IELTS Writing Task 2 : Horizontal and Vertical Cities (Real Exam/Test)

This is an IELTS writing task 2 sample answer essay on the topic of living in vertical or horizontal cities from the real IELTS exam.

IELTS Writing Task 2 : Horizontal and Vertical Cities

Some cities create housing for growing populations by building taller buildings while other cities have opted to build on wider areas of land.

Which solution is better?

Sample Answer:

Many cities today are expanding upwards to accommodate surging urban populations. In my opinion, this can help preserve nearby land for other uses and is a better solution than encouraging urban sprawl.

Some would argue that tall cities present challenges for inhabitants and a spread-out city offers better quality of lifeCondensed urban areas with lots of tall apartment blocks, like in New York City or Shanghai, are famously difficult to live in due to the effects of overcrowding on sanitationsafety, and traffic conditions. In contrast, decentralised cities like Los Angeles and Nashville allow for the development of unique individual neighborhoods, more space for residential construction and a reduction of the urban issues listed above. Individuals living in these cities often report greater feelings of satisfaction and many ‘transplants‘ move to such cities because of the better living standards.

However, those in favour of taller buildings can logically point out the resultant benefits for the area around a city. It is often hard to check the growth of economically important cities and that can lead to massive urban sprawl, as is in the case around Mexico City and Tokyo. By building more skyscrapers, the surrounding area can be preserved or used in another way. Pristine natural lands can be designated as national parks. If the city requires more food to feed its population, there could be proximately located farms with fast delivery times. This surplus land could also be turned into quiet suburban towns to give residents the choice of raising a family outside the city and still earning a good wage and having easy access to the cultural benefits of large metropolises.

In conclusion, horizontal cities facilitate some positive living conditions but taller cities make more sense in the modern world. It is, nonetheless, important to strike a balance and mitigate the issues caused by growing urban populations with quality infrastructure.

Vocabulary – Meaning

  • expanding upwards growing taller
  • accommodate surging urban populations increasing number of people living in cities
  • preserve nearby land keep land around cities safe
  • other uses can be utilised for other purposes
  • encouraging urban sprawl advocating for spread-out, large cities
  • argue believe
  • present challenges make it difficult
  • spread-out city city taking up lots of area
  • better quality of life higher standard of living
  • condensed urban areas smaller cities with lots of people
  • apartment blocks residential buildings
  • famously difficult notoriously hard
  • overcrowding too many people
  • sanitation cleanliness
  • safety how dangerous/safe a place is, crime
  • traffic conditions how busy the streets are
  • decentralised cities spread-out cities
  • unique individual neighborhoods disctinctive districts in a city
  • residential construction houses, condos, apartments
  • reduction less of
  • report say they have
  • satisfaction feeling happy with
  • transplants people who move to a new city to live
  • better living standards better quality of life
  • logically point out rationally argue
  • resultant benefits advantages that come as a result
  • check control
  • skyscrapers very tall buildings
  • preserved kept safe
  • pristine natural lands beautiful scenery
  • designated set aside for
  • national parks parks owned by the government
  • proximately located farms nearby farms
  • fast delivery times can get their goods more quickly
  • surplus land extra land/space
  • quiet suburban towns small, calm suburbs
  • raising a family having a family life
  • earning a good wage get good money
  • easy access no problem getting to
  • cultural benefits museums, music, libraries, etc.
  • metropolises big cities
  • facilitate make easier
  • living conditions how people live in a city
  • make more sense in the modern world more logical for the way things are now
  • nonetheless regardless
  • strike a balance be moderate
  • mitigate lessen, control
  • growing urban populations more and more people living in cities
  • quality infrastructure good buildings, streets, plumbing, etc.

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