Today, there are more than 20 metropolises with over 10 million inhabitants. Some of them are sleek, modern, and high-tech; others filled with slums and blighted by poverty.
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Description & Features+
Explore five of the globe’s most populous cities Sprawling, noisy, and often downright dangerous, the world’s megacities buzz with energy and innovation. Today, there are more than 20 metropolises with over 10 million inhabitants. Some of them are sleek, modern, and high-tech; others filled with slums and blighted by poverty; all of them fragile places constantly on the edge. Together they are the greatest shift in human civilization since the birth of agriculture—and man’s biggest and most dangerous social experiment yet. BBC journalist Andrew Marr visits five megacities: one of the oldest (London, United Kingdom), the fastest growing (Dhaka, Bangladesh), the largest (Tokyo, Japan), among the most hazardous (Mexico City, Mexico), and one that considers itself the new world capital (Shanghai, China). Marr discovers how the cities’ structures define every aspect of their inhabitants’ daily lives, and how these great urban centers represent the human future of the planet. Episode 1 Living in the City The need to strike a balance between community and efficiency is nowhere more apparent than in megacities. Marr examines Shanghai’s bursting-at-the-seams growth and the isolation of Tokyo. He also spends the night in a Dhaka slum—and despite its crime, pollution, and congestion, finds Mexico City an overwhelmingly friendly and livable place. Episode 2 Cities on the Edge How do you protect a city of 20 million people? Some of the dangers of the megacities are natural—earthquakes, floods, typhoons—while others are manmade. Marr takes an evasive driving course in the kidnap capital of the world and volunteers for the London police’s riot unit. In Tokyo, situated on three of the world’s most unstable geological fault lines, he learns how locals have planned for disaster. Episode 3 Sustaining the City Highways, roads, rail lines, and subway systems are the arteries of the megacity—and just like human arteries, they can become dangerously clogged. Marr pedals a rickshaw taxi in Dhaka, flies with Mexico City’s airborne traffic cops, and rides a high-speed magnetic railroad in Shanghai. He also finds out what London’s fast-food obsession is doing to its Victorian-era sewers.
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