In June 2002, the eyes of the world were on Yokohama, the site of the football World Cup final. Yokohama, like the nearby Japanese capital Tokyo, is built on a flood plain. It used to be one of the world’s most flood- prone cities. But Japanese civil engineering has been up to the task of dealing with the threat of inundation. And there is no better advertisement than Yokohama’s international stadium, the venue for the Final. It’s built on pillars that place the stadium four stories above the swampy ground beneath. It’s a small component of a nationwide policy of heading off the threat from flooding while conserving valuable wetland areas. The Japanese can’t help but build on flood plains – they’ve got nowhere else to live. So they’ve developed both grand and modest schemes to save themselves from drowning.
Films in this series