This is a fascinating documentary on eight of the most ambitious mega-projects currently under development around the world, featuring: Istanbul’s building boom (Turkey); the Mission to put a human on Mars; the effort to develop Lagos (Nigeria); Africa’s unprecedented clean energy opportunity; the project to probe the nearest Earth-like exoplanet; Atlanta’s stadium of the future (Georgia, United States); India’s effort to modernize its highways; and China’s unprecedented One Belt One Road, “New Silk Road” initiative.

China’s “One Belt, One Road” worldwide project is the one to watch. It starts at 34.22 if you want to skip the rest. Its magnitude and scope is nothing like we’ve ever seen before.  At an approximate cost of $US1 trillion of projects funded by China’s state-run banks, major infrastructure works in Africa and Central Asia have already been initiated. It will involve 65 countries with a total population reach of 4.4 billion and a share of global economy of 30 per cent. It’s more than seven times larger than America’s Marshall Plan to rebuild Europe after the Second World War.

It’s a massive project with many roads, railways, ports and maritime routes making up new and revived trade corridors. The land-based projects are the belt. The road is the maritime routes that will connect up China’s southern provinces to south-east Asia and the east coast of Africa with ports and railways.

For those who are uninitiated, the “Silk Road” was an ancient network of trade routes that were for centuries central to cultural interaction originally through regions of Eurasia connecting the East and West. The Silk Road concept refers to both the terrestrial and the maritime routes connecting Asia and Europe.

While the term is of modern coinage, the Silk Road derives its name from the lucrative trade in silk (and horses) carried out along its length, beginning during the Han Dynasty.