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Cities are growing relentlessly. Why, and what are the consequences?
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April 19, 2012
8:34 pm
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Urban sprawl has become a popular trend in many countries in recent years. While this trend can bring several benefits for the local residents, the negative effect of it on the rural areas cannot be ignored. This essay will discuss about the reasons behind urban sprawl and its possible effects on the local community.

One contributing factor of urban sprawl is perhaps the population growth. The room in the city is so limited that it fails to accommodate the ever-growing population. As a result, more infrastructures need to be constructed in the suburbs in order to improve the living standards of the local residents.  In addition, people are now having a growing appetite for lower-intense housing with a larger open space. Consequently, real estate market has its focus now on the outskirt of the city, but not on the centre.

There are both positive and negative effects of urban sprawl on the local community. On the one hand, urbanization can reduce transportation. Since more infrastructures in the suburban areas, people can now utilize the resource without travelling far away. This can reduce traffic jams near the city centre. On the other hand, construction of new infrastructures in the countryside may pollute the local environment. For example, the dust from the construction site may fell into the nearby rivers or lakes, though damaging the natural habitat of several species. Therefore, the environmental impact assessment should be conducted before beginning any construction works.

All in all, it can be concluded that population growth and better living standards are the primary causes of urban sprawl. Although it makes a great contribution to reduce traffic congestion in the city, the environmental issues should always be considered when building new infrastructures.

April 21, 2012
1:02 pm
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Hi Tommy and thanks for this essay!

Urban sprawl has become a popular trend in many countries in recent years. While this trend can bring several benefits for the local residents, the negative effect of it on the rural areas cannot be ignored. This essay will discuss about the reasons behind urban sprawl and its possible effects on the local community.

Reading this intro, I had a sneaking suspicion that you were not really sure what urban sprawl is! You do mention rural areas and residents, but it’s still not exactly clear that you have understood the topic completely. By the time you got to the second para it became clear you did know, but why wait?

Maybe the problem is word choice.

Word choice

Urban sprawl has become a popular trend in many countries in recent years.

Hmmm. This intro could be used for millions of essays. Just replace ‘urban sprawl’ with ‘bungee jumping,’ ‘air guitar,’ ‘sushi’ ‘K-pop’, ‘Botox,’ or ‘Breeding Chihuahuas.’ See? Millions of instant essays.

Let’s rewrite the sentence to make it specific, and to show the examiner that we understand urban sprawl is a BAD thing. Maybe a definition or a background/situation opening will work:

Cities are expanding at an ever increasing rate. Vast areas of land are being cleared for housing developments, apartments, and roads. This rapid urbanization causes many problems, including pressure on infrastructure, poor quality housing, and a growing shortage of agricultural land.

Infrastructure: always singular - never infrastructures

Organization

In the body of your essay, Paragraph One is about causes. It would be better to have a topic sentence which introduces ALL the causes, not just one ('population growth'). Here’s one possible topic sentence:

There are many reasons for the outward expansion of cities

Paragraph  Two is about positive and negative effects.  Here, you already have a topic sentence. Good.

Word Choice

People are now having a growing appetite for lower-intense housing with a larger open space.

People have a growing appetite for lower density housing with more open space.

Your opening sentence in Para 2 is:

One contributing factor of urban sprawl is perhaps the population growth.

The word ‘perhaps’ is not strong enough here. Let’s leave it out!

One factor contributing to urban sprawl is the population growth.

Usage

Since more infrastructures in the suburban areas, people can now utilize the resource without travelling far away

The verb is missing. In addition, ;et’s specify to remove vague ideas in the last part

Since there is more infrastructure in the suburban areas, people can now work, shop and relax without traveling.  OR
As infrastructure develops in the suburbs, people can now work, shop and relax without traveling.

Shorten

For example, the dust from the construction site may fell into the nearby rivers or lakes, though damaging the natural habitat of several species.

This could be shortened to:

Construction may cause pollution in lakes and rivers.

Some examples are repetitive and should be shortened:

On the other hand, construction of new infrastructures in the countryside may pollute the local environment. For example, the dust from the construction site may fell into the nearby rivers or lakes, though damaging the natural habitat of several species. Therefore, the environmental impact assessment should be conducted before beginning any construction works. (53 words, repetition)

On the other hand, construction of new infrastructure in the countryside may pollute the environment and damage natural habitats. Therefore, environmental impact assessments should be conducted before beginning any development. (30 words)

Overall, some good ideas and examples. Well done.

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