Cities are ever growing with new ideas, technologies, and innovations. Urban landscapes are constantly transforming in search of answers to the challenges from the past and the possibilities of the future. However, problems are multi-faceted and complex. In the midst of lingering questions on the uncertainties and unpredictability surrounding the forthcoming days of cities, CNN’s ‘Future Cities’ asks ‘How can cities open the door for a better future?’ The ultimate answer is in the hands of some of the greatest thinkers and artists in the world: architects.

This week on ‘Future Cities: Asia’, CNN takes a look at how architectural developments and technology are redefining the future of Asia’s cities. The latest skyscraper in Guangzhou, China is refining the country’s tastes in skyscrapers. Then, CNN heads north to China’s city of Harbin where its new opera house has become an icon, helping it reclaim its identity as a music city. In Japan, architecture has become the cornerstone in the country’s quest to protect its cities from the ever emerging threat of natural disasters. At last, Kolkata, India is making a case for how good architectural designs can leave an everlasting impact on a city.

Highlights of the show:

CTF Tower – Forth Bagley
The skyscraper race continues in cities around the world and one of the latest is opening in Guangzhou, China. Boasting what will be the world’s fastest elevator, we speak with architect Forth Bagley about how China’s tastes are being more sophisticated in the future.

Harbin Opera House – Ma Yansong
With a deep seated musical history, the northern Chinese city of Harbin is looking for a cultural revival. Leading that revival is the city’s new architectural centerpiece, the Harbin Opera House. Architect Ma Yansong tells us about how this one building can transform the future of an entire city and how he sees cities moving toward a more poetic relationship with their buildings.

Earthquake Resistant Tech – Kengo Kuma/Shigeru Ban
Detailed and meticulous, the Japanese have always been at the forefront of design. Now some of the most celebrated architects in Japan are tackling problems the country has always had to face – natural disasters. We speak with Kengo Kuma and Shigeru Ban about how the classic pillars of Japanese design can be used to prepare all cities for the future.

Newtown School – Abin Chaudhuri
With its colonial architecture and rich art scene, Kolkata is looking to project its true identity to the rest of the world. It may not have world class transportation systems of the shine of other cities, but that is not stopping architect Abin Chaudhuri who knows good design can help this city find its footing in the future.

Airtimes: Hong Kong, Beijing, Kuala Lumpur, Manila, Singapore and Taipei
Friday September 30 at 1730 and 2330 HKT
Saturday October 1 at 2130 HKT
Sunday October 2 at 0830 HKT
Monday October 3 at 1130 HKT
Tuesday October 4 at 1730 HKT
Wednesday October 5 at 1630 HKT

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