The Maps Below Show the Centre of a Small Town

The maps below show the centre of a small town called Islip as it is now, and plans for its development.

This essay question is from Cambridge IELTS 12 Test 6 Writing Task 1.

Islip town centre now

islip town centre now

Islip town centre: planned development

islip town centre planned development

Sample Essay

The maps display the current layout of the center of a small town, Islip, and how it is planned to develop it.

Overall, the town center is to be brought up-to-date, with the construction of some modern facilities and more housing.

There is a main road running east-west through the town center. This road has two side roads, one leading to the school southwest of the town center and the other to the park in the southeast. While the main road is to be pedestrianized, the two side roads are to be turned into a dual carriageway, extending to the countryside north of the town center.

All the shops north of the main road are to be demolished to make room for a shopping center, which is to have a car park and bus station nearby. There are also plans to build some new housing northeast of the main road.

To the south of the main road are some shops and housing. The shops are to remain unchanged, whereas the housing is to be relocated. Lastly, some parts of the park are going to be cleared so that new residential buildings can be built, and an extension is planned for the school. (202 Words)


This is just a planned development, which means it can be just an idea that has not yet advanced to the stage of being definite. We should really use the simple future only if there is no possibility of the plans not being implemented. That’s why I used “be to + infinitive”: all the shops north of the main road are to be demolished. Click here to learn more about this construction.

How to Use the Word “Plan”

Since this is a planned development, we can use the word “plan”. But note that Sentence 1 is incorrect because the school is not planned; it already exists; an extension is planned.
  • The school is planned to be extended.
  • There are plans to extend the school.
  • An extension to the school is planned.

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  1. The two pictures compare the current layout of the center of a small town, Islip and proposal plan for developing it.

    It can be seen that the new suggested plan involves making a number of changes, mainly in main road and an added carriageway.

    The main road passing through the city will be completely replaced with a wide pedestrian. The south shops of current main road will remain the same, while the shops across the main road will be replaced with new facilities like a bus station at the left, a large shopping center in the middle and a car park next to them. The countryside will be demolished entirely.

    The second item that will change the general view of the city center is the carriageway that will surround the whole of city center when the developing project has been completed. In addition to old houses, some new houses will be erected in different parts of city like: at the east side of city in the south and north of the current main road. The school will be steady while the space of park will be made smaller than current size.

  2. The given maps compare the difference between Islip town center now and in future, how it should be developed.

    The major changes that are taking place are the Parking area, Dual carriageway. On top of it, Pedestrians walk will be introduced in a new plan.

    The entry and exit ways will be connected to all facilities where these two are located at the West and East sides of the roads.
    Furthermore, there is no separate Bus station now, whereas this is incorporated in the upcoming plan. The Main road will be replaced for peoples walk in order to connect with Bus station, Shopping center, and Car parking.
    Moreover, new housing is planned close to the Park. Next to the car parking area, there will be New housing coming up.
    Overall, there are dead ends for Park and School, whereas these two will be connected through the road.
    The old housing will remain the same on the Southside of the road.

  3. The figure depicts the layout of current and future planned Islip.
    Overall, it is clear from the figure that few changes are to be planned like the dual carriageway, some new housing societies, shopping center along with a bus station and a car park.
    From the current layout, it can be seen that the main road passes through the centre in the east and west and has two side roads. One of the roads leads to the school which is located in the southwest of the Islip, and the other goes to the park in the southeast of the center of Islip.
    coming to the predicted map, the main road will be changed into the pedestrian road, and shops on the north side of the main road will be demolished to construct the new shopping center. Also, in the left and right of the shopping center, bus station, and car parking has been planned. House buildings will also be replaced by some new housings in the northeast and southeast. Lastly, a dual carriageway will also be constructed to surround the residential area.

  4. The given maps depict the current state of Islip town centre and the future changes with the development project.
    At the first glance, it is clear that most of the construction planned will be in the north part of town centre. In addition, most striking alterations in the project are expansion of residential areas and improvement of transportation.
    Currently, the main road passes through the town centre in the east-west direction, with a market place on both sides. In the southern part of the district, there are mostly housing areas, along with a school in the south-west and a park in the south-east. As for in the northern part, there is only countryside behind the shops.
    With the development planned, a new two-lane main road will surround the town centre, while the old one will be designated for pedestrians. North part of the new road will be constructed over countryside. In addition, it is planned to establish a new residential area, car park, shopping centre and bus station (from east to west respectively) between the road and pedestrian way and over the market place in the north. Structures in the southern part will remain the same except few changes, which are new housing and reduced green area.

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