You are going to read a magazine article about how cities have developed.
Eight headings have been removed from the article. Choose the most suitable
heading from the list A-I for each part (1-7) of the article. There is one extra
heading you do not need to use. There is an example at the beginning. (0).
A Growth despite poor conditions B A false dream C City habits D Too big? E Attitudes in the city F Why do cities exist? G A risk to the city? H A failed attempt I A recent development?
The Big City –
Our greatest Invention or worst nightmare?
The first cities appeared only about 7,000 years ago, in the Middle
East and in China. In comparison with several million years of human
existence, the city is still very new. Yet in its brief time it has
changed all the rules of human behaviour.
History tells us, however, that cities have always been in crisis.
Ancient Rome had terrible traffic problems. One solution tried was
to allow wheeled vehicles into the city only at night. But that left
the city's population ill-tempered and short of sleep. If you think
the noise of modern city traffic is bad, imagine trying to sleep
against the rumble of cart-wheels on cobbled streets.
To understand what the city means, we have to think hard about what
it represents: it is an environment constructed by humans for humans
as an alternative to nature. In the opinion of some, it is a symbol
of man's resistance to the natural world
Those ancient Romans 2,000 years ago imagined themselves living the
good life in country villas, removed from the luxuries, temptations
and dirt of the city. But the idea of a calm, peaceful and, above
all, innocent countryside is an invention of city folk, as
artificial as the city itself.
The largest modern cities are expanding so quickly that maps have to
be revised each year to include all the new streets. The scale of
such cities makes some people wonder if we have taken our resistance
to nature too far.
Historically, in spite of such ideas, cities have always attracted
new inhabitants. London, for example, had become the biggest city in
Europe by the mid-18th century. But by modern standards the London
of the recent past was an unimaginably dirty and dangerous place,
where the number of deaths per year was higher than the birth rate.
The number of inhabitants increased only because people came in
their thousands from smaller towns and the countryside.
Could this growth of the city at the expense of the countryside
prove to be a mistake? Most of the world's great cities are coastal
and, if the ice-caps do melt as pollution causes the earth's
temperature to rise (which some fear might happen), then cities
really will be destroyed by their own success.
The wish to ‘make good’ was a big attraction. For a city to succeed,
it had to be more open to different kinds of people than the town or
the village. And so, over time, there emerged another big idea: open-mindedness.
Freedom and open-mindedness, two of the most important values of our
time, are a condition of civilised city life. Would they have
developed as human values without cities?
to add new words to your vocabulary lists!
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