A Bigger Picture: Global Scale Environmental Challenges

The Environmental Challenges of Megacities. Faced with escalating population pressure and new construction technologies, western architects are designing cities in the skies, and under the sea. If built, these will sit alongside older metropolitan areas such as London, Tokyo and Shanghai, where more and more people are squeezing into built-up areas. The era of 'megacities' is already with us, and the pace of development is escalating. But how can and will people live in these places, and what are the challenges of managing their living environments to ensure that they are fed, have water to drink, clean air to breathe, and can dispose of their waste? Are we facing a utopian or dystopian urban future?

Professor Carolyn Roberts is the first Frank Jackson Professor of the Environment at Gresham College. She is also a Senior Scientist at the UK Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN), which links business and universities in order to promote research and innovation in environmental technologies. (from

5. The Environmental Challenges of Megacities

Go to the Course Home or watch other lectures:

1. Scratching the Surface? Looking from Space at Human Impact on Earth
2. Hotting up: Meeting the Challenges of Climate Change in the 21st Century
3. Something in the Air: The Insidious Challenge of Air Pollution
4. Under the Sea: What's Happening in Our Oceans?
5. The Environmental Challenges of Megacities
6. All Must Have Prizes: Citizen Science and the Environment