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  • Writer's pictureNick Kemp

Task 2 Essay: Old vs New Buildings

Question: In many cities there is a lack of space to develop and as a result, in order to modernise, old buildings are demolished and replaced with new buildings. What are the disadvantages of knocking down old buildings? Do the advantages outweigh the disadvantages?

Band 8+ Sample Answer:

(Intro) In many urban areas of the world, overpopulation is causing a shortage of land. Therefore it has become the norm to tear down old buildings to make room for new ones. Although the advantages are clear in terms of improved living conditions and better use of space, the loss of cultural heritage means that in some cases, the drawbacks outweigh these advantages.

(Body 1) The main drawback of demolishing old buildings is the loss of historical and architectural heritage. Many old buildings in cities possess historical significance, especially for local residents. As such they serve as a reminder to contemporary society of how a city came into existence and of important historical events. These iconic buildings give a place its own unique architectural style. Notable examples include the Eiffel Tower or Buckingham Palace. If cities were just full of skyscrapers, places would become ubiquitous, and living or working in, or even visiting these areas would be less attractive. The destruction of these old structures could therefore lead to lower house prices and a drop in tourism-related income for these neighbourhoods.

(Body 2) Despite these concerns, it’s obvious that replacing old buildings with new ones will lead to improved conditions and savings in terms of space and money. Many old buildings are not historically important and are in need of significant and costly restoration. Therefore it makes sense to demolish them and construct innovative high-rise buildings, which will increase the available space for businesses and accommodation and have lower running costs. A good example is modern apartment buildings in large developing cities such as Hanoi, which have replaced old two storey houses and warehouses.

(Conclusion) In conclusion, although it is important to preserve architecturally and historically important buildings, generally speaking, it is better to replace damaged and costly old buildings with modern, cheaper alternatives. However governments should be encouraged to consider the views of local residents when demolishing old building and modernising neighbourhoods. (317 words).

Words: Nick Kemp, former IELTS examiner.

Image: Free-Photos / Pixabay.


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