Strip the City

Ended Tuesday / 7:00pm Science Channel 45 min.
Strip The City uses stunning CGI animation and expedition - driven actuality to strip major cities naked of their steel, concrete, air, ocean and bedrock - layer by layer, act by act - to explore their hidden infrastructure and solve key mysteries surrounding their origins, geology, archaeology, industry, weather and engineering. Each episode will explore six iconic features of each city - one per act. Each icon will take us a layer deeper into the city. They will range from man - made skyscrapers and metro systems to natural dunes and lakes.

Season 2

8 Episodes

Los Angeles is standing on the brink of a catastrophic earthquake as this entertainment capital of the world sits on one of the world’s most infamous earthquake hotspots – the San Andreas Fault. How does the city’s buildings and infrastructure survive the onslaught of a destructive earthquake? The city’s leading surveyors and geologists reveal the secrets that keep LA’s skyscrapers standing, protect its roads and aqueducts and prepare its residents for ‘the Big One’. The film explores the geology that shaped the city’s past and challenges its future, from the oil reserves that attracted the first settlers to the fault line where a massive earthquake is long overdue.
Mar 26 2014
Perched on slopes 11,000 feet up in the Andes, Machu Picchu was home to over 1000 people. Built as a royal retreat for the emperor it took a thousand stonemasons almost a hundred years to complete. Constantly under threat from earthquakes, landslides and floods how did this ancient city survive for over 400 years? This film strips it temples, buildings and terraces to reveal their secret inner workings and the ingenious techniques that allowed the city to be built without modern tools in one of the most inhospitable regions on earth. The engineers and archaeologists who know this place best reveal how the Inca’s quake proofed their walls with precision cut granite blocks and built a sophisticated canal system which fed its residents water all year round. Stunning CGI animation peels back it terraces and reveals the stonework that made Inca roads one of the most advanced highway systems in the ancient world.
Mar 19 2014
Beneath the streets of Paris lies a parallel universe – a maze of tunnels and ancient quarries stretching for over 180 miles. These quarries provide the building blocks for the city, but now they threaten it with collapse. The film strips away Paris’s most famous icons to reveal their secret inner workings and the ingenious technology that allowed engineers to build the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame and Sacre Couer. We peel back the boulevards to reveal the threat that lies just 60 feet below ground. We descend into the city’s caverns to meet the engineers and geologists working to prop up the streets above and join the team constructing a brand new metro line in the city’s already crowded underground world. CGI animation strips away the Eiffel Tower’s and exposes its foundations that drop just 17 feet below the surface. We join the team building Paris’s newest skyscraper to see how this same ‘light touch’ design is helping them transform the city’s skyline.
Mar 12 2014
New Orleans is standing on the edge of disaster. Built along the banks of the mighty Mississippi this vibrant city of culture and jazz is completely surrounded by water. Loosing land fast to the Gulf of Mexico, sitting on unstable silty mud, it is also directly in the firing line of hurricanes every year. How do the city’s buildings and infrastructure survive the onslaught of these deadly forces? This film takes apart a hurricane, looks beneath the city’s great superdome to see how it can survive 1000 mph winds, we reveal how its skyscrapers stop themselves sinking and how there is now a plan to build the biggest network of pump stations in the world, which will prevent the city flooding, however big the hurricane.
Feb 26 2014
Tokyo is under attack from the Earth’s most devastating forces with the threat of tsunamis from the East, mega-quakes emanating from miles below and an active volcano - Mount Fuji - to the West. How does the city’s buildings and infrastructure survive the onslaught of a destructive mega-quake? This episode explores the geology that shaped the city’s past and challenges its future, from the active volcano looming in the West to the fault lines that threaten tsunamis and the next mega-quake.
Feb 19 2014
Sitting in a lagoon on the edge of the Adriatic Sea, Venice is made up of 118 islands, connected by over 400 bridges. More than 16 million visitors are drawn to this Italian destination each year – but the city is under siege. With rising sea level it is gradually sinking and parts of the city flood 250 times every year. How did Venice come to thrive in such an inhospitable place – and how will it survive today? This film looks beneath the city’s skin to discover the engineering wonders that allowed the city to grow. Stunning CGI animation peels bricks and stone from its historic buildings and drains its waterways. The city’s leading engineers and geologists reveal the secrets that keep Saint Mark’s bell tower from toppling. We join a team of divers on the first underwater inspection of the 400 year old Rialto Bridge and explore how Venice’s new flood barriers are being built.
Feb 12 2014
Chicago is a city of intense temperatures. This sprawling metropolis sits on a flat landscape carved out by ancient glaciers – but these plains also create deadly heat waves. As summer temperatures rocket to an atonishing 110 degrees, the buildings come close to meltdown. How do the city’s skyscrapers survive this extreme environment? Stunning CGI animation strips the glass and concrete off the famous Willis building and peels back O’Hare airport’s runways …revealing their inner workings. The city’s leading engineers and geologists reveal the secrets inside Chicago’s skyscaper that heatproof them, protect the city’s bridges and rail tracks from melting and keep residents alive in the searing heat.
Feb 05 2014
New York City sits on one the world’s largest natural harbours, but this asset is also its greatest danger. It makes the city vulnerable to deadly superstorms from the Atlantic. So how does New York fight back and survive these deadly forces? Stunning CGI animation peels back the stone off the Grand Central Station and the steel off the Verrazano Bridge to reveal their inner workings. Leading engineers and geologists reveal how the new One World Trade Centre will remain standing whatever the weather, as its deeply rooted into super strong bedrock. Also we’ll see how they’re also designing ingenious techniques to stop the next superstorm flooding New York’s bustling Subway System using giant inflatable plugs.
Jan 29 2014

Season 1

6 Episodes

Ancient Rome is the prototype of all modern cities. 2,000 years ago it was the biggest in the world - home to a million people. It has survived better than any ancient city on earth and today is home to 3 million citizens. How did Rome become the "Eternal City?" This film strips its most famous icons bare to reveal their secret inner workings and the ingenious technology that allowed engineers to build the Pantheon, Coliseum, Trevi Fountain and Via Appia. Roman engineers' mastery of constructing buildings, roads and viaducts set the city on course to become the greatest Empire the world had ever seen. By exploring deep underground we reveal the crucial role volcanoes played in the city’s growth. We descend into a cavern of tunnels that runs under most of Rome, abseil into an ancient aqueduct and explore how Rome's new Metro is being built. This film explores the volcanic geology that shaped the city's past and challenges its future, from the ash that is a key ingredient of concrete to the lava flows that underpin its roads.
Feb 26 2013
Dubai is a gleaming metropolis, grown from the desert sands in just a few decades - yet it sits in one of the driest places on Earth, is pummelled by raging sandstorms, and its skyscrapers are resting on top of sand. This episode looks beneath the city's skin to discover what keeps Dubai's buildings standing, protects them from desert storms, and keeps residents alive in the searing heat.
Feb 26 2013
Perched on the shores of Lake Ontario, Toronto is a city of extremes. This sprawling metropolis was carved out by ancient glaciers. Today it is filled with a concrete jungle of towering skyscrapers. Each winter temperatures plummet to an arctic minus 40 degrees and the city is pummeled by savage snowstorms. How did this metropolis grow to become the largest city in Canada in such an extreme environment? This episode looks beneath the city's skin to discover the secret engineering wonders and geological forces that make it possible. Stunning CGI animation peels back the glass and concrete off its skyscrapers to reveal their inner workings and sucks the water up out of its lakes to explore their origins. The city's leading engineers and geologists reveal the secrets hidden inside the iconic CN Tower that keep it standing, protect Toronto's buildings from snowstorms and keep residents alive in the bone chilling cold. This film explores the geology that shaped the city's past and challenges its future, from the rich salt reserves that power its industry to the colossal falls that fuel the expanding mega-city.
Feb 19 2013
Beneath the streets of London, lies a parallel universe. As its buildings soar higher, so its tunnels go deeper. London has more infrastructures built underground than any city in the world. They hold the key the city’s success. This episode strips away the ground to reveal the city's inner workings and explores the ingenious technologies that helped engineers to build one of the biggest cities on Earth. We join engineers working in this vast underground city – from tunnel builders digging a brand new underground train line 40m beneath the city to squads of workers scrubbing its sewer tunnels to prevent outbreaks of disease. We lift up Buckingham Palace to reveal a "lost" river and show the innovative engineering behind the city’s brand new port under construction. We peel away the Tower of London to reveal the true scale of the river Thames – far from being quiet and obedient, it was once a tidal torrent. And we strip back the steel and glass from Europe's tallest skyscraper - the Shard – to reveal its hidden inner workings. This episode explores the geology that shaped the city's past and challenges its future, from the rich clay that it sits on to the river that may one day consume it.
Feb 19 2013
Sydney is a city bursting at the seams – home to a fifth of Australia's entire population and still growing. Trapped between the Blue Mountains and the ocean it sits on the driest inhabited continent on Earth and surrounds one the planet’s largest natural harbors. How did Sydney come to thrive in such an inhospitable place? This film looks beneath the city’s skin to discover the secret engineering wonders that make it possible and the geological forces that sculpted it. Stunning CGI animation peels back the glass off its skyscrapers and stone off the iconic opera house to reveal their inner workings. It also sucks the water up out of its harbor to explore its origins. The city's leading engineers and geologists reveal the secrets hidden inside Sydney's buildings and beneath its streets that allow the city to function, from the concealed contours of the harbor that allow super size ships to sail into the heart of the city to the underground caverns that store its water. This episode explores the geology that shaped the city's past and challenges its future, from the rich coal seams underneath to the deep gorges that channel bush fires right into the heart of the city.
Feb 12 2013
San Francisco is standing on the brink of disaster - it sits on one of the world's most infamous earthquake hotspots – the San Andreas Fault. How do the city's buildings and infrastructure survive the onslaught of a destructive earthquake? This film looks beneath the city's skin to discover the engineering wonders and geological forces that make it possible. Stunning CGI animation peels back the glass of its skyscrapers and steel off its bridges to reveal their inner workings. The engineers and geologists who know this city the best reveal the secrets inside San Francisco's skyscrapers that keep them standing, protect them from raging fires and keep residents safe during the deadliest quakes. The film explores the geology that shaped the city's past and challenges its future, from the valleys that hold the city's fire-fighting water to the fault line that is overdue for a massive earthquake.
Feb 05 2013