Describing places The language of trends

IELTS Writing Part One map and line graph tasks

What are the trends in the things below in this city, area or country? Choose one and talk about its past, present and future, especially any changes. You can also compare that thing to other places if you know about it. To what extent does your partner agree with your ideas?

abandoned buildings

abandoned villages

amount of woodland

average age in small towns/ villages

border disputes

building of bypasses

building of housing estates/ council estates

building of new towns

building of seawalls


cleanliness of rivers/ lakes/ seas

cliff erosion/ coastal erosion

commercial property occupancy rates

commercial property rents


concrete on the coastline

condition of parks


conversion/ repurposing of old buildings





development of brownfield sites (= former industrial areas)

developments of town squares

disappearance of historic buildings/ historic areas

earthquake reinforcement



green spaces

high-rise buildings

home buying

homelessness/ sleeping rough

importance of regional capitals

importance of the capital

importance of the financial district

land reclamation


mountaineering/ hiking in the mountains


pavements (= sidewalks)

pedestrian bridges

pedestrianisation/ traffic-free zones

popularity of farming

popularity of housing estates/ council estates

popularity of living in small towns/ villages

popularity of new towns

popularity of regional capitals

popularity of the suburb(s)

popularity of/ wealth of/ development of the north/ northeast/ east/ southeast/ south/ southwest/ west/ northwest/ north-northwest/ centre

popularity of/ wealth of/ development of the northernmost parts/ the southernmost parts/ the easternmost parts/ the westernmost parts

population of small towns/ villages

position of the outskirts

power lines

protected areas

protected buildings

public housing


restoration of historic buildings/ historic areas

rundown areas/ slums

shopping in the city centre/ town centre/ main street/ high street

shrinking communities

size of farms

size of national parks/ number of national parks

size of/ development of/ popularity of the surrounding area


spending on sewers/ work on sewers/ development of the sewage system


toll roads



transport connections to (small) islands

transport links/ transport connections

use of chemicals on farms

use of country roads/ country lanes/ B roads

use of public transport

use of riverbanks/ canal-sides

use of roundabouts

use of town squares

wind farms/ wind power/ offshore wind farms


Describing places The language of trends

IELTS Writing Part One map and line graph tasks

Choose one of the descriptions of trends below that you agree with and read it out to your partner, adding language to show the strength (or not) of your feelings, explaining why you feel that way. They should agree or disagree in the same way.

The popularity of council estates dropped a couple of decades ago.

Most small towns have shrunk.

Use of canals has declined.

The popularity of the majority of regional capitals has fallen.


The importance of the financial district has increased sharply.

Spending on earthquake reinforcement has risen dramatically.

The number of traffic free zones will grow rapidly.

The popularity of new towns took off in the late 1980s.

Redevelopment rocketed soon after the Second World War (= soon after WWII).

The importance of the capital has soared.

Land reclamation has plummeted.

The popularity of living in small towns has dived.

The popularity of the suburbs took off in the early 20th century.

The development of brownfield sites crashed after the Lehman Brothers shock.

The number of protected buildings will rocket.

Restoration of historic buildings will soar.

The rate of depopulation will remain constant for the next couple of decades.

The importance of regional capitals will stay the same.

The popularity of hiking in the mountains will remain steady.

The size of farms will be stable.

The number of toll roads has not varied recently.

The popularity of the Northeast will stay flat.

The outskirts have been growing.

Protected areas will be further expanded.

Use of country roads will shrink.

Local governments often boost spending on pavements to spend their budgets.

The national government is trying to raise incomes in the North.

With depopulation governments will need to slash spending on new transport connections.

It’s easy for governments to cut spending on sewers because the public don’t know or care what is happening beneath their feet.

Increasing the number of pedestrian bridges is a good way to cater to tourists.

The number of historic buildings has more than halved in the last half a century.

The population of rural areas will drop by a third by the middle of this century.

Deindustrialisation will lead to a doubling of the number of service jobs.

The number of town squares needs to triple or increase fourfold.

The wealth of the West has been fluctuating.

The building of bypasses should pick up.

The building of new towns peaked many years ago.

The development of national parks dipped but has recovered.

The Northeast’s economy should regain lost ground.

The economy of the southernmost part is unstable.

After decades of decline, the use of canals will probably bounce back.

Transport connections to small islands have deteriorated.

The use of chemicals on farms has worsened.

After an improvement, wind power has slumped.

The number of trams collapsed in the 60s.

Demolishment of historic escalated in the bubble years.

The building of new towns rapidly rose then crashed.

The condition of historic buildings has bounced back.

The appearance of the city has been enhanced.

Some shrinking communities have recovered.

Shopping on high streets has regained lost ground.

Most rundown areas will soon improve.

The use of town squares has not varied.

There has been no movement in the use of roundabouts.

There has been no change in the number of abandoned buildings.

There has been a blip in road tolls.

The number of young people in villages has plunged.

The economy in the capital is buoyant.

The building of public housing has dipped.

The popularity of farming has dived.

The economy of the southwest has plateaued.

Border disputes have been climbing recently.

The cleanliness of rivers peaked many years ago.

The amount of woodland has been dropping steadily.

The building of seawalls is continuing its steady progress.

Coastal erosion is continuing at the same rate.

The number of power lines is still rising, but less rapidly than before.

The repurposing of old buildings is growing at a slower rate than in other (developed) countries but is likely to accelerate in the future.

Deforestation is slowing down.

Commuting times rose for many years but have flattened out.

The number of beaches without concrete has bottomed out.

Construction dropped after 2008 but has since leveled off.

Match these descriptions to the sections above, writing a brief note next to each thing above to remind you. Some fit in more than one place, but there is only one way to match all of them.

Although they have obvious differences, all of them could refer to an upward or a downward trend, meaning you only know which one from the context.

Despite their differences, all of them mean “fall very quickly”.

The main similarity between them is meaning “become flat”.

The most apparent similarity between them is a connection to mountains.

The most obvious similarity between them is that they mean “go down”.

The sole similarity between them is negative connotations, namely being the opposite of “get better”.

They are similar in terms of all meaning straight diagonal lines on a graph.

They are similar when you look at the shape of the line, which in these cases are curved.

They chief similarity between them is prepositions/ adverbs which mean “in the end”.

They have something in common, being a connection to water.

They resemble each other in that they refer to going both up and down.

They share a connection with flying.

They share one feature, which is meaning “not change”.

They share positive connotations, meaning “getting better”.

What links them is being actions that people etc. can do to change things.

What they have in common is meaning “go up quickly”.

What they most have in common is including numbers.

What ties them together is a connection with physical size.

Compare your answers as a class but without looking at this page (to make you use the useful phrases).


PDF for easy saving and printing: Describing places The language of trends

Related pages

Trends games/ worksheets for EFL learners

IELTS Academic Writing Part One games/ worksheets (describing line graphs, etc)

Describing places games/ worksheets

Teaching IELTS Writing Interactive Classroom Activities e-book

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