ISSUE-093

When old buildings stand on ground that modern planners feel could be better used for modern purposes, modern development should be given precedence over the preservation of historic buildings.


Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the statement and explain your reasoning for the position you take. In developing and supporting your position, you should consider ways in which the statement might or might not hold true and explain how these considerations shape your position.


If an old building in the city blocks the city from being built, should we abandon the city in order to protect that building? Although many people believe that urban development is more important, I feel that it is necessary to protect these old buildings as much as possible at the expense of a little urban development.


We should acknowledge that in some cases, old buildings should not get in the way of urban development. In the city, there are some buildings that are old, but they do not carry a historical look, but their condition is worrying. These buildings may have safety hazards such as cracked walls and aging electrical wiring. If they are in an area that is important for the expansion of the city, instead of preserving them, the area should be redeveloped by demolishing and relocating the residents. Protecting old buildings is not about protecting all old buildings, and it's not about saying that once a building is built it can't be knocked down. We often say that we should adapt to local conditions, and the same is true for urban construction, so when old buildings present safety hazards, impede urban construction, and have no historical value, they can be demolished.


However, many old buildings are historical memories, and the significance of preserving such buildings lies in the cohesion that history brings to the long-term development of a nation and a people. From this point of view, the preservation of old buildings and important historical monuments has the same significance. Imagine, a nation without a history can hardly have national cohesion. We usually see that a newly independent country faces political turmoil, mostly because they don't have a history that people can rely on. For example, when Kazakhstan became independent in 1991, the new government faced the challenge of reconciling the descendants of the nomads living in the original region with their Russian counterparts. The country's early years were politically turbulent as people had no common history or identity.


In addition, in a multi-ethnic and multicultural society, where old buildings reflect the cultural characteristics of different people, preserving these buildings is not only a necessary measure to preserve cultural diversity, but also to maintain social equity and racial equality. For example, African American neighborhoods are often threatened by gentrification from the government. Gentrification refers to the redevelopment of old neighborhoods to attract higher-income people to move in, forcing low-income former residents to relocate to more remote areas, a measure that often occurs during the modernization of large cities. Through the struggle of African Americans living in New York City, city council eventually declared Harlem (a prominent African American community on Manhattan Island in New York City) a historic landmark, and the buildings there were preserved as a result.


Finally, the preservation of old buildings can boost the overall tourism industry in the area. Old buildings can be attractive tourist attractions precisely because they present a historical look. For example, the old streets, temples, and gardens that are often seen in tourist cities today. The preservation of these old buildings and the development of related tourism is also a part of the overall city development. For example, to protect a historic pier, in addition to maintaining it in its original form, small commercial areas, parking lots, museums, etc. can be built around it to make it a tourist attraction. From this point of view, the preservation of old buildings does not necessarily hinder urban construction, but rather promotes urban development.



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