Essays About Cities: Top 7 Examples and 10 Prompts

If you’re writing an essay about cities, discover helpful examples of essays about cities and prompts in our guide to help stir your creative thoughts. 

Cities are the most stable social organization that has stood the test of time. A place achieves city status not only because of the sheer size of its population but also because of its territories, economic development, and political influence. Creating sustainable and resilient cities has attracted significant attention from academics, policymakers, civic groups, and the private sector over the years. This interest is spurred by pressing threats to the livability of cities, such as flooding, pollution, urban migration, and congestion. Whether you live in a city or dream of city life, writing an essay on this topic is a fantastic way to convey your thoughts on this topic. 

Check out below some amazing essay examples and prompts to help you create an insightful essay.

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7 Best Essay Examples

1.  Cities Are Scrambling To Prevent Flooding by Casey Crownhart

“In many cases, their existing systems are aging and built for the climate of the past. And even upgrades can do only so much to mitigate the intense flooding that’s becoming more common, leaving cities to come up with other solutions.”

In this article, Crownhart delves into how states across the United States are experiencing unprecedented flood levels that are drowning out entire towns. While a total upgrade is urgent, it is also insanely costly.

2. Putrajaya: The Capital City You’ve Never Heard Of by Ronan O’Connell

“Building Putrajaya from scratch also afforded generous opportunities for innovation. Mahathir’s goal was to make Putrajaya Malaysia’s most eco-friendly urban centre and its most modern.”

In this Essay, O’Connell describes some capital cities we may not know of. Focusing on Malaysia, we learn that Putrajaya aimed to serve as Malaysia’s next capital during the worsening congestion in Kuala Lumpur. Now, Malaysia’s administrative and judicial capital offers the lure and peace of a sleeping eco-haven.

3. Japan’s Hidden Jewels: The Abandoned Island Of Hashima by Hannah Bergin

“A coal-mining site during the Meiji Restoration, Hashima has since been completely abandoned. All that remains of the once thriving site, are the crumbling bones of deserted buildings.”

Looking at some economic issues within cities, Bergin describes the coal mining industry within Hashima. Hashima was once a host to a thriving coal mining industry, but people abruptly left once the mine reserves had depleted. Now, the remnants of its glorious industrial past can only be glimpsed through Google images. 

4. Planning To Preserve — Keeping Heritage Relevant In Cities by Marcus Ng

“Preserving historical buildings and neighbourhoods helps to maintain a city’s distinctive character and engender a sense of belonging. The social fabric is also strengthened when planners work with local communities to create new and relevant uses for old spaces such as industrial neighbourhoods.”

The essay visits the culture and heritage preservation policies and efforts across various cultural cities, both old and emerging. Marcus Ng describes the importance of preserving significant buildings that enhance a city’s unique history and culture.

5. Building The City Of The Future — At A $41 Trillion Price Tag by Aneri Pattani

“As cities invest in air-quality sensors, solar-powered trash compactors, self-healing power grids and more, the opportunities for private industry are huge. Experts say there is just one problem: It’s virtually impossible to measure the return on investment for many leading-edge technologies first being put to use by the public sector.”

In the following decades, cities could be shelling out $41 trillion to build their smart capabilities to take living standards to the next level. However, a looming problem remains, and that is estimating a return from this investment. Pattani discusses the importance of building smart and sustainable cities.

6. 8 Highlights From Enabling Masterplan 2030 To Empower Persons With Disabilities by Shermaine Ang and Goh Yan Han

“A new task force will work on designing alternative employment models such as micro jobs – temporary, task-type jobs – which can support more people to work, and increase the number of organisations that commit to being inclusive through the Enabling Mark and Enabling Employment Pledge.”

Among the top countries known for its friendliness to persons with disabilities (PWD), Singapore continues to roll out new efforts to make PWDs more at home in this Lion City. This intriguing essay shows how to progress with essential socio-economic growth within a city.

7. How Cities Are Using Technology To Solve Their Trash Problems by Nell Lewis

“As urban populations continue to grow, some cities are struggling to cope. Many are turning to new technologies for cost-effective solutions to clean up waste.”

From AI, automation, and converting waste to energy, cities are drawing up innovative measures to address their growing waste problem. In this essay, Lewis describes how technology can be used to tackle recycling issues in condensed and highly populated cities.

10 Writing Prompts For Essays About Cities

Read on to see writing prompts and ideas to help you get started:

1. All About Your City

This essay could serve as an ultimate city guide. First, write about the history of the city you line in, including the figures that envisioned and helped make the city blueprint a reality. Then, talk about its economic development and architectural changes over the decades. Finally, recommend the best landmarks tourists should visit.

2. Anti-Congestion Policies In Your City

Traffic congestion can easily rob a city of billions of dollars a year. But it remains the biggest challenge, especially for business hubs. For this essay, share how immense the congestion problem is in your city. Then, lay down the solutions being implemented by your city government or proposed by concerned communities.

3. Fixing Flood-Prone Cities

With the rapid pace of global warming, flooding in cities is now a significant concern that demands urgent action. Look into model cities and highlight out-of-the-box strategies they are undertaking. Some examples could be Tokyo’s $2 billion floodwater cathedral and the Busan floating pontoon city project. You may also share about your own city’s flood mitigation program. 

4. Green Cities

Beyond improving the environment and reducing pollution, green cities also promote better health and wellness for their citizens. List down your city government’s efforts to shift toward a greener city. If you want to go the extra mile, interview city officials and city planners. You could also talk to groups advocating for green cities to know more deeply about the obstacles preventing your city from going greener and emerging policy proposals. 

5. City Vs. Countryside

The countryside is always a good place to escape the city’s bustle and hustle from time to time. But if you were to choose a permanent residence, would you go to the big city or the countryside? Make a pick by weighing the pros and cons of moving to the countryside or staying in the city. You may also mull over the push in many countries to bring commerce and jobs to the countryside. Answer how this could benefit provinces, promote countryside living and help decongest cities. 

6. Cities In The Metaverse

Essays About Cities: Cities In The Metaverse
Identify the advantages and disadvantages of metaverse-based cities regarding economic opportunities and social development on an individual, community, and national level

Many companies are investing billions of dollars to become the first movers in the virtual world, where they aspire to build their cities and empire. This is compelling even government agencies to venture into this exciting new world. But what exactly are the opportunities and threats awaiting netizens in the metaverse? Identify the advantages and disadvantages of metaverse-based cities regarding economic opportunities and social development on an individual, community, and national level. 

7. What Are Megacities?

Megacities are extraordinarily large cities with millions of residents and diverse cultures. Megacities promise greater connectivity, bigger and more reliable infrastructure, and greater integration of technology in everyday life. In your essay, discuss the global upward trend in the attraction of megacities as a center for business and prosperity. 

8. Criminality In Cities

In your essay, you can try to answer whether community size affects the criminality rate. First, research by gathering available reports that analyze and compare criminality rates in urban and rural areas. Then, cite the primary factors that make cities more prone to criminal incidents. You could also search for the most violent cities in the world and find out factors that drove criminality in these cities to record highs. 

9. Bucket List Cities

In this light essay, write about the city you’ve been dreaming of travelling to. Then, explain why this is your top pick. Your reasons may relate to the history of the place, grand aesthetic architecture, or even something more personal. To conclude your essay, list down the must-visit landmarks and must-do activities once you get the chance to visit this city.

10. Agriculture In Cities

Urban agriculture is one way to ensure food sufficiency and promote city livelihoods. First, write about model cities aggressively promoting agricultural farming, cultivation, and processing within city centers. Then, talk about your city’s urban gardening initiatives and how this has helped enhance food security.
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  • Yna Lim is a communications specialist currently focused on policy advocacy. In her eight years of writing, she has been exposed to a variety of topics, including cryptocurrency, web hosting, agriculture, marketing, intellectual property, data privacy and international trade. A former journalist in one of the top business papers in the Philippines, Yna is currently pursuing her master's degree in economics and business.