS mini-series tell the story of how four great Amer­i­can cities — Chicago, Los Ange­les, Philadel­phia, and Seat­tle– are meet­ing the chal­lenges of urban renewal.  We chose these four cities because they are each suc­cess­fully deal­ing with chal­lenges that col­lec­tively rep­re­sent the spec­trum of issues most urban areas can no longer ignore...
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Watch all four parts of Edens Lost & Found now on


Vist the MPC shop to pur­chase Edens Lost & Found dvd and com­pan­ion book, as well as DVD spe­cials high­light­ing Edens in Chicago, Los Ange­les, Philadel­phia, and Seat­tle. We have a vari­ety of edu­ca­tional DVDs and videos for chil­dren, stu­dents, and teach­ers to enjoy. Our Vimeo page also fea­tures edu­ca­tional clips from these videos.
Edens Shop
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What They’re Saying

  • Win­ner, Cal­i­for­nia Green­works’ Envi­ron­men­tal Lead­ers Award 2008
  • Win­ner, North Amer­i­can Asso­ci­a­tion for Envi­ron­men­tal Edu­ca­tion 2007
The PBS film series Edens Lost & Found was for me a water­shed event, a beau­ti­ful ren­der­ing of the col­lec­tive sto­ries of four incred­i­ble cities, con­veyed in visu­ally affec­tive and emo­tion­ally com­pelling fash­ion.  These cities are pre­sented not as abstrac­tions, but rather are seen through the lens of real peo­ple and real neigh­bor­hoods grap­pling with con­tem­po­rary urban prob­lems, and in the end find­ing their way down a hope­ful path.“
Pro­fes­sor Tim Beat­leyUni­ver­sity of VA 
The Edens Lost & Found Sym­po­sium at the Tree People’s Cen­ter in L.A pro­vided us an invalu­able oppor­tu­nity to be involved in an urban re-birth process that will sus­tain and impact us for future gen­er­a­tions.  Not only was our vision strength­ened for the Chicago innercity, but con­firmed as to where we want to go after see­ing our dream in action in Los Ange­les and so many other cities.  The resources we found avail­able were extra­or­di­nary and gave a call to action that has made an indeli­ble impres­sion.“
Fuller Park Com­mu­nity Devel­op­ment, Chicago (2004)
If I had the power to order all of the Philadel­phia region to read one book, it would be: Edens Lost & Found: How Ordi­nary Cit­i­zens Are Restor­ing Our Great Amer­i­can Cities, by Harry Wiland and Dale Bell. And here’s why: This book show­cases sev­eral of Philadelphia’s unsung heroes and shows us what is pos­si­ble when we com­mit to serv­ing our com­mu­nity.“
Philadel­phia Inquirer


  • CDM
  • John D. and Cather­ine T. MacArthur Foundation
  • Boe­ing
  • William Penn Foundation
  • Scotts Com­pany
  • San Gabriel and Los Ange­les Rivers and Moun­tains Conservancy
  • Illi­nois Sus­tain­able Edu­ca­tion Project (ISTEP)
  • City of Seattle’s Office of Sustainability/Environment
  • FJC
  • Amer­i­can Pub­lic Trans­porta­tion Association
  • The Penn­syl­va­nia Depart­ment of Con­ser­va­tion and Nat­ural Resources
  • Philadel­phia Water Department
  • City of Los Ange­les, Depart­ment of Pub­lic Works, Bureau of San­i­ta­tion, Water­shed Pro­tec­tion Division
  • County of Los Ange­les, Depart­ment of Pub­lic Works
  • Richard Driehaus Foundation
  • Chicago Com­mu­nity Trust
  • LaSalle Bank
  • EPA Region #5


  • United Nations Envi­ron­ment Program
  • Tree Peo­ple
  • Trust for Pub­lic Lands
  • USC Cen­ter for Sus­tain­able Cities
  • Project for Pub­lic Spaces

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