miércoles, 17 de agosto de 2016

Talking point: Smart cities

This week's talking point is smart cities. Before getting together with the members of your conversation group, go over the questions below so that ideas come to mind more easily the day you get together with your friends and you can work out vocabulary problems beforehand.

How have people’s lifestyles changed in your country during your lifetime?
How has your city/town changed in your lifetime?
What are the good and bad points of living in your city/town these days?
How do you think your city/town will be like in 50 years’ time?
What do the pictures below show about city life?
How do you feel in situations like this?
What other pictures of city life stress would you add?

What do you understand by the term ‘smart city’?
Do you agree with these ideas to make a city more liveable?
  • Cars have to pay to enter the city centre
  • A single card is needed for the whole public transport system
  • Solar panels provide all the energy the city needs
  • There is a large park with lakes in the city centre
Smart cities
Look at this list of ideas for making cities ‘smarter’ or better to live in. Do any of them already exist in the city you live in or one you know?
If so, how useful are they?
If not, would you use the app or facility if it were available?

1 an app giving information about new projects and impending legislation in the city
2 parking apps to show drivers the nearest available parking space and how much it costs
3 apps to let users ‘adopt’ city property, such as litter bins, trees, flower beds, and volunteer to maintain them
4 digital parking payment systems, allowing you to pay for parking by smartphone, without using coins or tickets
5 free wi-fi everywhere in the city, including on trains, buses and the underground
6 screens in public places which display traffic information, weather and local news
7 an app letting residents communicate with the city maintenance services to let the city know where there's a problem - something's broken or out of service
8 an app giving information about all the trains, buses and underground and when they are due, delays, alternative routes
9 solar-powered artificial trees that enable residents to charge their mobiles, laptops and other devices