MEGACITIES of the World (Season 1 – Complete)
more of the world’s population is now concentrated in cities than ever before this is an in depth look at how seven of the most spectacular mega cities around the world are managing that growth thanks to dashlane for sponsoring this full-length video to learn how to manage your online accounts securely visit – lang comm / TDC the most successful metropolis in the history of the world has 39 million residents 50% more people than any other urban area it is the safest big city on the planet and with the two trillion-dollar GDP its economy is larger than all but eight entire countries this is Tokyo Earth’s model mega city our story begins 561 years ago when a samurai warrior built a castle on the shore of a fishing village called Edo its rich soil was ideal for growing rice and attracted farmers from far and wide in 1600 the great commander Tokugawa iesu won the battle of sekigahara a pivotal moment in history that secured at whose status as the most important place in Japan unfortunately the buildings of the expanding City were made of wood and paper a dangerous combination to confront the warm winds of summer legend has it that on one particularly dry afternoon in 1657 a priest made the deadly mistake of burning an unlucky kimono the fire flared up ignited his temple and engulfed 70% of the city 100,000 people lost their lives despite the disaster by the middle of the 19th century a ters population was in the millions that’s when the military Shogunate system that had ruled for almost seven hundred years ended a new government led by a young Emperor finally made ed who the official capital of Japan renamed Tokyo and made the castle his imperial palace to celebrate his arrival everyone toasted with rounds of sake on the house around this time Japan opened up to foreign trade and influence with Tokyo driving the industrial revolution that was modernizing the country but rapid development at a cost a strained natural environment forests were raised pollutants choked the air and Tokyo’s once pristine waterways grew increasingly toxic it was time for more conscientious approach the principal of satoyama was born promoting sustainable coexistence with nature especially in the rice paddy fields covering Japan’s sprawling foothills today a century of conservation has resulted in parks covering 20% of the land in the Tokyo metropolitan area but while the danger from pollution has been largely overcome one natural phenomenon poses an unavoidable threat earthquakes in 1923 an 8.0 magnitude quake rocked Tokyo devastating the geologically unstable eastern Ward’s of the city as fire storms engulfed whole neighborhoods some took advantage of the chaos to target political enemies and minority groups like Koreans when smoke finally cleared 140,000 people had perished just 22 years later in 1944 Tokyo was hit again this time from above by Allied air forces who waged a relentless nine-month campaign that lasted until Japan’s surrender to end World War two following America’s detonation of two atomic weapons on Hiroshima and Nagasaki on the worst night of the onslaught 279 Boeing b-29 Superfortress heavy bombers dropped more than 1,600 tons of explosives on Eastern Tokyo it is regarded as the single most destructive bombing raid in human history leaving more than 100,000 dead and more than 1 million homeless it took generations for Tokyo to completely recover but today after more than seven decades at peace Tokyo is thriving it’s dense metropolitan area now stretches an incredible 32 uninterrupted kilometers all the way to Japan’s second largest city Yokohama while roads and highways are how many get around the arteries that set Tokyo apart from other mega cities are its extensive rail lines after World War two Japan didn’t have access to the oil reserves and the automobile focused transport system required so the government wisely invested heavily in rail projects to connect central Tokyo with surrounding towns and cities in October 1964 just in time for Tokyo to host the Summer Olympics Japan debuted the world’s first modern high-speed rail line to Osaka the Tokaido Shinkansen with trains reaching speeds of 256 kilometers per hour today Tokyo’s urban rail network serves a world-leading 40 million passengers a day compare that to America’s car dominated system where space for roads and parking can take up to 60 percent of a city’s available land of course Tokyo has innovative ways of storing the cars that it does have and it’s bikes congestion has also been eased by an 11 billion dollar mega project the Tokyo Bay aqua line is one thirds bridge two thirds tunnel it has turned what was a 90 minute drive through downtown and around the shore of the bay into a 15 minutes sprint through it instead the project took 30 years to design and complete because it has to withstand the ever-present danger of earthquakes that’s also why buildings in Tokyo cost an extra fifty percent to construct and why they tend to be shorter than the skyscrapers in other economic capitals two factors that drive up real-estate prices and add to urban sprawl from above Tokyo seems like in unnavigable maze but on the ground life for many is lived locally within their own neighborhoods shops and businesses to obtain day-to-day essentials can usually be reached within a short walk including many of the world’s greatest sushi restaurants Japan runs on seafood along Tokyo’s Harbor lies Tsukiji the largest fish market on earth every day more than 50,000 people come to buy and sell 400 different types of seafood among the buyers are the chefs of the 227 restaurants with at least one Michelin star making Tokyo the city with the most of these prestigious marks of excellence in fact when President Obama visited Tokyo he ate handcrafted sushi prepared by the great Jiro himself he also played football with a humanoid robot just one example of how Japan is leading the global transition to automation as a technology superpower Tokyo is home to the most non state-owned fortune 500 companies of any city in the world and along with New York and London is considered one of three command centers for the global economy all of these factors make Tokyo the most advanced major city and it’s getting ready to put on a show for the entire world in the summer of 2020 it will host the Olympic Games this is motivating Tokyo’s Metropolitan Government if you use its massive annual budget which is larger than the country of Saudi Arabia to fast track its progress among the achievements that are already complete or that officials are hoping to showcase to the world include a program to have functioning robots installed throughout the city to assist people regardless of age nationality or disability the 920,000 expected daily visitors during the Olympics could ask nearby robots to help with language translation directions or transportation robots are just one example of how hosting the games could benefit Tokyo’s citizens long after the closing ceremony with an aging population projected to peak in 2020 and then decline Tokyo is experiencing a graying of its society on a scale that no city has experienced before and because there will be less workers paying taxes and more elderly living on government pensions requiring care the government is heavily encouraging volunteerism this shouldn’t be too hard for the citizens of Tokyo some of the most considered people on earth they routinely ranked first in helpfulness ease of local public transportation and cleanliness of streets amid the turmoil following the March 2011 earthquake visitors priced Tokyoites for their orderliness this is part of gamin the Japanese spirit of self-control a dedication to the greater good through self-discipline of course while planned and maintained infrastructure is the main reason why Tokyo works so well recent and soon to be completed projects include a bald 350 million dollar plan to jumpstart a hydrogen powered transportation system by increasing the number of hydrogen stations from 8 to 35 while putting 6000 fuel cell cars and 100 fuel cell buses on the road by 2020 a network of fuel cell vehicles which can double as mobile electricity generators could be a game-changer in an emergency just two of these buses can power an entire hospital for a day other transportation upgrades include the 3-ring expressway that’s cut many trips throughout the region in half repairing and reinforcing bridges tunnels and roads using advanced laser scanning technology and carbon fiber with the aim of detecting problematic infrastructure before it fails while extending its life of 200 years installing more solar heat blocking pavement that’s up to 8 degrees celsius cooler than asphalt helps off Tokyo’s heat island problem a challenge faced by many other cities around the world transferring as many power lines underground as possible widening sidewalks doubling the amount of dedicated bike lanes and opening outdoor cafes in an initiative dubbed the Tokyo shomsul is a project the city is aggressively reducing co2 emissions through the first urban cap-and-trade system covering factories and commercial facilities like office buildings to reduce the danger of heavy flooding from rainfall massive underground chambers and tunnels have been installed to regulate and divert waters for rivers channels and sewers that have traditionally overflowed these measures go hand in hand with an integrated series of flood wall gates rain gauges and river level monitoring cameras that are watched 24/7 by engineers at 2 command centers that can each operate the entire system remotely in case either one of them fails with so much historical damage from fire officials are pushing to replace old wooden houses with fireproof ones creating entire zones where residents wouldn’t have to evacuate during a nearby blaze and ensuring that major routes are lined with fire and earthquake proof buildings so emergency vehicles can move freely amplifying the appeal of hosting the Olympics is the opportunity to share these advancements with their guests who are encouraged to implement these best practices in their own cities Tokyo already does this by hosting and teaching forum first responders the most advanced search and rescue techniques sharing infrastructure best practices with officials visiting from abroad and helping engineers from Kuala Lumpur update their waste management system Tokyo is also a pioneer in land reclamation with mountains having its growth adding land to the bay is an increasingly attractive option particularly if that land is made of trash the sea forest area for example is a former landfill that is being converted to parkland and will even host Olympic events in the coming years population growth and rising seas will force the entire world to do more with less and while Tokyo isn’t perfect by using its resources wisely planning for the future and sharing what it learns with the rest of the world it should be a model for cities of all sizes everywhere the dramatic cliffs and endless beaches of Rio de Janeiro makes it the city that probably first comes to mind when you think of Brazil South Paulo the largest metropolis in the southern hemisphere is the true economic engine of the world’s sixth most populous country in 1554 Catholic missionaries with the help of indigenous workers built a small village perched 750 metres above sea level and 70 kilometers from the Atlantic coast it was the only inland settlement in the country a jumping-off point four expeditions of conquerors slave traders and gold hunters in the 1800s Brazil became the world’s leading coffee producer but the farmers in Rio over cultivated their soil giving Sao Paolo an opening to become the country’s agricultural hub as one of the few inland towns it was closer than Rio to the plantations spread throughout the interior and it was directly linked by rail to the Port of Santos making it the ideal Junction for shipments of goods on their way to the coast for in 1888 Brazil’s businesses adapted to another significant change when emperor dom pedro ii regarded by many as the greatest brazilian to ever live convinced his people to abolish slavery with their captive labor force suddenly free farmers and industrialists turned to immigrants from abroad today as a result sal paulo has the largest population of italian descendents of any city on the planet including rome the largest japanese community outside of japan and of course significant numbers of portuguese and spanish many of these newcomers were skilled factory workers whose knowledge helped sell Palelei emerge as a manufacturing capital during the industrial revolution and world war ii over a period of less than 30 years the city’s population exploded from 250,000 to 1 million steady growth continued through the century passing rio in 1960 today the population of the megalopolis known as samba is over 20 million in many ways it is a thriving global city with the largest stock exchange in latin america a vibrant culture with over 100 museums and dynamic performing arts spaces and beautiful parks as part of football christ brazil it proudly hosted matches during the 2014 World Cup and is making significant investments in the next generation with 850 thousand students enrolled in higher education courses unfortunately though Salle Paulo’s rapid development has also taken a heavy toll with four core problems rising above the rest the city’s only major bodies of water are the Chetta and Pinheiro rose rivers as the population grew the government plagued by inefficiency and corruption struggled to meet demand for basic infrastructure without enough wastewater treatment plants sewage from millions of people flowed directly into the rivers toxic waste from industrial facilities was dumped without limit when new highways were built the city laid them on the only continuous stretches of land left the riverbanks and then hid stretches them behind walls but even if you can’t always see the rivers their stench doesn’t go away when the Chetta is at its most choked it is a biological dead zone as far away as bada Bonita 260 kilometers downstream it wasn’t always this way the rivers used to be gathering points for recreation distant memories that are motivating current rehabilitation efforts which include projects to treat 100% of all waste water before it enters the jetty putting an end to all illegal dumping and teaching people how to care for their rivers and streams the second major challenge is that 10% of Palestine owes live in high-density makeshift neighborhoods called favelas while the buildings are typically low quality most favelas are vibrant working-class communities some settlements however are little more than squatter shacks without access to electricity sewage and running water to give these people a better place to live while improving the overall quality of housing throughout Sampa the city has spent billions of dollars on a variety of programs one experiment allows low-income residents to purchase new government built apartments for affordable monthly payments of less than $100 it’s a win-win ownership helps people become more financially stable while incentivizing them to maintain these spaces this was my dream I think it’s almost as wonderful as having a new baby it’s all I expected it to be it’s not furnished yet the way I want it but I dearly love this apartment the downside is that the government has been building many of these projects far from the city center there any has a two-hour commute to work and there are no local parks for her son to safely play with his friends lack of access to services flags all of South Paulo because of how it developed the best jobs are where the transportation network is concentrated in the city centre and since that’s also the most expensive place to live lower income people are pushed farther and farther out and have to spend more money energy and time getting around the municipal government understands it must improve this situation and unveiled an ambitious new master plan to better integrate lower income areas with parks transportation hubs and jobs like much of the world Brazil has a growing gap between its wealthiest citizens and everyone else the top 1% of Sao Paulo city residents owns 45% of the property the master plan addresses this by mandating that private property owners who underutilized valuable City space need to either meet scheduled deadlines for putting that space to better use or pay a progressively costly urban property tax the plan has been praised internationally but the real challenge will be overcoming the powers that be to make sure it is carried out this brings us to stop ballast third major problem citywide traffic jams that steal tens of millions of productive minutes every day in the last decade the population increased 11% but the number of cars grew 113 percent ten times as fast congestion is so bad that wealthy palace tonneaus are flocking to the air and the city now has the world’s largest helicopter fleet the ability of the wealthy and powerful to avoid their city’s problems by literally flying over them has contributed to a sense of complacency among the leaders of Brazilian society like many other nations it is now reckoning with the damage caused by politicians who put personal greed over the best interests of the people an example of this is a shiny new high-speed rail line connecting Sao Paulo and Rio that the federal government promised to build in its winning bids for both the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics but two years after the flame left Rio the rail project hasn’t even broken ground Palestine was are fed up hundreds of thousands protested to demand solutions to the mobility crisis forcing local officials to listen to people and integrate their best ideas into the master plan like how best to expand the number of roads and metro lines increase express bus routes build networks of dedicated bike lanes and concentrate housing near public transport hubs to maximize employment opportunities Sal Paulo’s most distressing challenge reached a critical point four years ago when the region suffered the worst drought in its recorded history as just half the rain fell from the previous driest year without water to wash dishes high-end restaurants served guests on plastic plates and cafes couldn’t brew coffee as panic set in fighting erupted in the hardest hit neighborhoods and emergency water delivery trucks were robbed as the city’s main reservoir dropped below five percent less than three weeks supply the military feared the water control center could be overtaken by an angry mob one service engineer remembered those terrifying days we knew that when people don’t have water they go crazy we imagined what they would be like here with 21 million people in the end a storm arrived just in time to avoid catastrophe since then other sources throughout the region have been tapped to give Sal Paulo a bit more supply when the next apocalyptic drought arrives but some experts are warning that even more extreme dry spells loom on the horizon the vast South American jungle has traditionally served as a biotic pump circulating water down from the tropics through rivers in the sky that converge over southeastern Brazil delivering reliable rains year in and year out but decades of logging and agriculture have gutted hundreds of millions of acres of dense mature trees and every second another two acres disappear with less plants and soil catching and absorbing rainfall there is less moisture evaporating as clouds into the air stream and ultimately less rain falling on South Paulo the lifeblood of this megalopolis has been the three or four convergence rainfalls that have arrived like clockwork every year to fill the region’s reservoirs but as the frequency of these vents becomes less reliable so do the future prospects of the entire city the remarkable fact is that 20% of the world’s water is stored in Brazil the vast majority of it falls far to the north with its rivers currently too polluted to drink from and development continuing to spread inland there are limited options for bolstering its water supply by building costly dams or acquiring new sources through long canals in the end the people of South Paulo just like the rest of us are learning the fundamental lesson of the 21st century to survive and thrive our cities must embrace the most sustainable methods of development the good news is that with a clever master plan and citizens dedicated to taking action Sao Paulo is hard at work on the long-term solutions to deliver a better life for millions of people the Sahara is home to the world’s largest desert city for centuries this place has thrived alongside the world’s longest river the city of a thousand minarets did the capital of the Arab world a megalopolis with a population of 20 million people this is Cairo Egypt the mega city of the Middle East born in the east bank of the Nile five thousand years ago Cairo dates back to the time of the first Egyptian pharaohs and iconic pyramids of the ancient city of Memphis much later in 641 the Arab general a merabh analyst founded the town of alpha dot the seed from which contemporary cairo has grown in 970 a walled city was established to protect its inhabitants from conquering armies over the next 400 years it would grow to become the largest city in all of Africa Europe and Asia Minor with almost half a million people it was a key link in the lucrative spice trade allowing it to thrive culturally and intellectually some of the earliest institutions of higher learning were established here at this time the middle of the 14th century saw Cairo reached the pinnacle of its importance soon after though decline set in as plagues like the Black Death began killing large portions of its population then its spice trade monopoly was broken when Vasco da Gama sailed from Portugal to India establishing an alternative sea route undermining Cairo’s economic importance and while under Turkish control Cairo was relegated to just another provincial capital within the massive Ottoman Empire fast forward to the 1830s when the urban growth that defines modern Cairo began influenced by the renovation of Paris a european-style city was built to the west of the medieval core Cairo entered its most rapid period of expansion in the 1950s triggered by Colonel Nasser’s revolution that ended two thousand years of imperial rule in Egypt that’s when the city began sprawling northward into the Fertile Nile River Delta consuming valuable farmland this growth was fueled by improvements in transportation and industrialization things like flood control allowed the riverfront to be developed and bridges allowed people to settle on the area’s Islands and West Bank just like we’ve seen with the other cities in this series Cairo’s development eventually reached a point of critical mass where it suddenly became an attractive enough destination that people began arriving faster and faster and in larger and larger numbers but unfortunately for Cairo it was unprepared for this influx and couldn’t grow fast enough to support them many of these newcomers had to make desperate choices about where to live today half a million people live in the city of the dead among row after row of tombs more of Cairo’s poor live in a place called garbage city here 70,000 Chiron’s short and recycle the 15,000 tons of trash that’s created every day in the rest of the city they actually provide a vital service and were even recognized as one of the most efficient sanitation operations in the whole world an urban artist named el Syed recently undertook a beautification project there and shared what he learned in a TED talk community was the ideal context to raise the topic of perception we need to question our level of misconception and judgment we can have you know as a society upon communities based on their difference the people of Cairo call them the submarine which means the people of a garbage but ironically the people of machetes are called the people of Cairo the Zabaleen they say they are the one who produced the garbage not them you know but even if you’ve got a home in Cairo it’s often built on shaky ground developers frequently ignore or bribe their way past rules that limit buildings to a height of 6 storeys because of the oversaturated Nile River Delta land that serves the city’s foundation this had tragic consequences in 1992 in an earthquake that collapsed numerous residential towers killed more than 600 people today looking around Cairo from above also reveals that nearly all the rooftops are occupied by squatters who have made ramshackle homes on the only open space they could find one of the ways the government dealt with overcrowding was to build a large subway system modeled after the Paris Metro it now has 1 billion riders a year and has somewhat eased the brutal traffic congestion but it brought the unintended consequence of encouraging even more people to move to the city in response the Egyptian government has tried to relocate people to gleaming new cities they are continually building on the outskirts of Cairo but with bad transportation options – and from there these cities become too expensive to move to and fall flat every time 22 of these new towns already exist designed for millions and millions of residents they collectively hold a little over 1 million it seems the excitement and connectivity of urban Cairo will always be more attractive than a life lived in overpriced suburbs further out in the desert but wealthy developers haven’t gotten the message they’re driven by profit and prestige rather than doing what’s best for Cairo and Egyptian housing minister Mustafa madbull II seems to be listening to them he recently unveiled a 40 billion dollar mega plan to build an entirely new capital east of the city he argues the project is needed to ease congestion and overcrowding in Cairo it attempts to follow in the footsteps of other purpose-built capitals we’ve seen like Islamabad Brasilia and Canberra at 700 square kilometres it will be as big as Singapore and will aim to house at least 5 million residents the project was originally led by the Emirati businessman behind the Burj Khalifa although disagreements forced the Egyptians to turn to Chinese companies instead this ambitious risky project has many Egyptians wondering if it’s the right way forward talking about they should pay more attention to the poor and needy instead millions of Egyptians are unemployed and the government wants to spend billions of dollars and in the capital the new capital city is a lit decision here in Egypt I don’t know but those in charge only start thinking after the problem has already happened perhaps one of the reasons president el-sisi is initiating the project has to do with what cairo has just lived through in 2011 the world was captivated by the Egyptian revolution when millions took to the street demanding change first the 29-year rule of Hosni Mubarak ended then the misguided and brief presidency of Mohamed Morsi was toppled by a coup led by the current president el-sisi with a firm grip on power it makes sense for al Sisi to want to build himself a new Capitol safely removed from the masses in Cairo a city that is now home to nearly one-in-four Egyptians and his one of the fastest-growing places in the world in the next 30 years its population is on pace to hit 40 million one of the factors that’s bringing so many people is climate change while Cairo is removed from the coast the Egyptian city of Alexandria isn’t and it’s already feeling the effects of rising seas NPR’s jana raff recently traveled there to tell the story Egypt is one of the country’s most vulnerable to climate change eventually entire neighbourhoods could be under water the Nile Delta is crucial to Egypt more than half of its crops are grown in that triangle where the Nile spreads out and drains into the sea in farmland along the Nile diesel pumps bring up water for the river for irrigation increasingly seawater is creeping in a coastline that is continually creeping inland will force more and more people to move to Cairo this will amplify the pressure Cairo’s leaders already feel but solutions exist to manage its growth as long as smart ideas prevail and Egypt’s precious resources be they land water or money are used in the most efficient way in a documentary that’s several decades old now visionary environmental consultant Munir NIR Matala made the case that despite its size cairo can thrive mega cities really have an opportunity they’re not a burden we have to look at mega cities as a place where human beings are going to be efficiently contribute something to mankind the world now is not separated by national boundaries and cannot be separated by national boundaries thank goodness and that is very much because of mega cities mega cities are playing a very very very important role in promoting peaceful coexistence and in making sure that the very important issues that concern our planet such as environment are indeed exchange tended to and acted upon what makes this place unique it is the world’s largest city at an elevation higher than 2000 meters with 20 1.2 million residents it rivals New York City for the title of largest metropolis in the Americas and it is one of the world’s oldest continuously populated urban areas but what truly sets this megalopolis apart is also its biggest challenge it is the largest city on earth without direct access to a significant body of water although that wasn’t always the case this is an examination of Mexico City and the water crisis that threatens its continued prosperity nearly seven centuries ago now the Aztecs came across an island in the middle of a lake in a vast valley more than 2,000 meters above sea level hundreds of kilometers from the nearest coast 300 years later a small group of Spanish explorers led by Hernan Cortes arrived and what they found was a thriving capital city the heartbeat of the Aztec empire with 300,000 Souls it was called Tenochtitlan and it amazed the Europeans its labyrinth of canals dividing a network of manmade islands reminded them of Venice and they wanted it for themselves there in the centre of the lake was this gleaming white city it was something they had never seen before and for us we could almost imagine as Dorothy looking at the window you know at oz for the first time it was far larger at a quarter of a million people than any city they had ever seen in Europe armed with superior weaponry and the most powerful exterminating agent disease Europeans wiped the Aztecs out and systematically dismantled their great temples and pyramids then they set out to quickly build the most renowned city in the Americas they rejected the Aztec way of living harmoniously with the land and instead filled their canals destroyed their floating farms and drained water from the lake until it was completely empty this set the city on a collision course with nature over time it has grown to cover the entire lake bed and well beyond and because two volcanoes one of them still active loom over the city from the south the soil is a mix of clay from the lake and volcanic rock that’s an unusual foundation to build a sprawling heavy concrete jungle on and it’s why the city is sinking but people keep on arriving because the defining feature of Mexico City is centralism the idea that all paths lead here what used to be trails converging on grassy Highlands became dirt roads used by carts and donkeys loaded with goods and are now the arterial roads that move Millions the explosion of mexico city’s population like other megalopolises around the world follows the widespread adoption of the motor vehicle in 1950 its population was 3.1 million has paved highways became more common it jumped to five and a half million by 1960 then nearly tripled to 14 million inhabitants by 1980 this boom has exacerbated the city’s two most urgent challenges bringing in enough water for 21 million people while simultaneously sending away the millions of litres of wastewater they produce each day city is failing on both fronts now it’s worth noting that crime is not mexico city’s most pressing concern it can be a dangerous place but the reality is that while the country has seen its murder rate rise as drug cartels battle for territory the federal district has some of the lowest crime rates in Mexico it has installed more than 22,000 surveillance cameras throughout its 16 boroughs and put thousands more police officers on the street increased security keeps violent crime in check and creates opportunities for educated and artistically inclined young people from the surrounding states it’s a young vibrant place with an economy that accounts for one quarter of the country’s GDP while holding more than one-fifth of its population that’s one of the highest capital to national ratios in the world centralism remember it’s neighborhoods are diverse and flow endlessly into one another one minute it feels like you’re in Paris turn the corner in its Manhattan but just a few streets over lie the rundown a vanitas of Tijuana above all though it’s crowded Mexico City is the most congested place in the world although it has an excellent 12 line metro system that’s cheap enough for anyone to ride it’s five million cars snar all the roadways on the streets above which brings us back to the water crisis the city experience is a powerful one-two combination that amplifies the intense droughts and downpours that come with climate change a gigantic concrete slab situated at the bottom of a valley surrounded by mountains that block in its pollution it’s a heat sink that speeds up evaporation while preventing rainwater from entering the water table below so the city had been counting on its Grand Canal to expel 280 cubic meters of wastewater a second from its overflowing sewers but it relies on gravity to pull the water away as the city sinks the canal becomes less and less effective today it works at just 30 percent of capacity the ever shifting ground also means that many of the 8,000 miles of pipes delivering drinking water leak resulting in the devastating loss of up to 40% of what’s originally pumped up from fresh water sources many miles away and that’s just the situation for the residents lucky enough to have a constant supply 20% or more of Mexico City residents can’t even count on water flowing from their taps every day this has created an incredibly inefficient system where fleets of trucks fill up their tanks and drive to deliver to customers by hose house by house that’s an expensive way to live and it’s why many low-income families have to spend 10% of their month income for just ten gallons of water per person per day he’s top Aleppo in East a palapa there are a thousand trucks distributing water to two million people which is nowhere near enough to meet the needs of those people it’s expensive inefficient and customers like Sylvester Fernandez a struggling cab driver are not satisfied we thought about they sometimes it takes one or up to five days after we request it and sometimes we can’t buy other things like diapers to the baby because we have to pay for water meanwhile residents living in the wealthy neighborhoods consume 100 gallons on average a day from their free-flowing taps and pay just 1/10 the price this rampant inequality amplifies the destabilizing effects of climate change and water starve communities like these exist all over the world which is exactly why the u.s.
Pentagon calls climate change a threat to multiplier the director of Mexico city’s water system explains what a severe drought could mean quote we’re facing a potential disaster there is no way we can provide enough trucks of water to deal with that scenario there is a serious possibility of unrest one study says up to 10 percent of Mexico’s population could eventually head north if droughts and floods get out of control the recent migrant crisis in Europe underlines how difficult it is to stop hundreds of thousands of people who are fleeing for their lives from crossing borders seas and yes even fences and walls to help solve problems like this Mexico City’s local government is gaining more power to govern itself it clearly needs it the deeply unpopular president Pena Nieto has simultaneously cut off funding for Mexico City’s water fixes even as he advocates for a multi-billion dollar new mega Airport in a part of the city a dry lakebed that could make the water problem worse there’s no easy solution to this ongoing problem but Mexico City has no shortage of smart people eager to get the job done one of the longer-term solutions could be the widespread adoption of rainwater harvesting that’s being tried in some states thing is actually quite a simple thing what we do is the the rainwater that falls on the roof of a house we channel it to a cistern and we pass through a very simple process that first flush is the water in Brazil why are we pumping water from over here when we’re having water falling on us from the sky for free in huge abundance we just haven’t known up until now how to take advantage of that every urban center has its monuments its history its skyline but great cities are more than buildings great cities have a pulse and few mega cities capture the complexity chaos and vitality of a living system more vividly than New York yet for a place so deeply embedded in American culture it’s fascinating origins often go overlooked after all no city becomes this celebrity’s playground the city that never sleeps the melting pot the mother of exiles and the American dream overnight while it is no longer the largest metropolis on earth it is still the most influential but as this fast-paced capitalist mecca matures its confronting a unique set of challenges let’s take a bite out of the Big Apple America’s mega city one of the most remarkable things about this concrete jungle is how quickly it sprouted up compared to the other two mega cities we’ve profiled so far New York is relatively young less than 400 years ago the city looked like this in 1609 the island of Manhattan was found by an expedition its leader Henry Hudson realized immediately that it was a geographical gem the ideal location to build a city a large river ran along its entire western shore and on its eastern edge was a narrow estuary connected to a large bay its southern tip was flanked by two more large bays and dozens of islands including the much larger Long Island which shields Manhattan from ocean storms and as we saw in our previous explorations of Mexico City in Bangladesh containing and distributing clean water to residents is often a keystone challenge for dense urban centers on this front however New York City reaps the benefits of nature direct contact with water ensures reliable access while elevated terrain spares it from excessive flooding but back to the 17th century after word reached Europe that Hudson had discovered what he called as pleasant to land as one can tread upon the mercantilist mind Dutch sent 30 families to build a settlement called New Amsterdam in exchange for some metal kettles axes and cloth the Native Americans who hunted throughout the area gave the Dutch the island slaves were immediately brought in to begin building the town the town’s population reached 700 in 1664 but it still wasn’t receiving very much support from the crown back in Holland so English king charles ii swooped in and with four warships captured the town without resistance he then gave the colony to his brother the Duke of York and you can guess what they called it by the end of the 18th century New York had become an important port city then came the revolution that changed everything in 1776 New York joined the other American colonies and declared independence from the English after getting kicked out of Boston the British responded by sending an entire fleet of redcoats to seize and occupy New York which they held for seven years until George Washington led his victorious rebel army back into the city after the war New York briefly served as the capital of the newly formed United States until the federal government moved to the more centrally located District of Columbia as fascinating how that came about the decision was ultimately up to President Washington but he left it up to his two right-hand men to figure out in a backroom deal brokered by James Madison over dinner Treasury secretary Alexander Hamilton of New York agreed to allow the nation’s capital to move south to Northern Virginia the home state of Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson in exchange jefferson agreed to support Hamilton’s financial plan which included the creation of a powerful central bank soon after the New York Stock Exchange was established laying the groundwork for lower Manhattan to become the financial capital of the world today its home to the two largest stock exchanges by total market capitalization couple more events in the early 1800s helped accelerate the city’s growth a grid pattern of streets was laid out providing an organized plan of expansion to the north and the opening of the Erie Canal in 1825 this increased New York’s importance as an export center of Goods agricultural products and raw materials that could now be easily transported from the resource-rich Great Lakes region around this time the city became the Gateway to America as large numbers of German and Irish immigrants arrived between 1820 and 1850 New York’s population quadrupled many of these newcomers had to settle in tenement houses without proper sanitation or clean water diseases like cholera typhoid and smallpox became rampant the construction of the Croton Aqueduct one of the world’s first great modern water distribution systems helped to solve this problem and hygiene began to immediately improve in order to preserve the fast-growing city’s connection to the environment a six hundred acre area of swampland and squatter shacks was set aside for preservation and eventually transformed into Central Park today it’s the most visited urban park in the country heading into the 1860s slavery was deeply dividing the northern and southern states New York was the epicenter of the abolition movement when the Civil War began in 1861 after Abraham Lincoln was elected president a riot broke out as angry white mobs attacked blacks with a blamed for low wages and the war hundreds were killed despite the unrest the city’s economic engine roared as it became the vital source of financing and supplies for the two million soldiers strong union war effort after the northern victory brought peace to the country New York’s industrialists were free to focus on building in 1883 the Brooklyn Bridge was completed linking New York to the third largest city in the country the 1880s also brought electricity to the city and by 1893 there were 1,500 arc lamps illuminating New York streets in 1898 the state legislature incorporated Manhattan and the surrounding four boroughs of Brooklyn Queens the Bronx and Staten Island into the city of New York instantly doubling its population and quadrupling its land area after leading the earlier fight to abolish slavery New York was now the leader of the women’s suffrage and workers rights movements this culture of inclusivity also welcomed african-americans fleeing the destruction and segregation of the south they largely settled in an area on the Upper West Side that became known as Harlem the cultural capital of black America electricity made the city the center of nightlife in the Roaring Twenties by the end of the decade the New York metropolitan areas population had grown to 8 million passing London to become the planets largest urban area in 1931 the city also had the world’s tallest building as the Empire State Building rose to dominate the skyline in an almost ridiculous way world war ii brought another way with immigrants fleeing the chaos and destruction in europe when it was over New York status as the unofficial capital of the world was cemented with the construction of the gleaming United Nations complex along the East River throughout its history New York has also been a core force behind major social movements that have focused the country’s vision while unifying New Yorkers as a community with a common identity the city played an important role in the civil rights movement of the 1960s as leaders like dr.
Martin Luther King rallied support through the new york-based news media the gay rights movement counts Greenwich Village as its epicenter this neighborhood was also the site of a crucial battle between the powerful developer Robert Moses and residents led by activist and author Jane Jacobs their grassroots movement ultimately blocked Moses from carrying out a project that would have bulldozed the village and the area now known as Soho in order to cut through the heart of Manhattan with a giant Expressway the lower Manhattan Expressway to have connected the Holland Tunnel with the Williamsburg and Manhattan bridges it would have destroyed most of Soho we would have lost one of the greatest inventories of 19th century buildings not just in New York but in the world the highways of course destroyed the neighborhoods that they went through where was this going to end the whole place was going to be laced with highways what would we have left of Manhattan the Moses thought he was improving the city by bringing it up to date by making it work for the automobile and as it became clear that urban highways were in fact profoundly destructive it really became a battle between opposing forces in the 1970s and 80s economic problems and the crack cocaine epidemic created a spike in crime but modernized police strategies and the rebirth of Wall Street helped solve these challenges today there are less than 400 murders a year in the city down from a high of over 2000 in 1990 of course New York still lives with the traumatic memory of its worst day September 11 2001 when more than 2,500 civilians and first responders died in the tragic attack on the World Trade Center in the 16 years since one World Trade Center has risen from the ashes to become the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere today the New York metropolitan area has over 20 million residents just to be clear the city of New York has about eight and a half million people but for the purposes of this mega city series I’m using entire metropolitan populations because that’s a cities labor market its economic zone if you will anyway New York no longer is the largest city or metropolitan area in the world but it’s still massive population presents tremendous challenges for one its subway is one of the busiest transportation systems on earth its ridership nearly doubled from 1 billion annual riders in 1990s to 1.8 billion today but the amount of track and subway cars has stayed the same this crowding has bogged things down the system-wide average on time rate has dropped from 90 percent over the last decade to just 65 percent the silver lining is that a 17 billion dollar second Avenue subway line is coming online the first phase opened this year but the remaining three phases could take more than two decades to complete another issue is exorbitant ly expensive housing costs in some high-end areas have been driven up by foreign investors like wealthy Russians and Chinese who like to park their fortunes in the ultra-secure new york real estate market but the root cause of high prices is simple supply and demand whenever new housing development is built with affordable units it gets ten times as many applicants as there are units available to rent the mega developments Essex Crossing Hunters Point South and Pacific Park that are going up throughout the city are seeing this firsthand in the near term the high-end housing shortage will be eased slightly by the 28 acre Hudson Yards mega development at an estimated total price tag of over 20 billion dollars this new neighborhood is the most expensive real estate project in American history another future mega project getting people’s attention for different reasons is Cornell Tech on Roosevelt Island in the East River the school joins the more than 120 colleges and universities in the city and will feature the world’s first high-rise residential building that meets Passivhaus energy-efficient principles projects like these make it clear New York City is cultivating the human capital needed to tackle the world’s biggest problems thanks to climate change New York will have its fair share as we saw firsthand after Hurricane sandy flooded large parts of the region there is no bigger threat to New York City than rising seas that storm caused nearly twenty billion dollars in damages with New York’s coastline expected to be between one and two feet higher by 2050 now is the time to start planning for the future whether that’s designing flood and seawall solutions that blend with existing infrastructure or embracing a policy known as managed retreat where areas are simply abandoned in favor of higher ground with so much at stake there’s little doubt New York City will meet these challenges in many ways it represents the best of our modern world it’s dynamic creative and socially tolerant its embrace of sustainability proves that capitalism and environmentalism are not incompatible and it’s people which speak 400 different languages and are 37% foreign-born prove that even in one of the most densely populated urban centers on the planet if conditions are good there’s plenty of room for everyone to get along Everest and the Himalayas it may not seem like this mountain range could shape a mega city almost 600 kilometres away but it does this place the capital of the most densely populated major country in the world is also the fastest-growing city on the planet this is an examination of Dhaka Bangladesh the constant supply of melting snow and water that flows down the Himalayas to the south creates the largest Delta in the world much of it runs through Bangladesh an agricultural paradise with some of the richest soil on the planet but all that water is also a curse with more than 700 rivers flowing into the Bay of Bengal many of the country’s residents become displaced when monsoon season arrives in mid-june every year annual rainfall in Bangladesh is over 78 inches and two-thirds of the country’s 64 districts experience regular flooding combine that with the highest population density of any major country and you understand why Dhaka is adding more than 400,000 residents a year if even a little of Bangladesh is precious land is overtaken by water many of its people instantly become homeless to top that off when fields and villages flood these already struggling micro economies become even less sustainable so people pour into the capital because that’s where the jobs are more than 2 million people now work in dock as many garment factories that industry is the engine of the bong economy producing 80% of its exports but it can be a hard industry to break into if you’re a farmer coming from the countryside so many unskilled people find work in the off-the-books economy there’s a reason why this is known as the rickshaw capital of the world cash gigs like vegetable salesmen barber shop keeper boatman and cycling cabby make up nearly four out of five jobs here average pay for this full-time work is less than $100 a month so development is a tough nut to crack in order to raise revenue to provide better services and solve problems like traffic congestion the city needs to bring these people out of the shadow economy that idea was examined in the global posts excellent report on dhaka from a few years ago legitimizing this vast slum economy would mean compelling millions of vegetable sellers shop owners and barbers to get licenses pay taxes and formalize working conditions it’s a gargantuan task Dhaka wasn’t always so low in the global economic pecking order in at a day as the commercial capital of the Mughal Empire in the 17th century it was one of the wealthiest and most prosperous cities on the planet the Venice of the east known then as Jahangir Nagada was a worldwide hub of the cotton and silk trade its palatial Caravan Surrey the badhak etre sheltered merchants traveling along the Grand Trunk Road one of the oldest and longest thoroughfares in Asia then Dhaka fell into two centuries of turmoil that saw its status decline first the British took control in 1765 when they were forced out in the middle of the 20th century the city became the capital of eastern Pakistan Bangladesh finally won its independence in 1971 but only after suffering heavy damage during many battles one of the legacies of two and a half centuries of power struggle in this region is its confusing and hard to define borders the India Bangladesh boundary is one of the strangest in the world one look and it’s obvious Dhaka is taking in people from the entire region Bangladeshi or not this great migration is overwhelming the city’s infrastructure and services which simply can’t keep up still there are some obvious things the country should be doing to help doc a better managed growth one deceptively simple suggestion put control of her vital services in the hands of a single municipal government accountable to the people it serves as in many unplanned cities of its size stock as police utilities and roadways are controlled by a dozen or more national authorities mostly run by political appointees unfortunately Bangladesh is political system is not functioning properly especially at the national level daka’s police force carries out extrajudicial killings and the government tolerates and even encourages attacks on journalists academics and minority groups who try to expose mistreatment and corruption and the city has experienced an uptick in terrorism and there’s evidence some of its militant networks may be turning to the extremely violent tactics of the Islamic state or Boko Haram in Africa and so there’s a battle under way to attack foreigners and this site was a site where lots of foreigners congregated and the attackers knew that they would have foreigners as victims that’s why they attacked where they did but like many of the other underdeveloped mega cities will profile in this series the most pressing need Dhaka citizens face is daily access to clean water many people live in slums with limited water and limited money to buy it this leaves the entire city teeming with mosquitoes vulnerable to all sorts of health issues [Music] in the end it’s easy to focus on the problems of this place but many of daka’s people are filled with hope in a video produced by the YouTube channel footsteps we see there’s no shortage of bright people full of ideas for how to make things better Mustafa’s hotfoot power what is a particular statistics in labels as data as a second person you live in please don’t buy into that these are just people with agendas so let’s forget about all these second worst city to live in molasses do our best to make this the best he’s right the people of Dhaka will decide their fate but they need to have a real sense of urgency because the real challenge is just beginning climate change threatens to make their situation much worse by 2040 it will be 2 degrees Celsius warmer the glaciers and snowpack in the Himalayas will melt faster and rivers flowing from the mountains in the north will meet wider Delta’s in the south is more intense and more frequent cyclones drop more rain on this already flood prone land much of Bangladesh lies within 10 meters of sea level that means when the sea Rises and expected to feet in the coming years the already overcrowded country will have 3 percent less land it won’t be easy to implement the changes Dhaka needs to see but there are solutions to most of these challenges thanks for watching I’d love to know what you think Dhaka and Bangladesh as a whole should prioritize in its quest to manage one of the most challenging situations any civilization has ever faced one mega city always seems to be at the forefront of progressive movements whether it’s innovation in its cuisine Couture infrastructure or governance this refuge for the rebel artist philosopher and scientist has always held a place in the hearts of romantics and vanguards alike because here in the City of Light engineers and artists often share a line of sight this is Paris the grand mega city 2,300 years ago a group of Celtic Gaul is called the Parisi settled on the Ile de la Cite a a small island in the middle of the Sun after falling into the hands of the Roman Empire the town grew until the Empire collapsed the short time later clovie the first King to unite all the Frankish tribes in Paris is the origin of the name Louis taken by 18 subsequent French monarchs for the next thousand years or the period known as the Middle Ages Paris saw rulers religions Wars and plagues come and go as it became the largest city in Europe home to one of the first universities and the birthplace of Gothic architecture Paris was ground zero for the Enlightenment philosophies embracing individual liberty religious tolerance and the scientific method were perfectly captured by the phrase sapere Aude dare to know in the end the monarchy and the church were simply overmatched by the sheer power of a set of ideas whose time had come ideas that were spread far and wide by books and pamphlets the stage was set for revolution on the afternoon of July 14th 1789 the Bastille a medieval fortress and prison symbolizing royal authority in the center of Paris was overtaken by force it was the opening move in a ten-year struggle that featured the bloody overthrow of the monarchy the establishment of the French Republic and violent political turmoil the dictatorship of Napoleon followed delivering many principles of the revolution to much of Western Europe by the middle of the 1800s Paris had well over a million people but was made up of tight streets and overpopulated filthy alleyways life for many was a miserable day-to-day struggle in disease-ridden slums so Napoleon’s nephew who had become Emperor himself set out to make the city healthier less congested and grander he turned to a clever man full of audacity and skill the visionary urban planner Baron Haussmann he imagined the modern city as a living organism with the boulevards its arteries over the next 17 years the duo oversaw the most epic Public Works Prix since ancient Rome tens of thousands of workers were hired to carry out their plans which included completely rebuilding the sewer system and installing hundreds of kilometres of pipes inside of it to distribute gas for thousands of new streetlights to brand new rail stations connecting Paris to the rest of France and more than 20 parts to ensure that none was more than a 10 minutes walk away from anyone but the innovation that most transformed the city was Haussmann’s dedication to wide boulevards 12 of which converge on the roundabout circling the Arc de Triomphe throughout the 30 year undertaking hundreds of thousands of people were displaced in phases as the entire city became a construction zone this sacrifice which wasn’t always appreciated by the residents of Paris was well worth the end result the discipline to keep the building’s lining these avenues the same height all faced with similar coloured stone created a striking visual effect over the next 100 years Paris was thankfully spared the widespread destruction suffered by many other capitals in the wars and conflicts that unfolded across Europe when the unthinkable happened in 1940 and Nazi flags were raised throughout Paris during the German occupation Hitler declared the city too beautiful to bomb famous photos show him posing like a tourist at the base of the Eiffel Tower which was the tallest building in the world at the time of its construction in 1889 originally planned to be dismantled after 20 years converting it into a radio tower saved it and today it is the most visited landmark on the planet another signature site is the Louvre built and expanded over the course of eight centuries what was once the largest building in the world used to be a palace that changed when the Royals were thrown out during the French Revolution today it is the most visited Museum in the world as the decades after the French and Allied victory in world war ii stretched into the 21st century paris remained at the forefront in the battle of ideas grappling with challenges like how best to educate its students integrate immigrants and refugees offer services to its people and find a balance between security and liberty in the face of terrorism but Paris has always come through the other side of struggles more unified and stronger just two weeks after suffering the deadliest attack on French soil since the Second World War Paris hosted 196 countries in an effort to make progress on climate change the French government is also focused on making sure the 12 million people who now call Paris home are well supported by world-class infrastructure as it prepares to host the 2024 Summer Olympics Paris is aiming to complete two mega projects building 12 more towers in the La défense financial district on the westernmost end of the ten kilometre historical axis and expanding the Paris Metro adding four new lines in 68 stations to a system that is already the most extensive on the continent these improvements will keep the city thriving for decades and ensure that the next generation of Parisians are positioned to lead on the challenges of the second half of the century these seven mega cities demonstrate the challenges of managing rapid growth in the modern era but what’s easier is managing the growth of your online accounts keeping track of the many passwords and logins you’re constantly creating is easy with – Ling – Lang this video sponsor is the convenient and safe place for everything that matters in your digital life securely store your passwords and personal information to auto log into your accounts instantly auto save new accounts as you browse and to make payments easily with secure one-click checkout it works across every browser and every device – Lane’s identity dashboard even gives you a complete picture of your online security alerting you immediately if your information is compromised so you can quickly take action and it’s secure VPN protects any Wi-Fi connection for worryfree browsing join 10 million users around the world who trust – Lane’s all-in-one service visit – lang comm / TDC today to try – Liam premium free for 30 days and enter the code TDC to get 10% off at checkout I hope you enjoyed this full length look at the mega cities we’ve profiled so far on this channel make sure you subscribe to catch my next round of mega city videos for TDC I’m Bryce plank thanks for watching
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