January 17

How to Talk About the Future of Cities in C1 Speaking

How might cities change in ten years’ time? If you want to get some good ideas to talk about this topic, keep listening!

Hello, this is Kristian from Cambridge Advanced Speaking, how are you doing? I hope you’re ready to learn some useful English with me today. 

If you didn’t know, I run the website Get Ready For Success, where you can find the audiofiles, videoclips and lesson notes for all the podcast episodes.

I create and share these learning materials, because I want to help you speak better English and get a high mark in your C1 Speaking Exam.

In this lesson about cities, you will learn vocabulary and phrases to help you speak confidently on this topic.

First, we will look at positive and negative points of cities. Next, I will answer an interesting question. Finally, I’ll explain what you should and shouldn’t do with this model answer.

Okay, let’s start with the first part of this episode: positive and negative points about cities.

Positive Points

  • Picturesque / historic / elegant / magnificent / imposing buildings
  • A wide array of stores and restaurants
  • Lively bars and fashionable clubs
  • Cultural centres with museums, theatres and art galleries
  • High rise buildings surrounded by green parks and public gardens
  • A well-developed public transport network
  • Residential areas with tree-lined avenues and leafy streets

Example sentences:

Urban regeneration schemes will create residential areas with tree-lined avenues and leafy streets.
The restoration of derelict buildings and tree-planting schemes will have a positive impact on urban living.


Negative Points

  • Deserted areas (no one on the street at night)
  • Filthy streets (very dirty)
  • Run-down or derelict buildings (in a very bad condition) 
  • Urban wasteland (in bad condition and often empty)
  • No-go areas (with the high crime)
  • Deprived areas (without necessary things, e.g. enough money, good living conditions)

Example sentences:

Bumper-to-bumper traffic and lots of exhaust fumes make cities an unpleasant place to live in.
The ever-increasing volume of traffic has resulted in an incessant roar of cars, trucks and buses.
Overpriced real estate / housing is a massive problem that city councils need to address immediately.


Model Answer

How do you think cities will change this decade?

Hmm, that’s an intriguing question. Well, I’m inclined to think that cities will change for the better. One example that springs to mind right now is the improvement of transport systems.
For starters, I believe there will be a jump in electric vehicle sales in the upcoming years. This means there will be a dramatic decrease of exhaust fumes, and as a result the city will be a more desirable place to live in.
What’s more, I am convinced that reliable and affordable public transport – together with the increase in the number of residential homes in inner cities – will reduce car ownership. This will ease the problem of congested roads.
So, by and large, I think that urban living will improve this decade.


A Warning

Don’t learn this model answer by heart. Don’t memorise sentences. Never recite. Here’s why:

  1. This is my opinion; my sentence stress; my intonation. You will sound weird and unnatural if you’re going to copy this answer.
  2. There is absolutely no guarantee this question will come up in your exam. On the contrary.

Here’s what you should do instead:

  1. Notice the language I use: connectors, collocations, phrasal verbs, grammatical structures. ( = chunks of language)
  2. Notice the structure of the answer: opinion, reason, example, consequence conclusion. (= KISS system)
  3. Memorise the chunk: the connector, the collocation or the clause.
  4. Build your own answer with the language you’ve learnt.

You know what? It might be a good idea to make a separate episode on how to use the model answers that I share in my podcast. Yes, I’ll do that in the near future. I’ll give you one or two clear examples of how I think you should use my model answers. Good idea? Let me know in the comments on my website or YouTube.

Closing Notes

That’s it! Loads of vocabulary and idioms to help you talk about the future of cities in English and with confidence.

I hope you enjoyed this episode! If you did, please share it with someone who could benefit from it.

If you have any questions about this lesson, or any feedback, anything you would like me to add or clarify, then do get in touch with me. You can email me at: kristian@getreadyforsuccess.com – I’d love to hear from you.

In the meantime, go and check out my website, Get Ready For Success. If you’re preparing for Cambridge C1, it’s a great place, full of interesting stuff.

All right, that’s all from me. Take care of yourself, and each other.

Speak soon, my friends.

About the Author

As a Dutch proficient speaker of English, Kristian not only holds a grade A Cambridge C2 certificate but is also CELTA qualified. His five years of experience as a teacher and ESL exam coach, specialising in Cambridge English C1, C2, and IELTS, has equipped him with a unique blend of skills to guide and support your English learning journey.

  • I love this topic 😍. I would like to suggest a future topic… green energy or energy transition 🤔. Both of them are quite interesting and popular nowadays, so they could easily come up during the exam. Anyway, thank you for this video podcast. I find your slides extremely useful to help me learn them for my C1 Exam. Keep it up! 🙌🏻

  • Hello Kristian ! This podcast is very interesting and useful as usual. Indeed I think it would be a great idea to release an episode on how to use your model answers. In the meantime, take care of yourself and I’m looking forward to hearing your next episods ! Alexandra

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