Episode 2: Urban Explosion
Visits four mega-cities to scrutinize a major challenge of the 21st Century: how to shelter and sustain the world's exploding urban population without destroying the delicate balance of our environment. Case studies review air pollution, water pollution, population pressures, waste disposal, and the need for urban planning.
- Mexico City: Communities struggle with toxic smog and a dwindling supply of drinking water, while nearby farmers must cope with the city's untreated waste.
- Istanbul: At the crossroads of Asia and Europe, more than half a million new residents strain this ancient city's infrastructure each year.
- Shanghai: In the midst of an economic boom, rapid urbanization has increased air and water pollution and caused a dramatic loss of farmland to industrial sprawl.
- New York City: Though most of the city can boast clean air and water, for some, environmental inequality has resulted in serious health problems.