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Canadian Urbanism Uncovered

Naples needs to learn from WALL-E.

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Last weekend I went and saw the animated flick WALL-E. While the movie is obviously marketed towards children, the storyline is certainly one for adults to pay close attention to. WALL-E is the last thing on Earth — either robot or living organism — spending his time cleaning up the mountains of trash left behind by humans 700 years ago. Some of the city vistas in the movie have soaring skyscrapers, but beside them are just as tall piles of garbage.Its an apt commentary on our consumer culture, but since its set so far into the future we can easily dismiss it as a fanciful tale. Or at least that’s what I thought until I saw this iReport (CNN’s user-generated web site) which shows the horrible state of garbage collection in Naples, Italy. Local residents throw their garbage on the side of the road due to the lack of waste collection services provided by the local and regional governments.

While Torontonians complain about the new recycling bins, we should also pause to realize how lucky we are to have a system that is able to collect most of our waste and not create the horrible conditions founds in Naples, one of the most beautiful cities int he world.



  1. For a fun read Google “Naples garbage mafia”.

  2. Hey, there’s a slogan for Toronto here. “Cleaner than Naples!”

  3. Please, Spacing Wire… no more auto-starting videos with audio.

  4. I have yet to see the film, but it does surprise me that Disney would emit such an anti-consumer message. I wouldn’t think it in their interest to make us think twice before purchasing the latest toys and gadgets.

  5. I really loved the opening sequence, panning across the city showing towers of garbage as big as the skyscrapers. . . It was a poignant image, and well done.

    I also didn’t expect such pointed anti-consumerist moralizing from Pixar and Disney. . . it tempts me to go buy a Wall-E stuffed animal just for the irony. Disney probably isn’t making any plans to tone down their massive proliferation of useless, cradle-to-grave oriented, petroleum-based products. . .

  6. Wall-E totally looks like the robot from “Short Circuit”… minus the cheesy 80’s style of course