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Discovery Channel's Ecopolis: What life in the cities will be like in the future


Ecopolis: it’s not a real city, but it is a realistic vision of what our cities might be like by the year 2050. And it’s not pretty – the computer-generated megacity Ecopolis is dirty, polluted, running out of food, water and fuel, and prone to blackouts.

Discovery Channel’s ground breaking six-part series Ecopolis takes a look at key data and a possible model that experts have come up with for urban life in 2050. Hosted by Professor Dan Kammen, “Ecopolis” will address various threats to the future city and takes a look at possible solutions. Ecopolis premieres on Discovery Channel’s Planet Green block every Wednesday at 2200 hours (10:00 pm PHL), starting December 3. Encores on Thursday at 0100 hours (1:00 am) and Sunday at 0300 hours (3:00 am).

Professor Dan Kammen is a Berkeley Energy Professor and key member of a Nobel-prize winning team of scientists that advises governments on climate change. Dan Kammen is one of the world’s leading thinkers on climate change and how to avoid it. As a key author of the report for the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), his ground-breaking research was recently awarded the Nobel Peace Prize by the Nobel Committee.

Kammen is convinced that renewable energy alternatives will play a critical role in world energy markets of the future, and he has briefed decision-makers at the highest level, from the US House and Senate committees, to International Development agencies and the World Bank. He is determined that the world’s fuel mix be reversed to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels and avert climate change. Clearly, he is a man on a mission.

On “Ecopolis,” Dan will examine the various environmental problems that we might face as we head into the future – such as food and water shortages, depletion of oil reserves and fossil fuels, pollution, and energy-inefficient buildings. In each of the first five episodes, he will be presented with four competing technologies that could solve the problem addressed. Helped by number-crunchers from green think-tank The Centre for Alternative Technology, Dan must choose just one winning idea to deploy in the future city – without trashing the planet. In the sixth and final episode, Dan will put the top five technologies from the series in a head-to-head contest to find the single innovation with the greatest potential to transform the imaginary “Ecopolis.”

Find out about the revolutionary technologies that could rewrite the future – from atomising garbage at extreme temperatures and utilising the resulting gases as fuel, to harnessing photovoltaic solar energy that could transform the buildings of “Ecopolis” into mini power-stations, these solutions just might be able to turn future cities into places we can look forward to living in.

For the first episode which premieres this Wednesday, December 3 at 2200 hours (10:00pm SIN/HK), “Ecopolis” talks about the “Hungry City.”

As people move into cities and earn more, they eat more exotic produce, and high protein food like meat and dairy. Today, the average bite of food travels 1500 miles, racking up carbon emissions in the process. By 2050, food will have to travel even further, and fresh water will be in short supply. And these aren’t the only problems that cities like “Ecopolis” will face. Meat and dairy products are one of the fastest growing sources of dangerous methane emissions. So how can we solve this impending food and water crisis?

Find out on the first episode of “Ecopolis” this December 3 the four future-thinking food and water technologies Urban Farming, Methane Capture, Sound Powered Refrigeration, and Recycled Water.

Discovery Channel, the flagship network of Discovery Communications, is devoted to creating the highest quality non-fiction programming in the world and remains one of the most dynamic networks on television. First launched in 1985, Discovery Channel now reaches more than 154 million households in Asia-Pacific.

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