Liz Bonnin delves in to the world of invention, revealing the people and technologies set to transform all our lives. She examines the conditions that are promising to make the 21st century a golden age of innovation and meets some of the world's foremost visionaries, mavericks and dreamers. From the entrepreneurs that are driving a new space race, to the Nobel Prize wining scientist leading a nanotech revolution, this is a tour of the people and ideas delivering the world of tomorrow, today.
Today, virtual reality headsets are reaching the masses and can already let users dive into spectacular new worlds. From our couches, we can now float through space, fly over New York, or zip along roller coasters. But, what will it be like in the future?
In the first episode, Andrew looks at how people live in five of the world's biggest megacities: London, one of the world's oldest megacities; Dhaka, the world's fastest-growing megacity; Tokyo, the largest megacity on Earth; Mexico City, one of the most dangerous cities in the world; and Shanghai, arguably the financial capital of the world. Andrew compares the sleek skyscrapers and rapid modernisation of Shanghai to the colourful street culture and geographic sprawl of Mexico City. He spends a night living in a one-room shack in Dhaka's toughest slum, taking his turn to fetch water, cook and clean; and he rents a friend in the efficient and high-tech, but alienating, city of Tokyo. As he gets under the skin of each unique metropolis, Andrew discovers how the structure of each megacity defines every aspect of its inhabitants' daily lives. And he considers what the megacities of the future can learn from the metropolises of today.
By the year 2050, three quarters of the world’s population will live in urban areas. Looking at robotic systems being developed worldwide we can take a glimpse at the city life of the future. Private transportation with self-driving cars, our homes with automated systems - robots are in our future.
With its survival challenged by a rapidly growing and aging population and by accelerating climate change, where can land-poor Singapore expand? The futurists offer a radical solution: a massive vertical city. What will it be like living high up in the sky?