City expansion

Merci !

Annales corrigées
Classe(s) : Tle ES - Tle L - Tle S | Thème(s) : L'idée de progrès
Type : Écrit LV1 | Année : 2016 | Académie : France métropolitaine




France métropolitaine • Juin 2016

Séries générales • LV1

City expansion

Document 1 Changing waters

Now, here it was, the last Saturday in March, and Eddie settled down with his rod. He’d left his studio in the dark, and it was hardly daybreak when he began to fish. On both sides of the Hudson the sky was struck with a hazy pink glow. He’d brought along night crawlers1 and crusts of bread in an old tin pail. Eddie avoided the Harlem River it was overcrowded and overfished, even more so than the Hudson, littered with oystering boats. Several bridges had recently been built across the waters, disturbing the marsh birds. He knew it wouldn’t be long before the countryside disappeared, as it had in Chelsea, where there was pavement everywhere.

Through the new leaves of the locust trees, Eddie spied Beck fishing farther down along the bank. An encounter with the old man appeared unavoidable, for the hermit gazed over and nodded. Eddie returned the greeting, considering how to best keep his distance. Beck was known to chase off intruders with a rifle, and there were those who said he vowed to kill any man who hunted the wildlife that was rapidly becoming rare, coyotes and fox and the huge, cantankerous2 wild turkeys. Past the area of Washington Heights was Hudson Heights, the highest altitude in Manhattan, at 265 feet above sea level. There was the pastoral village of Inwood, and although the subway ran this far, this section of north Man­hattan was still dotted with small farms, including a house once owned by the Audubon family. Eddie joined the hermit in his ­agitation over the constant building in Manhattan. Apartment buildings were rising everywhere.

Alice Hoffman, The Museum of Extraordinary Things, 2014.

1. night crawlers: worms.

2. cantankerous: bad-tempered.

Document 2 Mansions in the sky

By 1927, the commanding apartment buildings along Park ­Avenue were not just tall; they were immensely tall, true towers, the first skyscrapers built for permanent living. The tallest of them was the Ritz Tower, shooting up from the pavement at the corner of Fifty-seventh Street and Park Avenue. Built for blue-bloods1 and tycoons by Emery Roth, […] it opened in October 1926 and was one of the first residential buildings in New York constructed in sympathy with the city’s landmark zoning law2 of 1916.

Concerned about diminishing sunlight and fresh air in the canyonlike streets created by the closely massed skyscrapers of lower Manhattan, the city placed a limit on the maximum height and bulk of tall buildings. Height limits were based upon the width of the street a building faced; if a developer proposed to exceed the legal limit, the stories above it had to be set back, roughly one foot for each four feet of additional height. […]

Forced to work within the confines of the so-called zoning ­envelope, architects began constructing “set-back” skyscrapers, with sections of the buildings set back further and further as they rose from their bases into the island’s sky. “Wedding cake” architecture, some New Yorkers called it […].

The Ritz Tower […] was forty-one stories high. The tallest inhabited building in the world, it dominated the skyline of Midtown Manhattan as the Woolworth Building did that of lower Manhattan. Residents of its upper stories had unobstructed views in all directions for a distance of twenty-five miles on clear days, “panorama[s] unexcelled in all New York,” Emery Roth boasted.

It was a new way of living for the rich. They became sky ­dwellers, their “mansions in the clouds” higher than anyone had ever lived. In its architectural aspirations alone, the Ritz Tower expressed the shoot-for-the-moon spirit of the Jazz Age. Sculpted in rusticated limestone3, it rose from its base “like a telescope,” up through its set-back terraces to a square tower crowned by a ­glistening copper roof.

Donald L. Miller, Supreme City: How Jazz Age Manhattan Gave Birth to Modern America, 2014.

1. blue-bloods: aristocrats.

2. zoning law: loi d’urbanisation.

3. limestone: type of white stone.

Document 3 How green could New York City be?


© Terreform ONE 2014

(Architecture Group for Smart City Design, Ecological planning, and Art)


Document 1

1 In what city is the scene set? Justify with two elements from the text.

2 1. Who are the characters present?

2. What are they doing?

3 When does the scene take place? Copy out the correct answer and justify with two elements from the text.

a) At the beginning of the 20th century.

b) Nowadays.

c) In the 1980s.

4 1. Name three types of construction that Eddie has noticed in his city.

2. Explain in your own words two ways in which the new constructions have an impact on the landscape.

5 1. What are:

a) Eddie’s feelings about the changes in the landscape? Justify by quoting from the text.

b) Beck’s feelings about these changes? Justify by quoting from the text.

2. In your own words, compare and contrast how they react to the changes.

Seul(e)s les candidat(e)s de la série L option LVA traiteront la question 6.

6 What is the overall mood in the passage? Explain in your own words how this mood is conveyed to the reader and quote the text to justify (at least two ideas).

Document 2

7 Pick out information about the Ritz Tower:

1. Name of the architect.

2. Opening date.

3. Precise location. (At least two elements)

8 What shape did some buildings like the Ritz Tower have after ‘the zoning law of 1916’ (l. 8)?

a) angT_1606_07_01C_02

b) angT_1606_07_01C_03

c) angT_1606_07_01C_04

9 This type of architecture is compared to two objects in the text. Name them.

10 Pick out one quote to show why the zoning law of 1916 was voted.

11 1. What choices did architects face after the zoning law of 1916? Copy out the correct answers and justify with the text.

a) Limit the number of new buildings.

b) Limit the height of new buildings.

c) Adapt the shape of the buildings.

d) Create parks around new buildings.

2. What made the Ritz Tower exceptional at that time? Answer with a quote.

Les candidat(e)s des séries S, ES et L (sauf LVA) traiteront la question 12.

12 In your own words, give at least two reasons why rich people wanted to live in such buildings. Justify with quotes from the text.

Seul(e)s les candidat(e)s de la série L option LVA traiteront la question 13.

13 ‘The shoot-for-the-moon spirit’ (l. 30):

What does this phrase suggest about the 1920s and the attitude of people at that time? Explain and justify with elements from the text.

Document 3

14 What representation of New York City is given in the document? Justify with elements from the picture.

Seul(e)s les candidat(e)s de la série L option LVA traiteront la question 15.

15 Comment on the relationship between nature and urbanisation in the document.

The three documents

16 In your own words, compare and contrast the visions of progress given in the three documents.


Les candidat(e)s des séries S, ES et L traiteront le sujet 1 ou le sujet 2. (300 mots, +/- 10 %)

Les candidats de la série L option LVA traiteront les sujets 1 (200 mots, +/- 10 %) ainsi que le sujet 3. (250 mots, +/- 10 %)

1 Eddie finally decides to talk to Beck. Write their conversation about the future of Manhattan.

2 You are Emma/Phil Wilson, an environmental activist. A new holiday resort is going to be built in the middle of a nature reserve. You write an article for Green Living magazine to denounce the problems raised by these plans and to suggest a few solutions.

3 A group of architects is running a contest among students in architecture. You are Emma/Phil Wilson, one of these students. Write a speech in which you give your vision of the ideal city of the future, and try to convince the architects to build it.

Les clés du sujet

Document 1


Alice Hoffman (1952-) est une romancière américaine surtout connue pour ses ouvrages destinés aux enfants et aux adolescents. The Museum of Extraordinary Things (2014) raconte une histoire d’amour entre deux jeunes d’origine très différente à New York au début du xxe siècle.

Pour en savoir plus :

Résumé du texte

C’est la rencontre entre deux hommes, à l’époque où New York commence à se hérisser de gratte-ciel : Eddie qui pêche dans un des fleuves de la ville et un vieil ermite, Beck. Le narrateur souligne les changements qui ont lieu dans la ville.

Vocabulaire utile à la compréhension

To settle down (l. 1) : s’installer ; a (fishing) rod (l. 2) : une canne à pêche ; daybreak (l. 3) : le point du jour ; hazy (l. 4) : brumeux ; a glow (l. 4) : une lueur ; a crust (l. 5) : une croûte ; a pail (l. 5) : un seau ; to be littered with (l. 7) : être envahi par ; oystering boat (l. 7) : bateau ostréicole ; marsh (l. 8) : marais ; pavement (l. 10) : chaussée ; locust tree (l. 11) : acacia ; to spy (l. 11) : apercevoir ; bank (l. 12) : rive ; an encounter (l. 12) : une rencontre ; to vow (l. 16) : faire serment de ; wildlife (l. 17) : la flore et la faune ; to be dotted with (l. 22) : être parsemé de.

Document 2


Donald L. Miller (1944- ) est biographe, historien et enseigne actuellement à l’université de Lafayette, Pennsylvanie. Supreme City est l’histoire de la croissance et la transformation de Manhattan pendant les années 1920, et des hommes brillants qui ont permis cette évolution.

Pour en savoir plus :

Résumé du texte

L’extrait se focalise sur les premiers gratte-ciel  les « manoirs des cieux », sur les contraintes architecturales de leur construction, ainsi que la sociologie de leurs habitants.

Vocabulaire utile à la compréhension

Massed (l. 10) : regroupé ; the bulk (l. 11) : le volume ; to be set back (l. 14) : être reculé ou (ici) rétréci ; a story (l. 14) : ici, un étage ; to boast (l. 26) : se vanter ; a dweller (l. 28) : un habitant ; glistening (l. 32) : scintillant ; copper (l. 32) : cuivre.

Document 3


Terreform est une organisation à but non lucratif spécialisée dans l’urbanisation intelligente et la création des éco-quartiers.

Pour en savoir plus :

Les points de convergence

Les trois documents s’intéressent à l’urbanisation de la ville de Manhattan et à son évolution depuis le début du xxe siècle.

Le sujet d’expression 1

Pistes de recherche

Concentrez-vous sur la manière dont la ville a changé et comment ces changements pourraient toucher les deux hommes. Eddie doit être plus jeune que Beck : comment abordera-t-il le vieil homme, connu pour ses habitudes asociales ? Beck doit être nostalgique et inquiet face à l’avenir mais peut-être trouvera-t-il un peu de paix, en sachant qu’il n’est pas seul à s’interroger.

Vocabulaire utile

Wildlife (flore et faune) ; to reel in (mouliner) ; to spread (s’étendre) ; to sell off (brader) ; marshland (marécages) ; mark my words (croyez-moi).

Le sujet d’expression 2

Pistes de recherche

Pensez à diviser votre travail en plusieurs parties : expliquez la situation, dénoncez les problèmes liés à la situation et enfin, proposez quelques solutions. Vous écrivez pour un magazine dont les lecteurs sont déjà sensibilisés à l’environnement, donc vous n’avez pas à les convaincre. Inspirez-vous éventuellement du document 3 et de l’idée que la ville et l’environnement peuvent cohabiter, avec un peu de bon sens et d’investissement.

Vocabulaire utile

Endangered (menacé) ; sustainable energy (energies durables) ; to sort waste (trier les déchets) ; to raise awareness (sensibiliser) ; to live in ­harmony with nature (vivre en symbiose avec la nature).

Le sujet d’expression 3 (candidats LVA uniquement)

Pistes de recherche

Vous écrivez un discours, donc il faut maîtriser une certaine rhétorique oratoire. Vous avez un public bien ciblé qui vous écoute et que vous devez convaincre d’agir. Réfléchissez aux problèmes urbains de nos jours : la surpopulation, la pollution, les transports, et proposez des solutions pour chacun d’entre eux.

Vocabulaire utile

Overpopulation (surpopulation) ; accommodation (logement) ; to run out of (être à court de) ; a lack of (un manque de) ; to cater for (répondre aux besoins).

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