BBC’s 3 part series Supersized Earth is a real eye opener, showing us how man has changed the earth in just one generation.
The first episode ‘A Place To Live’ starts with presenter Dallas Campbell climbing out of the top of Burj Khalifa in Dubai; at 829m,the world’s tallest building. The view was amazing, and maybe a bit scary for some!
Lincoln Cathedral is the first building that’s looked at in depth, and was thought to be the world’s highest at 80 metres (160 including the 80 metre spire) from 1300 until 1549. It’d incredible to think just how far things have come since then!
Watching Dallas joining the team of window cleaners responsible for cleaning the Burj Khalifa was breathtaking, especially when you see that all they use is a good old bucket and sponge!
Mexico City and the surrounding area is massive city compared to the likes of London and Dallas gets to help Julio, a very brave man go diving in toxic sewage to unblock the city’s struggling sewers. It’s staggering to hear that only two people are responsible for clearing the sewers servicing 21.2 million people. I can’t see many people wanting to apply to increase that! The new sewer currently being built at a cost of billions of dollars looks like it’d be the inside of a spaceship. It’s a shame the only thing that will be going through it is waste.
The rate at which the world is growing and cities are expanding is scary, especially after seeing a photographers’ album of Shanghai in China since 1990. A whole city with over 23 million people has sprung up in just a few decades, with one company even offering ‘flat pack’ buildings, claiming to be able to build a 30 storey building in under 3 weeks.
Most people associate cable-cars with ski resorts, but Rio in Brazil has invested in an urban cable-car system to help the inhabitants of the slums connect with the rest of the city. An ingenious idea and an unusual thing to see!
The programme is full of technical stuff and facts for the geeks amongst us, but is equally interesting for those who aren’t technically minded and is worth watching even just for the views from the top of some of the buildings. Seeing the difference between our planet’s cities from futuristic Tokyo to the slums of Rio really opens your eyes to how different places can be.
The BBC is well known for its documentaries and certainly didn’t disappoint with ‘A Place To Live’; hopefully the rest of the series will maintain the high standard that it started with.
Watch episode one on iPlayer here.
Supersized Earth is on BBC One, Wednesdays at 8:00pm