IELTS Writing task 2: Horizontal and vertical cities

Writing task 2 
You should spend 40 minutes on this task.
Write about the following topic:
Some people believe that it is better to live and work in vertical cities. Others, however, think that horizontal cities are better for living and working.
Discuss both views and give your own opinion.
Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant example from your own knowledge or experience.
Write at least 250 words.

Sample Answer


With industrialization came urbanisation meaning the formation and development of Metropolitan cities.   These mega cities tended to grow at rapid paces, sometimes vertically and sometimes horizontally. Depending on the authorities and the level of development at the time, there developed vast differences between the two.

The first type of city, the horizontal city, was usually found under rich and liberal governments housing individual cottages with wide lanes and private gardens. Today these cities, also referred to as garden cities, are spread out on a vast area of land usually in sparsely populated expanses.  Living and working in such a city would definitely be a pleasure, although the real estate prices in such locations tend to be unusually high. The drawbacks would mainly be regarding the area of natural habitation which constantly needs to be cleared in order to maintain the pace of development.

The other type of city that is the vertical city is more commonplace nowadays. The origin of most of these cities was due to the unfettered growth of population and lack of land for further development, which forced people to move skyward. Here, work is easily available and property prices tend to be much more affordable as compared to the horizontal cities. Although the main problems with these cities include sound nuisance, garbage management, water shortages and a host of other problems, land is not an issue. These urban spaces not only offer modern and sustainable living but also provide room for corporate development.

To give my opinion as a summary, I would state that looking at today’s advancements and weighing the pros and cons of both lifestyle choices, horizontal cities sound very appealing but are not likely to last for very long.  In contrast, vertical cities are by far more economical and sustainable. I believe that vertical cities are the way forward.

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