Is the UK abandoning its cities? 英國人 「逃離」 大城市的原因

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如今,世界各地的大城市數不勝數。這個繁忙而密集的人口中心象徵人類幾千年來的文明。其實,城市的數量不僅僅與日俱增,人口數量也不斷增加,「巨型城市」 不斷湧現。在這一背景下,倫敦市內的總人口每年呈遞減的趨勢。這是為什麼?哪些人正在離開城市,而哪些人仍然被它的機會和活力所吸引?本集節目討論英國人離開大城市背後的原因。

Vocabulary: cities and population 詞彙: 城市和人口

We owe a lot to cities. These densely populated hubs of transit, industry and commerce brought together great swathes of the population. More than just living together for safety, cities allowed people to cooperate more easily and, as a result, develop more complex societies, science, and culture – things we continue to benefit from today. In 2016 the UN revealed that over 50% of the world’s population live in urban settlements. Of these cities, 31 are classified as megacities. A megacity is one where its inhabitants number more than 10 million. And globally this trend is expected to increase.

London is no exception. Unsurprisingly, as England’s capital city, London has a population of over 10 million – up by 1.1 million since 2008, according to one BBC article. This is a result of a higher birth rate than mortality rate, and an increase in international immigration. However, despite these rises, half a million more people have migrated away from this metropolis than have flocked to it. Why might this be?

It’s the result of age. Where members of all other age groups tend to depart more than they arrive, young people between the ages of 20 and 30 are drawn to the range and number of jobs that the city offers and the education opportunities that can be found there. This explains why London has one of the youngest average populations in the UK, just 37, according to the BBC.

And the rest of the country? From 2002 to 2015 municipalities such as Liverpool, Birmingham and Manchester saw a population growth of 181%, 163% and 149% respectively, according to figures from the Office for National Statistics. Young professionals looking for high-paying jobs are attracted to the opportunities provided by growth in sectors such as finance and law. This in turn causes the development of city amenities such as gyms, restaurants and bars, making it an even more attractive place to live.

So are people in the UK leaving cities? It depends on where you look. What does seem clear is that people’s views on the advantages of urban living may change as they get older. Where once was opportunity, now there may be hassle. Has your relationship with a city changed over time?

詞彙表

densely populated 人口密集的
hub 中心
transit 運輸
commerce 商務、商業
swathe 大片、大量的
society 社會
culture 文化
urban settlement 城市定居點
megacity (人口超過一千萬的)巨型城市
inhabitant 居民
capital 首都
population 人口
birth rate 出生率
mortality rate 死亡率
immigration 移民
migrate (大批)移居,遷移
metropolis 大都市
flock 蜂擁而至
municipality 市政當局

測驗與練習

1. 閱讀課文並回答問題。

1. Why have cities been useful to human development?

2. True or false? Worldwide, more people live in cities than out of them.

3. Why are young adults attracted to London?

4. How many more people have moved away from London than moved to it?

5. Which word in the text means ‘places that make living in towns or cities more comfortable or pleasant’?

2. 請在不參考課文的情況下完成下列練習。選擇一個意思合適的單詞填入句子的空格處。

1. As the situation stands, a great ______ of the population has been caught in the epidemic.

population             swathe            immigration        capital

2. Modern medicine has helped to lower the ______ to never before seen levels.

birth rate               mortality rate   capital                culture

3. The 50% off sale saw people ______ to the designer outlet store.

flock                      immigrate        emigrate            commute

4. The eastern district of the city is a ______ for culture, art and music.

hub                        capital             swathe              society

5. As resources became scarce, people and animals would ______ to other areas.

immigrant              emigrant          migrate              migrant

答案

1. 閱讀課文並回答問題。

1. Why have cities been useful to human development?
Cities have allowed people to cooperate more easily and, as a result, develop more complex societies, science, and culture.

2. True or false? Worldwide, more people live in cities than out of them.
True. In 2016 the UN revealed that over 50% of the world’s population live in urban settlements.

3. Why are young adults attracted to London?
Young people between the ages of 20 and 30 are drawn to the range and number of jobs that the city offers and the education opportunities that can be found there.

4. How many more people have moved away from London than moved to it?
Half a million more people have migrated away from London than have moved to it.

5. Which word in the text means ‘place that makes living in towns or cities more comfortable or pleasant’?
Amenity. (This in turn causes the development of city amenities such as gyms, restaurants and bars, making it an even more attractive a place to live.)

2. 請在不參考課文的情況下完成下列練習。選擇一個意思合適的單詞填入句子的空格處。

1. As the situation stands, a great swathe of the population has been caught in the epidemic.

2. Modern medicine has helped to lower the mortality rate to never before seen levels.

3. The low cost sale saw people flock to the designer outlet store.

4. The eastern district of the city is a hub for culture, art and music.

5. As resources became scarce, people and animals would migrate to other areas.