China is already home to a fifth of the world's population. To relieve the pressure on scarce farm land and fragile topsoil, the Chinese government is building four hundred new cities over the next 20 years, each housing over half a million residents. New towns and settlements are springing up from nowhere. Others are witnessing an explosion in their populations, stretching their capacity to deliver essential services to breaking point. This film tells the story of one such town.
Chengdu, in South West China, was once the southern staging post for the silk trade and capital of Shu Kingdom. In 256 BC, Shu leader Li Bing built the Dujiangyan Irrigation System, channeling the Min River through Chengdu in what is still recognized as a triumph for hydraulic engineering. But the irrigation system was neglected and abused during the rapid industrial development of the 1970s, resulting in massive pollution and floods. Today, Chengdu's municipal government has succeeded in reversing the damage, turning what had become an urban nightmare into a model of modern day planning.
The producer of this program has collected extensive resources at www.tve.org/lifeonline/index.cfm?aid=1037.
The other titles in the series are:
1. City Life - Explores Sao Paolo in introduction to series examining the effects of globalization on people and cities.
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: 1-59458-135-5
VHS ISBN: 1-56029-928-2
"Instructors interested in teaching about global issues such as water pollution and how they are experienced and addressed differently in various locales might be able to incorporate The Long March, as well as other episodes in the City Life series, into their curricula. The length of these videos makes it easy to show a complete program in one classroom session... In sum, The Long March offers an upbeat look at how the Chinese are dealing with environmental problems. This is a welcome message because there have been a number a recent successes in China and 'green' issues have become a much discussed topic on the Chinese political agenda."
Ken Klinker, Center for East Asian and Pacific Studies, Univ. of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, in AEMS News and Reviews