Model essay: Problem and solution

You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.

Write about the following topic:

People who live in large cities face a range of problems in their daily life.

What are the main problems people in cities face, and how can these problems be tacked?

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

Write at least 250 words.


These days, more of us are living in big cities, and urban conurbations are expanding all the time. Although cities are very attractive place to live, and they provide a wide range of work and leisure opportunities, there are also a host of significant social problems affecting cities. This essay will examine some of these problems in detail, and then propose some solutions.

One of the biggest problems facing people who live in cities is the high property prices. In many cities, buying a house near the centre is out of reach for people on the average salary, and they are forced to live outside the city and to commute into work. In central London, for instance, the cost of even a one-bedroom flat is prohibitive for many people. To solve this problem, the government could put more resources into building affordable housing, which would allow more people to buy their own home.

Another issue is traffic and air pollution. Most big cities are overrun with cars, and there is a great deal of traffic congestion. The exhaust fumes from these cars cause air pollution, and as a consequence, more and more people are suffering from respiratory diseases such as asthma. This problem could addressed by introducing a congestion charge for cars entering the city centre, thereby cutting the number of vehicles on the road.

Finally, another problem is the quality and cost of public transport. That is to say, in most capitals, public transport is inefficient and the infrastructure is old and inadequate. At the same time, ticket price are often too high, which puts people off using public transport. The way forward must be to invest more money in trains and buses, and to slash ticket prices. This would encourage more people to use public transport.

To sum up, although it is clear that cities face a range of problems, it is undoubtedly possible to start to tackle these issues, and improve the quality of life in cities. Governments and local councils must take the lead in dealing with these problems, otherwise city life will only get worse in the future.

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