Earth Beat, 20 January 2012. We look at alternative ways of enjoying the high life. From sustainable foie gras to a state-of-the-art low-impact suburb. And things you wouldn't think of as a privilege, like clean air or the chance to cross your home city. Comment on the show.
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When Leopoldo Kram Schoen was a boy Mexico City was a fun place to grown up; life evolved round the park and the streets, biking and playing football. But when it came to bringing up his own children, things were dramatically different. The increase in population brought an onslaught of cars and pollution with it. The air once was so bad that schools were closed and children kept indoors.
Leopoldo tells host Marnie Chesterton about moving his family to the US - where at least they could stroll outdoors - and then moving back to Mexico. He gave his city a second chance, and boy was it worth it. More photos below.
It’s the ultimate extravagance for food lovers, but the force-feeding of geese to produce foie gras has animal rights campaigners up in arms.
So the foodies on the Earth Beat team were delighted to hear about Eduardo Sousa, who’s producing the stuff sustainably.
He told Marnie his geese live a life of luxury in the wild, where they feast on figs and nuts until they’re killed.
And his product doesn’t leave a nasty taste in the mouth.
In many countries, having a horse is seen as a status symbol. In Ireland, though, it’s a bit like having a dog – everyone has one. At least, they used to. Until recently in the capital Dublin, it wasn’t that unusual to see ponies prancing down the street.
Then in 2007 the financial crisis crippled the country’s economy and, as people started to lose their jobs, they started abandoning the horses in public parks.
John Murtagh tells Marnie how he’s trying to help solve the problem. More photos below.
Malawi’s capital city Lilongwe is split down the middle by a major river, and until recently there was just a single bridge linking the two sides. But a group of entrepreneurial market traders took matters into their own hands and built several more.
Correspondent Wallstone Sangala explains why what we in the West see as a simple crossing is a privilege for the people of Lilongwe.
Compulsory green living, or paradise?
The new-ish suburb of Vauban in the Black Forest of southern Germany has received a lot of press for being Germany’s most sustainable neighbourhood, and one that restricts car use. It was built from nothing, by citizens who sent the city a plan for sustainable, collectively-built housing.
Earth Beat producer Anik See went to find out how a group of citizens (with the help of a city) built their own suburb, and how it’s all turned out. More photos below.