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BBC

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English


Episodes

Backs

5/21/2019
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Dr Vybarr Cregan-Reid investigates what the last 250 years has done to our backs. What is it about modern life that has promoted back pain, especially lower back pain, from a rarity to the number one cause of pain and disability in the world? In the remote Kenyan Village of Pemja, Dr Cregan-Reid meets people with such excellent backs that they are the subject of international study. He hears from pain-wracked workers in Nairobi whose backs today are a pale version of those of their...

Duration:00:28:02

Feet

5/14/2019
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For nearly two million years we evolved in close sync with our environment but 250 years ago the industrial revolution happened and changed everything. The innovation and technology it brought had many benefits but there was a physical cost as progress also designed out movement from our lives. From spending hours on our feet outdoors, our jobs have moved indoors and largely involve sitting down for most of the day in offices, factories or driver cabs. It has resulted in feet that are...

Duration:00:28:27

Medellin, Colombia: Slums and urban regeneration

5/8/2019
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Medellin used to be one of the world's most dangerous cities, with a sprawling network of slums and a serious crime problem fueled by drug trafficking. During the 1990s, there was a dramatic transformation. By integrating the city's plumbing and transportation into the barrios, renovating the homes of tens of thousands of families and creating open public spaces, the city has been transformed. Fi Glover returns with Dr Ellie Cosgrave, director of UCL City Leadership Laboratory and urbanist...

Duration:00:26:31

Knife crime: Glasgow, Scotland

4/30/2019
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It is said that by 2050 cities will be home to 6.4 billion people. They stand at the centre of the world’s most pressing challenges. Presenter Fi Glover is joined by Dr Ellie Cosgrave, director of UCL City Leadership Laboratory, and urbanist professor Greg Clark. They scour the world looking for the most inspirational cities, from those tackling environmental issues and urban violence, to encouraging political participation and transforming slums. This week they look at the city of Glasgow,...

Duration:00:26:54

Participatory budgeting: Paris, France

4/24/2019
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Presenter Fi Glover, Dr Ellie Cosgrave, director of UCL City Leadership Laboratory and urbanist professor Greg Clark, analyse and critique the participatory budgeting of Paris, where citizens vote on how to spend part of the city’s budget. They also look at how Valletta in Malta regularly tops 90% voter turnout in political elections. Are they models other cities should follow? Image: Hotel de Ville, Paris (Credit: Getty Images)

Duration:00:27:08

The 24-hour city: London, UK

4/16/2019
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As investment in the night-time economy rises, we look at how this is working in London. Is anywhere else doing a better job? Presenter Fi Glover returns with two new panellists to analyse and critique the best policies from global cities: Dr Ellie Cosgrave, Director of UCL City Leadership Laboratory; and urbanist Professor Greg Clark. The team scour the world looking for the most inspirational cities, from those tackling environmental issues and urban violence, to encouraging political...

Duration:00:26:30

The smart city: Seoul, South Korea

4/9/2019
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How is data being used to help Seoul run smoothly? And how have 20,000 sensors transformed life in Santander, Spain? Both cities have implemented innovative policies that are solving pressing challenges to city life. Presenter Fi Glover returns with two new panellists to analyse and critique the best policies from global cities: Dr Ellie Cosgrave, Director of UCL City Leadership Laboratory; and urbanist Professor Greg Clark. The team scour the world looking for the most inspirational cities,...

Duration:00:26:45

The green city: San Francisco, USA

4/2/2019
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San Francisco’s mandatory recycling scheme and sustainable public transport come under the spotlight. The panel also consider the town of Kamikatsu in Japan, which aims to be 100% zero-waste by 2020. Are they models other cities should follow? Presenter Fi Glover returns with two new panellists to analyse and critique the best policies from global cities: Dr Ellie Cosgrave, director of UCL City Leadership Laboratory; and urbanist professor Greg Clark. The team scour the world looking for the...

Duration:00:26:46

The History of Wastefulness: The Tipping Point

1/22/2019
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After exploring our wasteful past and the reality of today’s trash challenge, Australian journalist Alexandra Spring asks if we are on the tipping point of a rubbish free future. Alexandra joins blogger Kathryn Kellogg to find out more about San Francisco’s growing zero waste ambitions. Encased in one single mason jar, Kathryn describes the tiny amount of waste she created over two years and how living without a trace has changed her life. Then, Alexandra meets the inventor Veena Sahajwalla,...

Duration:00:26:31

The History of Wastefulness: Rubbish Through the Ages

1/15/2019
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Alexandra Spring continues her exploration of how our relationship with rubbish has evolved through time at the foot of Monte Testaccio in Rome - a hill built of 53 million discarded olive oil amphorae, which were thrown away nearly 2000 years ago. She meets the architect Tom Rankin, who shares how this ‘dump’ is indicative of the Roman spirit to waste. Moving through the decades, the historian Agnes Sandras takes Alexandra back to France in 1883, when Parisian Prefect Eugene Poubelle...

Duration:00:26:31

Making a Difference

1/9/2019
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For three series, My Perfect Country has sought to build the perfect country. Inspired by positive thinking, it takes policies from around the world that actually work and have solved global problems. We ask why they work, and whether they could work anywhere. Out of this comes a forensic analysis of what good global policy should look like. In this one-off special, the My Perfect Country team travel to the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where they join a group of bright, curious,...

Duration:00:27:44

The History of Wastefulness: Today’s Trash Challenge

1/8/2019
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Alexandra Spring explores how our relationship with rubbish has evolved over time, beginning on a boat, sailing across the Pacific, with Ocean Conservancy’s Chief Scientist George Leonard. Together, they discuss how trillions of micro plastic particles have created a sea-sized portion of plastic soup, and how poor waste management across the world has led to a garbage emergency. The conversation continues with author Gay Hawkins, who believes an ‘out of sight, out of mind’ attitude is...

Duration:00:26:31

The Sun, Our Star: Health and beauty

1/1/2019
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The Sun’s light defines what we mean by day and night, how we tell time and how we apportion our time, both consciously and unconsciously. The turning of the Earth that wheels us in and out of the Sun every 24 hours seeps into every aspect of our biology. In the final programme, Dava Sobel recalls the 25 days she spent as a human subject in a study of circadian rhythm. The lab was housed at Montefiore Hospital in the Bronx, NY, but it could have been anywhere, sealed and self-contained as it...

Duration:00:26:31

The Sun, Our Star: Space Weather

12/25/2018
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At any moment, the predictions of your local weather forecaster might be suddenly superseded by space weather, a special breed of storms fomented on the Sun and launched toward Earth with potentially devastating consequences. Most of the time, the solar wind billowing out from the Sun blows right past our planet without causing any ill effects whatsoever, but today, with our navigation and communications technology dependent on satellite based systems, a downdraft of space weather could...

Duration:00:26:31

The Sun, Our Star: Ancient sun

12/18/2018
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Inspired by the Chariot of the Sun, a beautiful artefact of sun worship, Dava Sobel island hops in Denmark to explore the cult of the Sun, before science, during the Nordic Bronze Age. Ancient people would not have needed an eclipse to make them see the Sun as an all-powerful force. The Sun’s life-giving light and heat inspired rituals and relics dating back to the earliest humans. Music composed by Chris O'Shaughnessy. Producer: Kate Bland and Kate Rea (Photo: Chariot of the Sun. Credit:...

Duration:00:26:47

The Sun, Our Star: Energy

12/12/2018
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The Sun, our star, produces its prodigious energy by a process of nuclear fusion at its core. We are unable to mimic that trick here on Earth: our nuclear reactors work by splitting atoms, not fusing them, and generate a lot of toxic waste. With a free standing solar mini grid in Kenya and the problems of the old grid system in California, Dava Sobel explores the progress being made in tapping the Sun for its inexhaustible supply of free, clean energy. Music composed by Chris O'Shaughnessy....

Duration:00:26:31

The Sun, Our Star

12/4/2018
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The Sun, our star, the source and sustainer of all life on Earth, is also a death star in the making. To know the Sun is an age-old dream of humankind. For centuries, astronomers contented themselves with analysing small sips of sunlight collected through specialised instruments. They chased after eclipses that exposed otherwise hidden layers of the Sun’s substance, and they launched Earth and Sun-orbiting observatories to monitor our star from space. Today, several satellites ‘watch’ our...

Duration:00:26:31

The Great Unravelling: Trade and China

11/27/2018
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China has been described as the greatest threat to the World Trade Organisation, and its biggest champion. The WTO wasn’t designed to handle China, and its entry has had seismic consequences. If China won’t change, can the WTO adapt? Without reform, could China break the WTO? And finally, can the post-war rules and institutions survive in a recognisable form, or are we already witnessing the birth of a very different world? Journalist and former barrister Afua Hirsch talks to a wide range of...

Duration:00:26:31

The Great Unravelling: Trade and Trump

11/20/2018
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The World Trade Organisation was established in 1995, building on earlier global trade mechanisms. Did this represent a capture of the systems by neoliberals after the Cold War? Now President Trump is waging a trade war on China and sidelining the WTO. Does he have a point – and can the system survive?

Duration:00:26:30

The Great Unravelling: Self Determination

11/13/2018
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Afua Hirsch examines the principle of self-determination, which Franklin Roosevelt insisted on including in the Atlantic Charter. It was a powerful force behind the liberation struggles which peaked in the 1950s and '60s as a wave of decolonisation swept the world and countries such as Tunisia, Jamaica, Nigeria and Guyana achieved independence. But it is not the same as a right to separate and form your own country, as the Catalans have recently been reminded. And it has a forgotten dark...

Duration:00:26:46