M: You know in designing this new town, we try to look backward at small town in America, and take the best of those planning elements. Houses close together, sidewalks from the porches, tree-lined streets, easy non-automobile-dependent access to the town center and to your neighbors and to the school and the other institutions that are vital. And we’ve tried to take some of those ideas and update them and come out with a livable, workable place where people can go and re-kindle the sense of community that seems to be missing from suburbs all across the country.
W: So give us a sense of how these new towns are designed.
M: Houses are all very close together. We were just 10 feet apart from our neighbors on either side of us. And that’s pretty much the standard for the town. So, you have houses that are close together, houses that surround open areas. They have a lot of big parks, a lot of common areas. The theory is that you are willing to sacrificial private yards base. You don’t need a quarter of an acre or half an acre. If you have a public area where you can go and enjoy the facilities there. And, most importantly, you can interact with your neighbors. That helps to create the sense of community. That’s so important to many of these new town developments.
W: Now I see this whole sense of community. It’s going to be a new town, but we are going to do it with the sense of nostalgia for the past, like, a lot of the houses had porches.
M: yes, it would create a front-porch culture, that people would be out on their porches, talking to their neighbors next door, and to people walking down the street, or people riding their bikes. And that would be this culture that existed 40, 50 or 60 years ago. But that really has been one of the failures that we observed during our 2 years in this new town. And the people don’t spend very much time at all on their front porches. There are a couple of things going on. One is this central Florida and it’s hotter than hell a god part of the year. And sitting on your front porch, even if you have a fun going, can be a very uncomfortable thing. People prefer to be inside in the air-conditioning.
W: What were some of the rules you had to live by in the new project? And did any of these rules bother you?
M: well, the developer and I have different feelings about rules. His feeling is, if I can summarize these feelings for him, that you move in then knowing the rules, and if you don’t like them, you shouldn’t move in. I have some problems with rules. I just sometimes like to break them. And They just bother me because of their inexistence. But the rules sometimes were silly and sometimes weren’t. They dictated what color your curtains could be facing this street, and actually asked a woman with red curtains to remove them.
W: really? Is that true?
M: And they dictated where you could park your car and for how long. They dictated any sort of thing you could attach to your house. You couldn’t attach a satellite dish to your house, they dictated forever the color of your house. And they dictate how often you have to repaint your house. They try to go a step further and remove plastic flowers and plastic furniture from that all important front porches. Some rules seem to go a little too far.
Q 1 What are the two speakers talking about?
Q2 There are several planning elements for recreating a sense of community. Which of the following is not one of these elements?
Q3 According to the conversation, what can we learn about the so-called front porch culture?
Q4 Which of the following is not one of the rules that the residents have to live by?
Q5 What does the man think of these rules according to the conversation?