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Modern buildings are changing the character and appearance of towns and cities..-Band 9 Sample Essay

Updated: Mar 12

You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.


Write about the following topic:


In many countries, modern buildings are changing the character and appearance of towns and cities. Some people believe that countries should protect their cultural identity by insisting that all new buildings are built in a traditional style.

To what extend 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.


IELTS Band 9 Sample Essay - In many countries, modern buildings are changing the character and appearance of towns and cities. Some people believe that countries should protect their cultural identity by insisting that all new buildings are built in a traditional style.

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Sample Essay 1

The global landscape of urban development is increasingly marred by the proliferation of modern architectures, significantly altering the traditional charm and character of cities and towns. This phenomenon has sparked a debate on whether nations should mandate the construction of new edifices to mirror historic styles, thus preserving their cultural identity. I contend that while safeguarding cultural heritage is vital, flexibility in architectural design must be maintained to accommodate modern necessities and innovation.


The argument for insisting on traditional architectural styles stems from the desire to maintain a tangible connection to history and cultural roots. Historical buildings are not merely structures; they are repositories of stories, traditions, and the collective memory of a place. For instance, the gothic cathedrals of Europe or the traditional Hanoks of South Korea serve as both tourist attractions and symbols of national identity. By integrating traditional designs in new constructions, countries can ensure that the rapid urban expansion does not erode the unique cultural landscapes that define them.


However, the rigid enforcement of traditional architectural styles overlooks the practical benefits and necessities of modern construction technologies and design philosophies. Contemporary architecture, characterized by energy efficiency, sustainability, and the capacity to meet the growing demands of urbanization, plays a crucial role in addressing current global challenges. For example, the innovative use of materials and smart designs in modern buildings can significantly reduce carbon footprints, supporting environmental sustainability goals. Moreover, the evolution of architecture reflects societal progress and innovation, suggesting that a balance should be struck between honoring the past and embracing the future.


In conclusion, while the preservation of cultural identity through architecture is commendable, it is imperative to foster an environment where traditional and modern designs can coexist. Countries should encourage the incorporation of traditional elements into new buildings where feasible, but not at the expense of innovation and functionality. This balanced approach not only honors heritage but also ensures that urban landscapes are equipped to meet the challenges and needs of the future.


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Sample Essay 2

The evolving architectural landscape of towns and cities worldwide sparks a heated debate over the preservation of cultural identity through traditional building styles. Proponents argue for a stringent adherence to historical aesthetics to safeguard cultural heritage, suggesting a balance between modernity and tradition is crucial. This essay contends that while modern architecture symbolizes progress, incorporating traditional elements is essential for maintaining a unique cultural identity.


Modern architecture, characterized by its innovative use of materials and minimalist design, reflects the dynamic progress of society. Its ability to adapt to contemporary needs—such as sustainability and efficiency—demonstrates its relevance in today's fast-paced world. For instance, the integration of green technologies in new constructions not only addresses environmental concerns but also promotes a forward-thinking ethos. However, this modernization often comes at the expense of local architectural identity, leading to a homogenized global skyline that diminishes cultural distinctiveness.


Conversely, traditional architecture acts as a vessel of history, encapsulating the values, customs, and aesthetics of a culture. Its preservation through new constructions fosters a sense of continuity and belonging among the community. For example, the incorporation of traditional motifs and construction techniques in new buildings can create a harmonious blend that respects heritage while meeting modern standards. Such practices ensure that the architectural landscape serves as a living museum, offering both residents and visitors a tangible connection to the past.


In conclusion, the debate over the architectural direction of urban development underscores a broader conversation about cultural preservation in the face of globalization. While the allure of modernity and efficiency is undeniable, it is imperative to weave the threads of tradition into the fabric of our cities. By striking a thoughtful balance, we can foster environments that are not only functional but also rich in cultural significance, ensuring that our urban landscapes remain as diverse and vibrant as the societies they house.

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Sample Essay 3

It is true that in some nations, construction designed with modern style is leading to changes in the characteristic and outlook of towns and urban conurbations. Many people argue that the governments ought to preserve their cultural value by requesting all new buildings to be constructed in a traditional architecture. Personally, I strongly agree with this school of thought because this is the most effective measure to attract international visitors and protect the destination countries’ cultural identity simultaneously.


Buildings and architectures that represent a nation’s culture and heritage attract more international tourists than that of the modern establishments. This is because these days, the majority of visitors are interested in broadening their horizons about foreign architectures. In turn, the authorities can take this advantage to turn all new construction designed with an old style into tourist attractions to appeal a host of tourists. For example, Hoi An is an ancient town where new buildings are built in a traditional architecture. This famous destination has attracted millions of travellers per year, contributing to the development of tourism in Vietnam.


However, experiencing too many foreign visitors might cause a threat to a nation’s identity and culture, hence architectural establishments that showcase the country’s individuality can save it from the possible erosion. This can be explained by the fact that traditional architecture is the characteristic which makes a nation distinct from foreign ones. Therefore, the preservation of this cultural value is essential to make sure that it can be passed on to the later generations, making contributions to conserving the cultural identity of a country.


In conclusion, I am in total agreement with the idea that the governments should request all new buildings to be built in a modern architecture since it will be beneficial to the tourism industry and diminishing the risk of losing the cultural value.


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