Cities from the Sky: An Aerial Portrait of America

author: Thomas J. Campanella, Department of City and Regional Planning, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
published: July 18, 2011,   recorded: November 2001,   views: 3240

Related Open Educational Resources

Related content

Report a problem or upload files

If you have found a problem with this lecture or would like to send us extra material, articles, exercises, etc., please use our ticket system to describe your request and upload the data.
Enter your e-mail into the 'Cc' field, and we will keep you updated with your request's status.
Lecture popularity: You need to login to cast your vote.


Piloting a single-engine biplane high above Washington D.C. in 1920, the intrepid inventor and aviation pioneer Sherman Fairchild first tested his custom-built sky camera, effectively founding the aerial photography company that would bear his name. Roaming America's skies for the next 40 years, the photographers of the Fairchild Aerial Survey Company documented nearly every major city in the US.

The photographs, both map-like shots from high above and low angle raking views, are valued both as works of art and as tools for urban historians. Thomas Campanella, lecturer in MIT's Urban Studies Program, has painstakingly reassembled over 125 of these extraordinary images to form a definitive portrait of the American landscape.

In this lecture, Campanella shows how the new ways of seeing enabled by the airborne camera fundamentally changed our perceptions of the landscape and built environment, and made available a powerful new tool with which to survey, plan, manage and shape the city.

Link this page

Would you like to put a link to this lecture on your homepage?
Go ahead! Copy the HTML snippet !

Reviews and comments:

Comment1 rensush, January 15, 2019 at 7:26 a.m.:

Solitaire for Windows 10 provides a host of different games as well as a visually stimulating selection of cards. Some variants include Klondike, Spider, Free Cell.

Write your own review or comment:

make sure you have javascript enabled or clear this field: