You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.
Some cities create housing for their growing population by providing taller buildings. Other cities create housing by building on wider areas of land. Which solution is better?
Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.
Write at least 250 words.
It is true that national and local authorities have adopted different policies to meet the increasing housing needs of their populations. While some favour high-rise apartment blocks, others prefer to see their cities expand outwards. I would argue that the best solution is to allow cities to expand in a planned and organised way.
On the one hand, there are advantages and disadvantages of constructing tower blocks to provide housing in cities. A city may have little space to expand for geographical reasons such as a coastline, mountains or lakes, and therefore tall buildings are the only option if demand for more housing is to be satisfied. In addition, if more people live in tall apartment blocks, housing will be more affordable, as only a small area of land is required. However, the major drawback is that city districts with a large population housed in a small area suffer from overcrowding and noise. Thus, while the construction of apartment towers to provide more housing may sometimes be the only practical alternative, such districts may not always be pleasant to live in.
On the other hand, expansion of a city to provide more housing is probably a better solution. The major drawback is such expansion may not be environmentally friendly if it means habitat destruction and loss of wildlife when more land is needed for building. Despite this, the construction of houses in suburbs provides a much more pleasant, green and healthy environment for people. It may mean longer commuting times for people to reach their workplace, but cities like London and New York have met this challenge by expanding and upgrading public transport provision.
In conclusion, although both solutions have drawbacks, building on wider areas of land provides a better living space for people.
Vocabulary from government:
national and local authorities: government organisations acting at a national level or within a smaller, local area
Example: Tackling crime is a responsibility of both national and local authorities.
to adopt policies: to start to use particular policies
Example: In order to deal with traffic congestion, the government must adopt policies to restrict the use of private cars.
Vocabulary from the environment:
environmentally friendly: behavior or products that do not harm the environment
Example: We can help to protect the environment by using detergents and cosmetics that are environmentally friendly.
habitat destruction: the process that occurs when a natural habitat, like a forest or wetland, is changed so dramatically by humans that plants and animals which live there.
Example: The elephant population in the world is declining because of habitat destruction caused by human exploitation of the environment.
Vocabulary from transport:
commuting times: the time taken travelling to and from work
Example: Firms should introduce flexible working hours to cut the commuting times of employees.
to upgrade and expand public transport provision: to improve bus and train services and to make these services more available
Example: One way to reduce traffic on the roads is to upgrade and expand public transport provision.
high-rise apartment [noun]: an apartment building that is very tall, with a lot of floors
Example: A new high-rise apartment building has just been completed in my city, with 35 floors and over 200 apartments.
tower block [noun]: a tall, modern building with many apartments (or sometimes offices)
Example: I live in an apartment of the 15th floor of a tower block, and I have a spectacular view over the city.
affordable [adjective]: not expensive – people have enough money to buy it
Example: The city government is providing affordable child care if parents are ill during the corona virus pandemic.
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