Seeing the urban scenes even from TV tells me much about that city, living conditions and cultural habits. I’m especially fond of European Tv series in this respect. In Borgen, it was the small flats where living, working and sleeping spaces were successfully and efficiently solved that impressed me. Even the Prime Minister was living in a modest house. In Marseilles, the effect of climate was obvious in living conditions. And there were many scenes from high rise blocks of social housing where mostly immigrants and low income groups lived.
In Luther, a BBC drama, council estates of London were used frequently. This time I noticed open air corridors (exterior corridors) are certainly a characteristic of those estates (I guess of the 1970s or 1980s).
After a quick research I found this was mostly used in mild climates like Miami and Hong Kong as well.