Get the latest updates:
Facebook Twitter

What's New

What's Next for the The New Metropolis

What's NewWe are happy to announce that American Public Television will be rebroadcasting The New Metropolis beginning in Fall 2017. Check with your local PBS station to find out dates and times of broadcasts.

If you are interested in hosting a screening about intentional integration, contact us at

A two-part documentary film about America's first suburbs and a community engagement project | Now airing on Public Television. Communities just like yours are using the films to make changes in their regions for a better future. Read their stories and watch film clips of their events by selecting a city.
One of the most significant trends in American history has been the mass migration from urban centers to the suburbs. The wave of returning World War II veterans armed with their VA home loans in the 1950s fueled one of the most significant shifts in population in America. The suburbs created as part of that move were the embodiment of the American Dream.

Over the years, this continued suburban migration has resulted in much larger, less densely populated metropolitan areas, where new development occurs on the outskirts of our regions. Meanwhile, the urban core and early suburbs are left to fend for themselves.

Recently, first suburbs have been facing a range of issues once thought to afflict only urban cores: shrinking populations, abandonment, a dwindling tax base, and limited resources to maintain a good quality of life both for the people who live there and for attracting new residents. There are few or no resources to help these older suburbs rebuild themselves.

The New Metropolis is a pair of films that document some of the implications of our suburban migration. Both films illustrate how the plight of first suburbs is critical to the overall health of our metropolitan areas.

Baltimore, MD

Cincinnati, OH

Cleveland, OH

Denver, CO

Detroit, MI

Philadelphia, PA

Pittsburgh, PA

San Francisco, CA

Scranton, PA

South Orange, NJ

Twin Cities, MN

Find a ScreeningFollow on Facebook

Special Thanks to our Funders Thanks to our Strategic Partners and Advisors:
This series and website were made possible through support from: the Ford Foundation, the Surdna Foundation, the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the William Penn Foundation, the George Gund Foundation, the Stephen H. Wilder Foundation, and are sponsored by the Center for Independent Documentary.

  • American Planning Association, Ohio Chapter
  • Breakthrough Communities Center
  • The Brookings Institution
  • Carl Anthony
  • Citizens for Civic Renewal
  • First Suburbs Consortium of Ohio
  • Fund for an Open Society
  • Greater Ohio Policy Center
  • Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity, Ohio State University
  • National League of Cities, First Suburbs Committee
  • Northeast-Midwest Institute
  • PolicyLink
  • Smart Growth America
  • Southeast Pennsylvania First Suburbs Project
  • Ten Thousand Friends of Pennsylvania