US is No.1 in Infrastructure and Building Projects

August 6, 2012

Unlocking Word Meanings
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

1. innovation (n.)
[in-uh-vey-shuhn] – something new or different that has never been created before
Example: The mobile phone is one of the most important innovations in the 20th century.

2. repercussion (n.) [ree-per-kuhsh-uhn, rep-er-] – an indirect effect that may last for a long time
Example: The advancement of technology has positive and negative repercussions on future generations.

3. urbanization (n.) [ur-buh-nuh-zey-shuhn] – changing and developing a place to be more like a city
ExampleBuilding a good transportation system is required for urbanization.

4. eco-friendly (adj.) [ek-oh frend-lee] – not harmful to the environment
Example: The supermarket encourages people to bring eco-friendly bags for grocery shopping.

5. greenhouse gas (n.) [green-hous gas] – gas that contributes to the “greenhouse effect” or to the warming of the Earth’s atmosphere
Example: Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas released by cars.

Read the text below.

The US is the top country in the world with regard to infrastructures and building innovations, according to a list created by the professional service group KPMG.

The list, titled ‘The Infrastructure 100: World Cities Edition,” includes fourteen US projects, twenty projects from Asia-Pacific countries and seven from the UK.

In selecting the infrastructures for the list, KPMG considered each project’s chance of success, social repercussions, technical advancements, innovation and finances.

The restructured World Trade Center in the US and Singapore’s Gardens by The Bay were the top entries in the “Designed For Living” category. They were chosen because of their goal to rebuild peaceful living spaces on what were disorderly places.

With urbanization quickly happening worldwide, new living space is in high demand. Nick Chism of KPMG adds that today’s buildings and infrastructures really need innovation to support the fast growing number of people moving to cities.

Meanwhile, David O’Brien of KPMG’s Center of Excellence for Cities stressed that infrastructure should not only be practical, but environment-friendly as well.

KPMG has also listed some Asian projects in the Top 100 that combine innovation and eco-friendly quality. Among the projects are the Tianjin Eco-city in Northern China and Fujisawa Smart Town in Japan.

The Tianjin Eco-city, with a planned solar energy zone, hopes to offer a different choice from the polluted big cities in China.

The Fujisawa Smart Town, on the other hand, will have 1000 eco-friendly homes that are largely solar-powered. The town’s power strategy is also expected to produce 70% less greenhouse gases than a regular Japanese town.

Viewpoint Discussion
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor. 

Discussion A

·         Do you believe your country’s towns or cities are well-designed? Please explain your answer.
·         How can buildings and infrastructures be used to protect the environment?
Discussion B

·         Why do you think many people move from rural areas to cities?
·         What are some positive effects of developing more cities? What are the negative effects?

August 6, 2012