2015年4月18日托福阅读真题+题目+答案:Historical Trends in European Urban Design

来源:原创作品 | 2019-10-17174


2015年4月18日托福阅读真题+题目+答案:Historical Trends in European Urban Design


1. European city planning and design have a long history. Most Greek and Roman settlements were deliberately laid out on the grid system, within which the siting of key buildings was carefully thought out. The roots of modern Western urban planning and design can be traced to the Renaissance and Baroque periods (between the fifteenth and seventeenth centuries) in Europe, when artists and intellectuals dreamed of ideal cities, and rich and powerful regimes used urban design to produce extravagant symbolizations of wealth, power, and destiny. Inspired by the classical art forms of ancient Greece and Rome, Renaissance urban design sought to recast cities in a deliberate attempt to show off the power and the glory of the state and church.

2. Spreading slowly from its origins in Italy at the beginning of the fifteenth century, Renaissance design successfully diffused to most of the larger cities of Europe. Dramatic advances in weaponry brought a surge of planned redevelopment that featured impressive geometric-shaped fortifications and an extensive sloping, clear zone of fire. Inside new walls, cities were recast according to a new aesthetic of grand designfancy palaces, geometrical plans, streetscapes, and gardens that emphasized views of dramatic perspectives. These developments were often so extensive and so interconnected with each other that they effectively fixed the layout of cities well into the eighteenth, and even into the nineteenth, century, when walls and/or open spaces eventually made way for urban redevelopment in the form of parks, railway lines, or beltways.

3. As societies and economies became more complex with the transition to industrial capitalism, national rulers and city leaders looked to urban design to impose order, safety, and efficiency, as well as to symbolize the new seats of power and authority. The most important early precedent was set in Paris by Napoleon III, who presided over a comprehensive program of urban redevelopment and monumental urban design. The work was carried out by Baron Georges-Eugene Haussmann between 1853 and 1870. Haussmann demolished large sections of old Paris to make way for broad, new, tree-lined avenues, with numerous public open spaces and monuments. In doing so, he made the city not only more efficient (wide boulevards meant better flows of traffic) and a better place to live (parks and gardens allowed more fresh air and sunlight in a crowded city and were held to be a civilizing influence) but also safer from revolutionary politics (wide boulevards were hard to barricade; monuments and statues helped to instill a sense of pride and identity).

4. The preferred architectural style for these new designs was the Beaux Arts style. In this school, architects were trained to draw on Classical, Renaissance, and Baroque styles, synthesizing them in designs for new buildings for the Industrial Age. The idea was that the new buildings would blend artfully with the older palaces, cathedrals, and civic buildings that dominated European city centers. Haussmann's ideas were widely influential and extensively copied.

5. Early in the twentieth century there emerged a different intellectual and artistic reaction to the pressures of industrialization and urbanization. This was the Modern movement, which was based on the idea that buildings and cities should be designed and run like machines. Equally important to the Modernists was that urban design should not simply reflect dominant social and cultural values but, rather, help to create a new moral and social order. The movement's best-known advocate was Le Corbusier, a Paris-based Swiss who provided the inspiration for technocratic urban design. Modernist buildings sought to dramatize technology, exploit industrial production techniques, and use modern materials and unembellished, functional design. Le Corbusier's ideal city featured linear clusters of high-density, medium-rise apartment blocks, elevated on stilts and segregated from industrial districts; high-rise tower office blocks; and transportation routesall separated by broad expanses of public open space.

6. After 1945 this concept of urban design became pervasive, part of what became known as the International Style: boxlike steel-frame buildings with concrete-and-glass facades. The International Style was avant-garde yet respectable and, above all, comparatively inexpensive to build. This tradition of urban design, more than anything else, has imposed a measure of uniformity on cities around the world.


1..In paragraph 1, why does the author mention that most Greek and Roman settlements were laid out on the grid system

A. To show how they resembled one another in terms of their layout

B. To support the claim that city planning had a long history in Europe

C. To help explain why cities of Renaissance and Baroque design were typically laid out in the form of a grid

D. To contrast the sophistication of Greek and Roman urban design with the simplicity of the urban design of the Renaissance and Baroque periods

2..The word regimes in the passage is closest in meaning to

A. cities

B. builders

C. governments

D. planners

3..According to paragraph 1, an important goal of Renaissance urban design was to

A. serve as an expression of the wealth and power of the ruling class

B. improve the classical forms of ancient Greek and Roman cities

C. show that the state rather than the church was the most powerful institution in a city

D. restore the religious and civic buildings of a city to their previous glory

4..Paragraph 2 supports the idea that important features typical of Renaissance urban design resulted from

A. Renaissance designers' improved understanding of geometry

B. the characteristics of new weaponry

C. an increased interest in highly productive gardens

D. the need to reduce the likelihood of fires

5..The phrase a surge of is closest in meaning to

A. a combination of

B. an altered approach to

C. a sudden increase in

D. a return to

6..Paragraph 3 mentions each of the following as an accomplishment of Haussmann's redevelopment of Paris EXCEPT

A. improving the flow of traffic

B. making it harder for revolutionaries to be effective

C. improving housing in large sections of old Paris

D. bringing more fresh air and sunlight into the city

7..The word synthesizing in the passage is closest in meaning to

A. combining

B. simplifying

C. using

D. copying

8..According to paragraph 4, what was an advantage of the Beaux Arts style

A. It was especially well suited for industrial buildings.

B. It fit in well with important older buildings in European cities.

C. It could be easily copied by builders everywhere.

D. It allowed new buildings to be constructed much more efficiently.

9..According to paragraph 5, Modernist urban design differed from previous urban design styles in that it

A. meant to contribute to a new moral and social order

B. was heavily influenced by the work of one urban planner

C. was a reaction to social and economic changes

D. was intended to make cities more beautiful

10..The word elevated in the passage is closest in meaning to

A. raised

B. imagined

C. separated

D. designed

11..Paragraph 5 supports the idea that Le Corbusier held which of the following views

A. Industrial production techniques should be used only for buildings in industrial districts.

B. Different types of activities that go on in a city should be kept physically separated from each other.

C. All the buildings in a city should be about the same height and of similar design.

D. Major transportation routes should be kept at a significant distance from cities.

12..According to paragraph 6, the International Style became widespread partly because

A. it was a style that combined many traditional national styles

B. it was a style that emerged independently in city after city

C. building in that style tended to produce uniform results

D. building in that style tended to cost less

13..Look at the four squares that indicate where the following sentence could be added to the passage.

This mechanical analogy was a significant departure from earlier attitudes that emphasized the civilizing influence of cities and their buildings.

Where would the sentence best fit Click on a square to add the sentence to the passage.

14..Drag your choices to the spaces where they belong. To review the passage, click on View Text.

Answer Choices

A. Beginning in fifteenth-century Italy, advances in weaponry led to the redesign of cities, and a new aesthetic of grand design inspired by classical art forms took hold.

B. The walls and open spaces typical of Renaissance urban design were re-discovered in the early twentieth century and became a major component of the Modern movement.

C. The social changes brought about by the transition to industrial capitalism placed new demands on urban planners that could only be met by adopting new design styles.

D. The redevelopment of Paris in the mid-1800s displayed a new idea of urban designto make cities orderly, efficient, and healthier and to positively reflect the new social and economic order.

E. The goal of Beaux Arts style architects was to replace the older palaces, cathedrals, and civic buildings that dominated European cities with modern buildings.

F. The twentieth-century International Style's boxlike steel, glass, and concrete buildings arose from the Modernist view that buildings and cities should be designed and run like machines.



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