Drinking rainwater from banana leaf, Nigeria. (c) I. Uwanaka/UNEP peopleandplanet.net
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Drinking rainwater from banana leaf, Nigeria. (c) I. Uwanaka/UNEP
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cities > films

Earth Report City Specials
... more

City Life Series - 1. City life
In a new 21-part series on City Life, Television Trust for the Environment (TVE) returns to the theme of globalisation, and the growing debate on ways to tackle social development, social exclusion and inequality. But this time there's a new context: urbanisation. ... more

2. The long march
More people are on the move in China than ever before in human history. With China already home to a fifth of the world's population, the Chinese government is building 400 new cities in the next 20 years, and actively encouraging people to move to the city to relieve pressure on scarce agricultural land. ... more

3. The Health Protestors
Twenty five years ago, the World Health Organization's Alma Ata conference promised to deliver basic health care for all the world's people, under the clarion cry of 'Health for All'. Today, that promise remains unmet in many countries and cities of the developing world where health is still the prerogative of wealthy elites - and the poor remain trapped in a vicious cycle of poverty and ill-health. ... more

4. Together against violence
Bennetlands is a ghetto suburb in the heart of Kingston, Jamaica, home to five thousand inhabitants. Half are under 25 and over 2,000 unemployed. Once, despite the poverty, Bennetlands was a peaceful place, with daily life revolving around the four main pillars of the community - its primary school, two churches and the S-Corner Clinic which provided health care, support and education for school drop-outs. But in the 1980s war broke out in the region, with rival 'corner' gangs fighting a vicious turf battle over Bennetlands' one high street, terrorising the neighbourhood and preventing children from going to school. ... more

5. Paradise domain
What's in a name? To a tiny nation in the South Pacific, plenty. The country is Tuvalu, and thanks to the Internet domain name registry, Tuvalu looked as if it might be about to hit it rich. ... more

6. Pavements of gold
Urban poverty has been described as one of the biggest challenges facing the world in the 21st century. The figures are stark: in 1950, the number of people living in urban areas amounted to 300 million. At the start of the new century, that figure had multiplied almost ten-fold, to 2.85 billion - almost half the world's total population. And the flow of rural migrants arriving in the world's cities continues. ... more

7. Doing the right thing
Porto Alegre, capital of Brazil's southernmost state of Rio Grande do Sul, was once a run-of-the mill, dirty, Brazilian port city. Today, it's the showcase for an experiment in direct democracy that's giving all Porte Alegre's citizens a say in how their city is run, through the Participatory Budgeting scheme. ... more

8. My mother built this house
Victoria Mxenge was the first of the housing projects founded by the South African Homeless People's Federation in the 1990s in Khayalitsha, a huge sprawling township outside Cape Town. A small oasis in a seemingly infinite sea of squatter settlements, the project has several streets of neat houses, a creche, an office built from old, brightly painted shipping containers and a small shop selling basic essentials. ... more

9. The Barcelona blueprint
Once the industrial heart of the region of Catalonia in Spain, Barcelona could have become just another burnt-out, rust-belt European city that had failed to find a role in the modern, globalized world. But what set Barcelona apart from other European cities was a visionary local government which decided on radical redevelopment of the city in the run-up to the 1992 Olympics - a redevelopment that involved all the city's population. ... more

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