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Passage Eight(The Development of Cities)

  Mass transportation revised the social and economic fabric of the American city in three fundamental ways. It catalyzed physical expansion, it sorted out people and land uses, and it accelerated the inherent instability of urban life. By opening vast areas of unoccupied land for residential expansion, the omnibuses, horse railways, commuter trains, and electric trolleys pulled settled regions outward two to four times more distant form city centers than they were in the premodern era. In 1850, for example, the borders of Boston lay scarcely two miles from the old business district; by the turn of the century the radius extended ten miles. Now those who could afford it could live far removed from the old city center and still commute there for work, shopping, and entertainment. The new accessibility of land around the periphery of almost every major city sparked an explosion of real estate development and fueled what we now know as urban sprawl. Between 1890 and 1920, for example, some 250,000 new residential lots were recorded within the borders of Chicago, most of them located in outlying areas. Over the same period, another 550,000 were plotted outside the city limits but within the metropolitan area. Anxious to take advantage of the possibilities of commuting, real estate developers added 800,000 potential building sites to the Chicago region in just thirty years – lots that could have housed five to six million people.

  Of course, many were never occupied; there was always a huge surplus of subdivided, but vacant, land around Chicago and other cities. These excesses underscore a feature of residential expansion related to the growth of mass transportation: urban sprawl was essentially unplanned. It was carried out by thousands of small investors who paid little heed to coordinated land use or to future land users. Those who purchased and prepared land for residential purposes, particularly land near or outside city borders where transit lines and middle-class inhabitants were anticipated, did so to create demand as much as to respond to it. Chicago is a prime example of this process. Real estate subdivision there proceeded much faster than population growth.

1.       With which of the following subjects is the passage mainly concerned?
[A] Types of mass transportation.
[B] Instability of urban life.
[C] How supply and demand determine land use.
[D] The effect of mass transportation on urban expansion.

2.       Why does the author mention both Boston and Chicago?
[A] To demonstrate positive and negative effects of growth.
[B] To exemplify cities with and without mass transportation.
[C] To show mass transportation changed many cities.
[D] To contrast their rate of growth.

3.       According to the passage, what was one disadvantage of residential expansion?
[A] It was expensive.
[B] It happened too slowly.
[C] It was unplanned.
[D] It created a demand for public transportation.

4.       The author mentions Chicago in the second paragraph as an example of a city,
[A] that is large.
[B] that is used as a model for land development.
[C] where the development of land exceeded population growth.
[D] with an excellent mass transportation system.


1.       revise                     改变

2.       fabric                     结构

3.       catalyze                  催化,加速

4.       sort out                  把……分门别类,拣选

5.       omnibus                 公共汽车/马车

6.       trolley                    (美)有轨电车,(英)无轨电车

7.       periphery                周围,边缘

8.       sprawl                    建筑物无计划延伸,蔓延,四面八方散开

9.       lot                          小片土地

10.   underscore             强调,在下面划横线

11.   transit lines             运输线路

12.   subdivision             (出售的)小块土地,再划分小区




1.       D 公共交通运输对城市扩展的影响。文章开门见山提出这一点“公共交通运输从三个根本方面改变了美国城市的社会和经济结构。”后面文章内容就是三方面的具体化。
A. 公共交通运输类型。 B. 城市生活的不稳定性。 C. 供需如何决定土地利用。这三项文中作为具体问题提到,并不是文章涉及的主要题目。

2.       C 说明公共交通改变了许多城市。答案箭第一段第四句“举例说,1850年,波士顿市界离老的商业地区几乎不到2英里,到了这世纪末,其半径扩至10英里。现在供得起的人们可以住得很远,远离老的城市中心,仍然来回去那里上班、购物和娱乐”。第七句,“举例说,在1890至1920年期间,据记载,芝加哥市界内有约250,000个新的住宅楼区大多数设在郊区。经过同样这段时期,市区外,但仍在芝加哥大都市地区内,又计划建造了550,000个住宅楼区。”
A. 表示成长的正反两方面效果。B. 举有无公共交通运输的城市为例。 D. 对比两者成长率;都不是本文中举两城市例子的目的。

3.       C 没有计划。见第二段第三句起“城市扩展蔓延根本无计划,好几千个小的投资商进行扩展,毫不考虑相互协调配合利用土地,也不考虑未来土地利用。”
A. 太贵 和 B.太慢,两个选项,文内没有提。D. 它创造了对公共交通运输的需求。这不是住宅扩展的一个缺点,而是三个根本改变城市的一个方面。见第一段第三句:“通过大量开发未占土地扩建住宅,公共汽车、马车、铁路、来回火车,有轨电车把已有人定居的居住区向外扩展了三四倍,比他们先现代时期的市中心更远。”

4.       C(第二段中以芝加哥城市例子说明)土地开发超过人口增长速度。答案详见第二段“这些购买和置备土地建设住宅,特别是购置临近城市或就在市界外的土地,抢在交通线路和中产阶层的居民进去之前。他们这样做的目的是创造一种需求,也是响应这种需求。芝加哥就是这种过程的典型例子。那里的房地产小块土地比人口增长快得很多很多。”
A. 城市大。B. 用作土地开发的样板。 D. 具有优越的公共的交通系统。