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Many major cities are facing a housing crisis as they cannot provide enough land..(Band 9 Essay)

Updated: Mar 11

You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.


Write about the following topic:


Many major cities are facing a housing crisis as they cannot provide enough land for new buildings. Some local governments believe the problem could be solved by reassigning park land for residential development, because this land would be better used for housing.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?


Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge and experiences.


You should write at least 250 words.


Task 2 Band 9 Essay Sample - Many major cities are facing a housing crisis as they cannot provide enough land for new buildings. Some local governments believe the problem could be solved by reassigning park land for residential development, because this land would be better used for housing.

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Sample Essay 1

In numerous metropolitan areas worldwide, the challenge of insufficient housing has reached critical levels, compelling local authorities to contemplate unconventional solutions. Among these, the proposal to repurpose parkland for residential development has emerged, underpinned by the argument that the pressing need for housing outweighs the benefits of urban green spaces. This essay argues that while the housing crisis demands innovative responses, the sacrifice of parkland for residential development is a short-sighted solution that neglects the multifaceted value of urban green spaces.


Urban parks serve as crucial lungs for cities, not only purifying the air but also providing residents with essential recreational spaces that enhance physical and mental well-being. Moreover, these green areas act as social hubs, fostering community cohesion and offering a sanctuary from the urban sprawl. The proposition to convert such spaces into housing overlooks these benefits, potentially exacerbating urban heat island effects and diminishing the quality of city life. While the need for additional housing is undeniable, solutions should prioritize sustainability and long-term urban health.


On the other hand, the housing crisis necessitates exploring a spectrum of alternatives, including vertical living solutions and the revitalization of underutilized buildings. Cities like Tokyo and Singapore have demonstrated that high-density residential areas, when well-planned, can offer viable living spaces without encroaching on precious green areas. Moreover, adaptive reuse of existing structures can provide immediate relief to housing shortages while preserving urban character and history. These strategies suggest that a balanced approach, which accommodates growth without sacrificing green spaces, is possible and desirable.


In conclusion, the debate over converting parkland into residential development highlights the critical need for sustainable urban planning in addressing housing shortages. While the urgency of the housing crisis cannot be understated, the solution should not come at the expense of the environmental and social benefits provided by urban green spaces. A forward-thinking strategy that embraces high-density living and adaptive reuse, while preserving green areas, offers a more holistic and sustainable path forward for our cities.


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Sample Essay 2

In major cities around the globe, the growing housing crisis calls for creative solutions. Local governments are considering turning parklands into housing to address this shortage. However, this essay argues that converting green spaces into residential areas may overlook the critical benefits of parks and the potential for more sustainable alternatives.


The advocacy for transforming parks into residential areas stems from a pragmatic viewpoint: the immediate availability of land could indeed offer a short-term alleviation of housing scarcities. For instance, densely populated cities like Hong Kong and New York face significant challenges in finding space for new construction without encroaching on existing urban greenery. However, this approach fails to consider the long-term ecological and psychological repercussions. Parks serve as vital lungs for cities, enhancing air quality, supporting biodiversity, and providing residents with crucial recreational spaces. The loss of these areas could exacerbate urban heat islands, diminish mental health, and erode community bonds.


Furthermore, sustainable urban planning offers alternative avenues to resolve housing crises without sacrificing green spaces. Techniques such as building vertical gardens, promoting mixed-use developments, and renovating underutilized buildings can significantly increase housing availability. For example, Singapore's integration of rooftop gardens and vertical farming within residential complexes demonstrates a harmonious balance between urban density and green living. These strategies not only preserve essential green spaces but also foster innovative architectural designs that can accommodate urban expansion.


In conclusion, converting parks to housing might offer a quick fix to the housing crisis but overlooks the vital role of urban green spaces and the possibilities for sustainable development. It's crucial to find innovative housing solutions that preserve the benefits of urban parks for the well-being of residents and the environment.


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Sample Essay 3

Many local officials believe that to meet the growing demand of housing capacity is to reassign the local parks to control the shortage of residential lands in capital cities. I strongly disagree with this statement because removing city parks could cause a wide range of health problems for the city dwellers.


Parks in the cities are predominantly used for enjoying leisure, open air recreations and other activities that involve physical exercises. People from all walks of life get deprived of these fundamental benefits if these areas are occupied by housing establishments. Furthermore, when children lose the access to open sky facilities, they tend to get addicted to video games and other sedentary entertainment, which eventually breed obesity, type 2 diabetes, and other chronic health problems as they grow up. Numerous studies suggest that there is an obvious negative correlation between urban recreation facilities and teen crime rates. Young people are prone to get involved in drug addiction and other petty crimes while they are pushed away from fresh open-air environment.


In addition, it is evident that most major cities suffer from extreme air pollution, as they are flooded with traffic emitting huge volume of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Parks usually contain varieties of trees that inhale the toxic gas and exhale fresh oxygen for us, this incredible mechanism keeps the city air clean. That means, if the parks give way to buildings, people might get more residential spaces, but it would come at the serious cost of environment which eventually has a far-reaching consequence, because breathing in polluted air could cause respiratory diseases such as chronic bronchial asthma leading up to fatal lungs cancer.


To sum up, exploiting parks for residential expansion will deprive city dwellers from their basic needs like leisure in fresh air and entertainment, which may result in developing deadly diseases over the time. Thus, reassigning park land for residential improvement is never a viable solution.


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