Parents' Guide to

Building the Future

By Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 8+

Conservation-minded docu is educational but dry.

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Building the Future has all the key elements of great family viewing -- it's educational, thought-provoking, and likely to encourage globally minded changes (recycling, energy conservation, etc.). But despite these great qualities, its dry subject matter may be a hard sell for action-seeking kids and tweens.

For example, one installment detailed planners' responses to the growing demand for real estate in a world where land supply is dwindling. The episode highlighted revolutionary new architectural designs that are pushing the limits on the types of structures being built -- including typhoon-resistant skyscrapers that can withstand the weather in Taipei, reinforced houses that make living in earthquake-prone California a little safer, and floating "amphibian" housing along Dutch waterways to make floods less of a threat. Interesting, yes; more appealing than a cartoon? Probably not.

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