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Faced with the toughest environmental conditions on our planet the residents of Yakutsk, Bangkok, Hammerfest and La Paz struggle to make their cities habitable. Explore these inhospitable environments in the four-part series EXTREME CITIES, beginning Tuesday, May 24 at 8 p.m. ET/10 p.m. PT on Discovery World HD.

Facing a temperature of -50 C; the most horrendous monsoons in the world; an altitude close to that of Mont Blanc; or a latitude where the sun disappears for two months – these harsh human habitats are home to tens of thousands of people who live, work, study, seek amusement and sometimes fall ill because of their environment.

The urban environments featured in EXTREME CITIES each suffer from rapid demographic change and significant geographic and climate degradation. Since their founding, the survival of these cities has been a delicate balance. But today the balance is breaking down. Most of these cities are caught between the demands of development and the inescapable realities of climate change.
 

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Member #1
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Highlights from EXTREME CITIES include:

EXTREME CITIES – “Yakutsk”
Tues., May 24 at 8 p.m. ET/10 p.m. PT
Known as “the cold pole,” Yakutsk is the coldest city on the planet. The biggest challenge the Russian city faces is the soil’s “permafrost.” With the warming of the climate, the frozen soil is melting and the buildings are threatened with collapse.

EXTREME CITIES – “La Paz”
Tues., May 31 at 8 p.m. ET/10 p.m. PT
The highest capital in the world is located in Bolivia. Surrounded by 5,000-metre peaks, La Paz has always fought against nature to develop. See how living at such an altitude poses a permanent challenge to the human body.

EXTREME CITIES – “Hammerfest”
Tues., June 7 at 8 p.m. ET/10 p.m. PT
The northernmost city in the world is a dark place. Hammerfest in Norway goes without sun for two months every winter. This perpetual night causes extreme effects on its people, known as “polar stress syndrome.”

EXTREME CITIES – “Bangkok”
Tues., June 14 at 8 p.m. ET/10 p.m. PT
Thailand is home to a drowning city. With deadly typhoons, increasing rainfall, rising sea level and land subsiding at four centimetres per year, water has become the biggest threat to the Bangkok’s survival.
 
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