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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."
NOTE: Six more series of LIFE programs are now available.
The titles in this series are:
1. City Life - Explores Sao Paolo in introduction to series examining the effects of globalization on people and cities.
2. The Long March - Community in Chengdu, China has organized to clean-up polluted river.
3. The Health Protestors - Health care advocates demand universal health care for the world's population at international convention in Dhaka.
4. Together Against Violence - Poor Jamaican community overcomes violence.
5. Paradise Domain - Pacific islanders are not benefiting from digital windfall or World Wide Web.
6. Pavements of Gold - Increase in urban poverty and population, caused by globalization, threatens Peruvians.
7. Doing the Right Thing - Porto Alegre, Brazil has benefited from urban revitalization.
8. My Mother Built This House - Large homeless contingent in South Africa has organized to build houses for each other.
9. Barcelona Blueprint - Barcelona today is a model of urban planning that may prove sustainable.
10. Gaza Under Siege - The Gaza Strip has been a virtual prison for Palestinians for over fifty years.
11. Waiting to Go - Palestinian refugees in Lebanon are denied human rights.
12. A Fistful of Rice - Protein deficiency threatens generations of children in Nepal.
13. Patently Obvious - International patent regulations only protect multinationals.
14. The Other Side - Poor Mexicans attempt perilous border crossing to US, often at the expense of family, traditional culture, and their lives.
15. The Miller's Tale: Bread Is Life - Efforts are underway in Egypt and Yemen to fortify flour with iron to wipe out needless malnutrition.
16. Brazil: Winning Against AIDS - Brazil has developed generic antiretroviral drugs to care for those afflicted with HIV/AIDS.
17. Missing Out - Anemia threatens the population of Niger and Tanzania.
18. Stop the Traffick - Investigates horror of child sex industry in Cambodia.
19. My Hanoi - Tour of rapidly urbanizing Hanoi, and the effect on citizens and culture.
20. Lines in the Dust - In revolutionary programs in Northern Ghana and India, gender roles are challenged, and illiterate adults educated.
21. Paying the Price - Pharmaceutical companies block generic drugs, threatening the lives of millions of Africans with AIDS.
22. Holy Smoke: Cambodians Fight Tobacco - Buddhist monks lead anti-tobacco campaign in Cambodia.
Grade Level: 7-12, College, Adult
US Release Date: 2002
Copyright Date: 2001
DVD ISBN: 1-59458-203-3
VHS ISBN: 1-56029-926-6
"Dynamic and balanced...as a whole the three Life series are a significant contribution to the library and educational video marketplace...Life and City Life may just be the best video investigations of globalization with emphasis on the personal experiences of those most affected: the ordinary people in countries throughout the world. For conscientious viewers, the films will challenge their views on human rights and social responsibilities...As an educational text for high school, college and professional audiences, Life and its sequel City Life continue to clarify and explain a difficult topic, making the multiple international factors of globalization more understandable to a these audiences. For those willing to be active in the politics of their communities, an ambitious yet intimate series such as this helps to create and maintain an informed society..."
Carleton Jackson, University of Maryland, Hornbake Libraries
"Seeing is Believing: Documentary films put human faces on the Millennium Development Goals...Offer intriguing snapshots of the problems that inspired the goals and compelling solutions that could help make the MDGs more urgent and accessible to a broad audience."