- hamlet /HAM-lit/
- petition /puh-TISH-uhn/
- burgeoning /BUR-juh-ning/
- steadfast /STED-fast/
- mighty mite /MAHY-tee mahyt/
[noun] – a small village
Despite its small population, the hamlet has a rich tradition.
[verb] – to make a formal request for something
The townspeople petitioned for new street lights.
[adjective] – growing or developing quickly
The city is flourishing with a burgeoning artists community.
[adjective] – resolutely or dutifully firm and unwavering
Although nervous, Anna remained steadfast during her ballet performance.
[noun, idiom] – something small but very strong or powerful
There’s a shop in our city that sells mighty mite fireworks.
Chamois is situated on the 1,815-meter elevation of Aosta Valley consisting of seven hamlets connected via trails and streets. Back then, the town was protected from highways and traffic due to its location on steep slopes. But during Italy’s economic boom in the 1960s, the villagers pondered if they wanted to embrace the automobile era. The result? Residents decided against it. A whopping 95% of Chamois’ population disagreed with the construction of a road that would connect them to the valley below. This does not mean they wish for total isolation, however. On the contrary, the residents wanted transportation to be quick and easy, so they petitioned for a cableway instead. Chamois would have its first easy connection to the burgeoning web of roads that unites Italy without the use of cars and risk of pollution. Despite its shrinking population (from 350 to 100 inhabitants) and neglecting modern transportation, the people remained steadfast to harness their modest home to test sustainability projects such as renewable energy systems.
In a town without cars or any vehicle commonly found in cities, life may be challenging, but Chamois did the seemingly impossible of isolating itself from modern society while making innovations. Never underestimate this mighty mite; after all, good things come in small packages.
- The transportation system may differ from place to place. What positive or negative transportation experiences have you had in a new location?
- What can be improved in your city’s transportation system?
- Would you visit Chamois? Why or why not?
- In your opinion, will Chamois become the leading town in the world to promote renewable energy systems?
- What are the benefits of being a carless town?