Unprecedented growth, extreme climate changes and outdated infrastructure pose tremendous challenges for any modern city. But there are players on the global stage who have evolved to meet these increasing demands. The documentary series Megacities of the World places its focus on these enviable locations across the world, as well as other major cities that are currently struggling to keep ahead of these challenges. This one-hour episode summarizes the seven megacity profiles that populated the show's first season.
Many of these locations were founded under meager conditions hundreds of years ago, but have since grown into some of the most advanced and highly populated cities in the world.
Such is the case with Tokyo. Described as a model for the modern metropolis, the Japanese capital has endured significant obstacles throughout its history. Rapid population growth, a crippled natural environment, and the ever-present danger of earthquakes threatened the region with certain peril. But the city turned its fortunes around by promoting more sensible and compassionate societal values. They became a thriving member of the global economy, grew into one of the world's most progressive technology leaders, constructed more sustainable infrastructure, and nurtured a culture of environmental responsibility.
Through these in-depth profiles, we gain a sense of the challenges facing all of us regardless of our location on a world map. In San Paulo, a widening wealth gap and lethargic leadership are suffocating the city's efforts to better serve its population of over 12 million. Meanwhile, the nearly 9 million residents of Mexico City have long been afflicted by a lack of access to fresh water. Other cities included in the film include Cairo, Bangladesh, New York City and the culturally vital Paris.
Megacities of the World contains a wealth of images that succinctly express the unique character of each city, as well as the qualities that unite them all. We learn the rich histories of each location; many of which have been informed by calamitous events like mass plagues and natural disasters.
The film proves that the state of the world can often be diagnosed by studying the quality of life in our largest cities.