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The Sum Of All Cities

Every number tells a story


There are more than 10,000 cities around the world, half of which didn’t exist 40 years ago… And 55% of the world’s population — over 4 billion of us — call these cities home, with another million moving in every week. And all of these cities are, in some form or another, measured. Population, cost of living, crime rate, area size, death and birth rate, temperature, GDP… These are the types of numbers that define our cities. Because cities are nothing, if not a collection of numbers. By themselves though, they are just that. Numbers. Your basic statistics. But look behind a number and you’ll find a fascinating story. And that story will lead you to another number. And that number reveals another story and that story connects to another number…. …and before you know it you’ve got the sum of a city; its people and its origins, its singular culture, its defining politics, its economical strengths and weaknesses… its past, its present and its future. Look. Would Singapore have an 80% cremation rate — one of the highest in the world — if there weren’t 6,000,000 people vying for space in a city that’s just over 700 km²? And where roads already take up 12% of the total land area? Over the past 20 years, Singapore has imported 517 million tons of sand to grow by nearly a quarter but every inch of that reclaimed land is carefully planned for which is why Singapore has a 0% car growth plan and 18 “super trees”, vertical gardens that generate solar power, vent air, and collect rainwater. Through these numbers, in this episode we’ll find out how such a tiny city became one of the most densely populated places in the world; the challenges of building into the sea; the importance of sand as a dwindling natural resource and backbone of all urban environments; the impact of changing cultural death rituals; the future of vertical architecture; the urgency of climate change and more. The Sum of All Cities extrapolates, investigates and connects the numbers that make up our cities. The storytelling will draw from sophisticated research across a range of 10 categories. People, Money, History, Food, Culture, Architecture & Tech, Politics, Environment and a Miscellaneous. All the things that make up a city. We’ll pick and choose the most relatable, defining and intriguing research from at least 5 of those categories per episode, each one making up a portion of the show through the story it generates and the filming we’ll do around it. One city. One episode. Shot on location around the world. Of course, we know that numbers can sometimes be overwhelming or a little scary — but they also help us compare, create a reference, a base for progress. And they are very, very visual. This new documentary series is a fascinating and fast-paced tour around the world. Far-reaching research, stunning graphics, along with extraordinary storytelling, reveals cities made unique by their own measurements, people and places intricately and intrinsically connected by everyday numbers. Go ahead. Name your city. We’ll do the math.


format & language

Documentary series
6 episodes x 1 hour
English, French
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