The Urbanist

It’s Christmas time

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17 December 2015

Episode 218

27 minutes


Photo: Anna & Michal

As people head out to get last-minute gifts, we bring you a festive episode looking at how Christmas affects our cities. We visit Strasbourg’s 400-year-old market, discover how things got a bit out of hand with lightning decorations in Colombia and head to Madrid for a diplomatic Christmas fair. Plus: a lesson in festive window dressing in New York.

17 December 2015

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Chapter 1

7 minutes


Photo: francois schnell

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Chapter 1

Europe’s Christmas capital

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The self-declared European capital of Christmas is home to a Christmas market that dates to 1570. With more than 2 million visitors a month, the Strasbourg Marché de Noël embodies the cross-border history of the Alsace region.

7 minutes

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Chapter 2

5 minutes


Photo: Mario Carvajal

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Chapter 2

Light me up: Colombia

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Colombia has always taken festivities quite seriously. In recent years, it’s become the norm for Colombian cities to compete with each other in the scale and spectacle of Christmas decorations. And even though there is no official prize, regional pride is at stake.

5 minutes

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Chapter 3

6 minutes


Photo: Phil Roeder

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Chapter 3

A lesson in window dressing at Bergdorf Goodman

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Nothing signifies Christmas in New York more than the Rockefeller Center’s Christmas tree and a stroll down Madison Avenue, where the major department stores transform their windows into a major spectacle. We meet the man who has been creating the window displays at Bergdorf Goodman for almost 20 years.

6 minutes

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Chapter 4

6 minutes


Photo: jacinta lluch valero

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Chapter 4

Madrid’s international Christmas fair

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This week Madrid will open its first Christmas Fair of International Cultures. Together with the participation of 48 embassies, the six-day event is set to become an all-singing, all-dancing celebration of what unites the world’s cultures and religions over the holiday season.

6 minutes

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