Academic Writing - Model Answer (Task 2)

In many major cities of the world you will find large public buildings, both new and old. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of such buildings.

How important is it for a country to construct impressive public buildings when houses are what is really required?

Cities around the world are recognised by a host of buildings, for example, the Eiffel Tower in Paris, the Oriental Pearl Building in Shanghai and the Petronas towers in Malaysia. These public buildings tell the history of the city and are a tribute to the architects who designed them.

Public buildings draw in tourists and revenue for a country and are used to advertise a city by being placed on posters, postcards, souvenirs etc. Another benefit of public buildings is that it gives architects a forum to express themselves and the buildings say something about the culture of a country, building style or materials used.

On the other hand, many of these public buildings serve no useful purpose for the general public, apart from acting as an attraction. They take up a lot of valuable space, often in city centres, cost millions to build, maintain and renovate. This prime real estate could be used to accommodate people and build apartment blocks. Although this is not aesthetically pleasing, it would solve the housing shortage.

Undoubtedly major attractions like the Taj Mahal that have been around for hundreds of years should remain as they are. However, housing a city's population would be a better option than to spend taxpayers money on the construction of new public buildings.
Question taken from Step Up to IELTS Self-Study Student’s Book p.91
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