Best City: Pre-reading

HDR Curitiba by Alan FrancoTask 1

a) In your opinion, which qualities or “features” would a city need to have to deserve the title “The City for People” or “Best City in the world”?

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Write your list on Notepad (Win) or TextEdit (Mac) or a similar text tool. If you are doing this with a friend or colleague, you can make two lists and compare them. Have you listed the qualities?

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I have conducted a quick poll among my online friends on this same question.
Click here to see what they have said.

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Is the list similar to yours? Are there any surprises?
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b) Copy and paste these to your list on your notepad. Can you group the qualities and features mentioned? What titles could you give these groups?
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Click here to see how I grouped them (Yours can be different.).

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We will come back to this list when watching the video.
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Task 2

a) In a moment, you will watch a video about the city of Curitiba. Have you heard of Curitiba? Do you know where it is located? Find Curitiba on Google Maps (left sidebar).
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Now that you know in which country Curitiba is, can you find out more information about it by using Google Maps? Zoom in and out of the map. Switch between “satellite” and “terrain” view. Play with the features.
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b) Think about what you know about Brazil and Brazilian cities? Take notes if you want or talk about it with your partner if you are doing these tasks with someone.
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Task 3

Before watching: The video is 15 minutes long and it is normal spoken English (not made for learners of English). Look at the task below. In order to do this task, will you need to listen in detail and understand everything?

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Tip:To make the following task easier for you, arrange the window with the video and the notepad side-by-side on your screen.
City of Dreams video

a) Watch the video and mark any of the qualities or features on your list from task 1 if you hear them mentioned in the video. Which features have been mentioned? Have any other features been mentioned? If necessary, watch the video again.
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Note: This particular video has the embed function disabled, so you will watch it directly on Youtube. Keep in mind that there might be culturally inappropriate content or ads on the same page. You can adjust the window in order to only see the video. I suggest not using the fullscreen function while doing the task.
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b) Think about the following questions or talk about them with your partner. Take notes if you want:
  • What is your first impression of Curitiba after watching the video? Would you like to visit this city? Would you want to live in such a city?
  • Do you find it surprising that such a model sustainable city is located in a so-called developing country like Brazil? Why?/Why not?

 

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Task 4

a) The following words are taken from the text that you are going to read. Think about 1) which of them you know the meaning of 2) which you are sure how to pronounce. Please, resist using the dictionary just for now
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Curitiba Urban Planning word cloud
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b) Before you move on, take a minute and think about why I might have asked you to do all the previous tasks before reading the text about Curitiba?

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