Vocabulary list: the Evolution of the City

Un projet de quartier « intelligent » qui fait débat (cf: « Report scorn’s Google’s ideas for Toronto smart city »)

Depuis 2017, la start-up Sidewalks Labs, filiale de Google, travaille sur l’aménagement d’un quartier « connecté » sur une parcelle de près de 5 hectares à Toronto. Outre le sujet épineux de la collecte des données, le projet suscite de nombreuses critiques. Découvrez le reportage vidéo et testez votre compréhension.


Select the right answer.

1. The Quayside area is …

a) industrial. b) on the waterfront. c) in the heart of downtown Toronto.

2. What is Waterfront Toronto?

a) the parent company of Sidewalk Labs b) a body with three levels of input c) an agency owned by the city of Toronto

3. Where is the connection between Google and Sidewalk Labs?

a) They are both based in New York. b) They are sister companies. c) There is no connection.

4. Where is the proposed ‘Idea District’?

a) downtown b) Quayside c) east of Quayside

5. Mass timber can be used for …

a) sidewalks b) tall buildings c) docks

6. What Google’s critics fear most is its potential control over …

a) data. b) land. c) jobs.

Answers : 1. b – 2. b – 3. b – 4. c – 5. b – 6. a

Des projets de villes durables émergent à travers le monde

Durant la crise du coronavirus, les maires des plus grandes métropoles de la planète se sont régulièrement réunis pour évoquer le futur des espaces urbains dont ils ont la charge. Analyse, à Londres, d’un projet de ville verte dont le but est de réduire notre empreinte carbone; et qui pourrait bien changer quelques unes de nos habitudes. Au nord du pays, la ville de Birmingham tente, elle aussi, de devenir plus verte. Découvrez le reportage vidéo en V.O. et testez votre compréhension.


1. Birmingham’s plan is to … cars entering the city centre.

a) limit b) prevent c) monitor

2. What point does Paul Faulkner make?

a) The pandemic has had a major effect on business planning. b) There is no reason why businesses cannot recover very soon. c) Businesses have become more flexible as a result of COVID-19.

3. How long does he say businesses have been planning to go green?

a) They have only just started thinking about it. b) a year or two c) for at least a decade

4. Which sentence is true?

a) There has been no reduction in carbon emissions from vehicles. b) Carbon emissions from home consumption have risen. c) There is a 50-50 relationship between vehicle and building emissions.

5. When does the British government want to make the country carbon neutral?

a) It has set no target. b) by 2030 c) thirty years from now

6. What is Chris Stark optimistic about?

a) economic recovery after COVID b) the success of climate change policy c) the positive effect of new habits

Answers : 1. b – 2. a – 3. b – 4. b – 5. c – 6. c

LIFE IN A SOUTH-AFRICAN TOWNSHIP    Put the words from the table in the correct places in the text, before or after watching the video.

Angel Gona lives in a small 1. __________ in Johannesburg. In the video, she shows people 2. __________ to buy food items, and says that they are 3. __________. Her home is in a 4. __________ area. She says that it is difficult to complete online 5. __________, as she doesn’t have Wi-Fi at home. She is 6. __________ on a lot of schoolwork, and it has impacted her 7. __________. People are 8. __________ with difficulty during the 21-day 9. __________.

Answers : 1. township – 2. queuing – 3. panicking – 4. low-income – 5. assignments – 6. missing out – 7. negatively – 8. coping – 9. lockdown

Il fait bon vivre à Dunbar. Et pour cause : cette petite bourgade de 9000 habitants au Sud-Est de l’Écosse est la première du pays à être considérée comme une « ville zéro déchet ». Sensibiliser les habitants ne suffit pas : toute la chaîne de production et de consommation a été transformée pour être mise au service de la planète. Comment réduire le volume de nos déchets ? Découvrez quelques conseils d’une adepte du « zero waste lifestyle » dans ce reportage vidéo en V.O., et testez votre compréhension.

A ZERO WASTE LIFESTYLE   According to the video, are the sentences below true (T) or false (F)?

1. Kathryn Kellogg doesn’t use bags supplied by stores.  T – F

2. She only buys articles in small quantities.  T – F

3. Kathryn wants to get rid of as many objects as possible from her life.  T – F

4. She thinks that small changes in habits can have a big effect.  T – F

5. Milk drinks and toothpaste are among the things that she creates herself.  T – F

6. Kathryn considers that everybody can find the time to do what she does.  T – F

Answers : 1. T – 2. F – 3. F – 4. T – 5. T – 6. F.

Text n°1: Living apart


A.Definition. : A gated community is………

B.The expectations of the people who want to live in gated communities:

C “Gated communities can paradoxically compromise safety rather increase it” (l. 14-15). explain

D.“This might be okay on a vacation, but it does not make for an ideal society.” (l. 25-26). Explain


Text n°2: Architecture : Does Suburbia Breed Violence?

Urban Designers Seek Solutions Teen Shootings By Jackie Craven, About.com Guide

Town planners are seeking ways to prevent the shooting rampages and other acts of teen violence in schools and neighborhoods. While designers work to install better security in school buildings, many are also asking whether America’s towns and neighborhoods have become breeding grounds for violence.

Violence can break out anywhere, any time. Yet, over the past two decades, some of the most shocking and most deadly attacks have occurred in insulated, suburban settings.

To say that the suburbs make kids go crazy would be far-fetched. However, a large and widely respected group of architects and city planners believe that there is a profound connection between the environments we build and the ways we feel and behave. These urban designers claim that America’s tract style homes and sprawling suburban neighborhoods lead to social isolation and a failure to communicate.

The New Urbanism

Andres Duany and Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk pioneered an approach to urban design known as New Urbanism. In their writings, the design team warn that suburbia « spells the end of authentic civic life. » According to Duany, Plater-Zyberk, and other New Urbanists, suburban neighborhoods are dangerous because they don’t foster a sense of community. New Urbanists believe that the ideal community will be easily walkable. Instead of driving cars, people will stroll through the town to reach buildings and businesses.

Perhaps one of the most disturbing visions of suburbia is painted by Edward J. Blakely and Mary Gail Snyder, professors of Regional Planning in California. Their book, Fortress America: Gated Communities in the United States, describes what happens when affluent Americans barricade themselves inside exclusive, enclosed neighborhoods.

« In an open city, » Blakely and Snyder write, « people of different colors and incomes must negotiate their mutual fate together. In some respects, they learn to value one another more highly, and social networks are expanded. » Exclusive gated communities, the authors say, lead to misunderstanding, stereotyping, and fear.

The History Of Suburbia

Suburbia has roots in the past. Some historians say that suburban neighborhoods existed in ancient times. The authors of Fortress America say that secluded suburban neighborhoods developed in nineteenth century England, when businessmen built small country estates just outside their villages.

But suburbia as we know it is an American idea. Suburban neighborhoods evolved when the streetcar, or electric trolley, allowed people to live easily outside the cities. Designers such as Frederick Law Olmsted and Frank Lloyd Wright created self-contained model communities along curving roads. The single-story, servantless houses designed by Frank Lloyd Wright became the archetype for the middle-class suburban home.

Is Suburbia Evil?

Critics of New Urbanism scoff at the notion that neighborhood patterns Wright pioneered can lead to social breakdown. They argue that Americans enjoy living in single-family homes with large, private yards. Their view: more sprawl means less crowding, and an improved quality of life.

For New Urbanists, however, sprawl not merely unattractive. New Urbanists believe that neighborhoods surrounded by sprawl are dehumanizing. The New Urbanist view: suburban neighborhoods foster a sense of isolation and can breed discontent.

©2012 About.com, Inc., a part of The New York Times Company. All rights reserved.

Sum up the main ideas according to the following themes:

  • Suburbia, a place to live
  • Suburbia, a place to leave
  • The ideal community

Text n°3: The essence of the city

Synthèse de dossier : Living in cities

Prenez connaissance du dossier proposé, composé des documents A, B et C non hiérarchisés, et traitez en anglais le sujet suivant (300 mots maximum)

Say what the documents reveal about cities focusing on them as increasing a sense of isolation

but also as developing a sense of belonging to a community.


Can - Could - May - Might: https://youtu.be/SaBH_huiJSM

Will - Shall - Would: https://youtu.be/cB7vltnJsOw

Should - Must - Have to: https://youtu.be/kZ3rHYcWFlA

Recap : https://www.youtube.com/watch?list=PL6C-UQVhNb1NCi--i7_ReekJlkTEilOWf&v=ZC710CZYv6k

Traduire les 5 phrases ci-dessus

Turning the city into a better place

Reclining Liberty by Zaq Landsberg

1. Find information on the Internet about the artist (Zaq Landsberg) and the artwork.

2. Describe the artwork then spot the similarities and differences with the Statue of Liberty.

3. List the elements which make this artwork a possible symbol of the city.

4. Imagine an Instagram post in which you explain what aspects of NYC are represented in this work of art.