Squeezing Everyone In (07:07)
More than half world's seven billion people live in cities. Hong Kong is the most densely populated, with three million people residing above the fourteenth floor; a network of elevators, escalators and bridges offer pedestrian access. Housing demands increase annually.
History of Height (03:55)
Egypt’s Great Pyramid was the highest man-made structure until the Lincoln Cathedral. Steel enabled construction of early 20th century record holders including the World Trade Center and Sears Tower. Reinforced concrete was used in the Petronas Towers.
The New World's Tallest (05:42)
Dubai’s Burj Khalifa reaches 800 meters; it is aerodynamic, with sections breaking up air currents, and preventing dangerous vortices. The building’s windows get dirty from desert winds; cleaners must be physically and mentally fit and aware of weather conditions.
Accelerated Change (04:49)
In 2011, human populations reached 7 billion, requiring fast urban developments. Shanghai is the most rapidly growing city, accommodating 10,000 new occupants weekly.
The Flatpack Future (02:58)
In China, engineers construct 30 story buildings in three weeks by using prefabricated components. The structures can house over 1000 residents and withstand a magnitude nine earthquake. Accelerated construction is required to accommodate mass migrations; there are 21 cities with populations over 10 million.
The World's Biggest Plumbing Job (08:36)
Mexico City is built over a lakebed, causing it to sink. Underground plumbing reverses flows as it drops; scuba divers must clear pumps manually. Civil engineers construct the "Super Sewer", laying 75 meters of pipe daily; their tunneling machine functions lays concrete as it clears a path.
Weathering the Storm (06:25)
Tokyo is the world's most populated city, and boasts the largest tunneling project. The city is flanked by rivers and the ocean; flooding has worsened as a result of concrete covering 5200 square feet of absorbent ground. Engineers construct the Kasukabe flood defense, a massive and vast cavern system designed to capture and regulate release of storm waters.
Mass migration in many of the world's cities results in slums; one billion reside in shantytowns. In Rio de Janeiro, occupants construct and expand homes in all directions, constricting movement to other areas of the city. The government maintains the world’s most extensive cable car system, providing residents with safe and efficient commutes.
Summary and Credits: A Place To Live (02:23)
Summary and Credits: A Place To Live
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