Life 2 | City Life

City Life is the second series of Life documenting the effects of globalization on individuals and communities around the world. This twenty-two part series of 27-minute programs examines globalization’s effects on cities and their inhabitants.

In the summer of 2001, world leaders met in New York City to discuss the progress made since the United Nations Conference on Human Settlements five years earlier in Istanbul. The agreement reached in Turkey set out the specific goals of providing adequate shelter for all and achieving sustainable development of communities. The consensus in New York was that there has been a huge gap between policy formulation and implementation.

Globalization coupled with a lack of action by world leaders is causing an ever-widening gap in wealth, separating the rich from the impoverished. Poverty is increasing in cities dramatically. People from rural areas all over the world are moving to cities at an alarming rate because rural economies can no longer sustain them. The lure of opportunity and employment draw them to the cities, further exacerbating a global problem.

According to Anna Tibaijuka, Executive Director of Habitat (the UN Center for Human Settlements) globalization is making the 21st century the century of cities. “The challenge now,” she says, “is how to make cities better for a majority of the people.”

Life Series: 

Life 1 | Life 2 | Life 3 | Life 4 | Life 5 | Life 6 | Life 7 | Life 8 | Life 9

Films in this series

Life | A Fistful of Rice

How PEM, or protein energy malnutrition results in an ongoing intergenerational cycle of l ...
Life | Barcelona Blueprint

How a radical, visionary and participatory local government process has made Barcelona a m ...
Life | Brazil: Winning against AIDS

Since 1997 the Brazilian government's national HIV/AIDS programme has proved its cost-effe ...
Life | City Life

By 2007 more people will live in cities and towns than in the countryside. This Life progr ...
Life | Doing the Right Thing

How the Participatory Budget Scheme of direct democracy has turned around the fortunes of ...
Life | Gaza Under Siege

Investigates the effects of Israeli policy in Gaza on one Palestinian family. ...
Life | Holy Smoke

Buddhist monks are now spearheading a campaign to persuade Cambodians to give up tobacco, ...
Life | Lines in the Dust

The Reflect method of community learning and decision-making at work in Ghana and India. ...
Life | Missing Out

Looks at iron deficiency anaemia in Niger, one of the world's poorest countries. Are iron ...
Life | My Hanoi

Profiles a city in a period of dramatic change - emerging from colonialism and the still-p ...
Life | My Mother Built this House

Over 70,000 very poor women belong to the Homeless People's Federation, which was founded ...
Life | Paradise Domain

Underdeveloped Pacific island country Tuvalu has sold its internet domain name to a rich s ...
Life | Patently Obvious

Explores the concepts of intellectual property as they relate to developing countries and ...
Life | Pavements of Gold

Urban poverty has been described as one of the biggest challenges facing the world in the ...
Life | Paying the Price

Explores the issues of providing affordable HIV/AIDS drugs in Africa. ...
Life | Stop the Traffick

After 30 years of war; poverty, corruption and global tourism have comined to make Cambodi ...
Life | The Health Protestors

The People's Health Assembly was convened in Bangladesh in 2000 to draw up a charter to de ...
Life | The Long March

The Chinese government today is actively encouraging people to move to the city to relieve ...
Life | The Miller’s Tale

This Life episode looks at progress on introducing fortified flour in Egypt and Yemen, two ...
Life | The Other Side

Reveals the devastating impact of Mexican-US migration: the dangers of the crossing, and t ...
Life | Together Against Violence

How the local leaders in a poor Jamaican neighbourhood joined forces to challenge gang vio ...
Life | Waiting to Go

The second of a two-part series exploring the lives of Palestinian refugees (the first was ...