View from the Griboyedov Canal in Saint Petersburg, Russia
A satellite view of East Asia at night shows urbanization as illumination. Here the Taiheiyō Belt, which includes Tokyo, demonstrates how megalopolises can be identified by nighttime lighting.[1]
This 1908 map of Piraeus, the port of Athens, shows the city's grid plan, credited by Aristotle to Hippodamus of Miletus.[2][3]

A city is a large human settlement.[4][5] It can be defined as a permanent and densely settled place with administratively defined boundaries whose members work primarily on non-agricultural tasks.[6] Cities generally have extensive systems for housing, transportation, sanitation, utilities, land use, and communication. Their density facilitates interaction between people, government organisations and businesses, sometimes benefiting different parties in the process, such as improving efficiency of goods and service distribution. This concentration also can have significant negative consequences, such as forming urban heat islands, concentrating pollution, and stressing water supplies and other resources.

Historically, city-dwellers have been a small proportion of humanity overall, but following two centuries of unprecedented and rapid urbanisation, roughly half of the world population now lives in cities, which has had profound consequences for global sustainability.[7] Present-day cities usually form the core of larger metropolitan areas and urban areas—creating numerous commuters traveling towards city centres for employment, entertainment, and edification. However, in a world of intensifying globalisation, all cities are in different degree also connected globally beyond these regions. This increased influence means that cities also have significant influences on global issues, such as sustainable development, global warming and global health.

The world powers feature several renowned cities, the cities of the United States, include New York City and Los Angeles, and other major cities such as Chicago, Houston, and Philadelphia. While the cities in China, rank among the most populated, for example city proper is Chongqing and the Shanghai area.[8] While the most populous metropolitan areas are the Greater Tokyo Area, and the Jakarta metropolitan area.[9]

Other important traits of cities, besides population, also includes the capital status and relative continued occupation of the city. For example, country capitals such as Abu Dhabi, Beijing, Berlin, Cairo, Dubai, London, Moscow, Paris, Rome, Seoul, Tokyo, and Washington D.C. reflect their nation's identity. Some historic capitals, such as Kyoto, maintain their reflection of cultural identity even without modern capital status. Religious holy sites offer another example of capital status within a religion, Jerusalem, Mecca, and Varanasi each hold significance. The cities of Faiyum, Damascus, and Argos are among those laying claim to the longest continual inhabitation. In terms of relative age, the oldest cities in the Americas are Cholula near Puebla, Florés in Petén, and Acoma near Albuquerque, while the oldest capital cities in the Americas are Mexico City, Santo Domingo, and San Juan. Another example of relative age, is in the age of the oldest capital cities of the superpower and emerging superpower, they are the U.S. state capital of Santa Fe, New Mexico, and the Chinese prefecture capital of Xi'an, Shaanxi.


Palitana represents the city's symbolic function in the extreme, devoted as it is to Jain temples.[10]

A city is distinguished[by whom?] from other human settlements by its relatively great size, but also by its functions and its special symbolic status, which may be conferred by a central authority. The term can also refer either to the physical streets and buildings of the city or to the collection of people who dwell there, and can be used in a general sense to mean urban rather than rural territory.[11][12]

National censuses use a variety of definitions - invoking factors such as population, population density, number of dwellings, economic function, and infrastructure - to classify populations as urban. Typical working definitions for small-city populations start at around 100,000 people.[13] Common population definitions for an urban area (city or town) range between 1,500 and 50,000 people, with most U.S states using a minimum between 1,500 and 5,000 inhabitants.[14][15] Some jurisdictions set no such minima.[16] In the United Kingdom, city status is awarded by the Crown and then remains permanently. (Historically, the qualifying factor was the presence of a cathedral, resulting in some very small cities such as Wells, with a population 12,000 as of 2018 and St Davids, with a population of 1,841 as of 2011.) According to the "functional definition" a city is not distinguished by size alone, but also by the role it plays within a larger political context. Cities serve as administrative, commercial, religious, and cultural hubs for their larger surrounding areas.[17][18] Examples of settlements with "city” in their names which may not meet any of the traditional criteria to be named such include Broad Top City, Pennsylvania (population 452), and City Dulas, Anglesey, a hamlet.

The presence of a literate elite is sometimes included[by whom?] in the definition.[19] A typical city has professional administrators, regulations, and some form of taxation (food and other necessities or means to trade for them) to support the government workers. (This arrangement contrasts with the more typically horizontal relationships in a tribe or village accomplishing common goals through informal agreements between neighbors, or through leadership of a chief.) The governments may be based on heredity, religion, military power, work systems such as canal-building, food-distribution, land-ownership, agriculture, commerce, manufacturing, finance, or a combination of these. Societies that live in cities are often called civilizations.

Other Languages
Адыгэбзэ: Къалэ
Afrikaans: Stad
Alemannisch: Stadt
አማርኛ: ከተማ
Ænglisc: Burg
Аҧсшәа: Ақалақь
العربية: مدينة
aragonés: Ciudat
ܐܪܡܝܐ: ܡܕܝܢܬܐ
armãneashti: Câsâbă
arpetan: Vela
অসমীয়া: চহৰ
asturianu: Ciudá
Avañe'ẽ: Táva
авар: Шагьар
Aymar aru: Marka
azərbaycanca: Şəhər
تۆرکجه: شهر
বাংলা: শহর
Banjar: Kuta
Bân-lâm-gú: Siâⁿ-chhī
башҡортса: Ҡала
беларуская: Горад
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Горад
भोजपुरी: शहर
Bikol Central: Syudad
български: Град
Boarisch: Stod
བོད་ཡིག: གྲོང་ཁྱེར།
brezhoneg: Kêr
буряад: Хото
català: Ciutat
Чӑвашла: Хула
Cebuano: Dakbayan
čeština: Město
Chamoru: Dangkulo
Chavacano de Zamboanga: Ciudad
chiShona: Guta
Cymraeg: Dinas
dansk: By
Deitsch: Schtadt
Deutsch: Stadt
eesti: Linn
Ελληνικά: Πόλη
emiliàn e rumagnòl: Sitê
español: Ciudad
Esperanto: Urbo
estremeñu: Ciá
euskara: Hiri
فارسی: شهر
Fiji Hindi: City
føroyskt: Býur
français: Ville
Frysk: Stêd
furlan: Citât
Gaelg: Caayr
Gagauz: Kasaba
Gàidhlig: Baile mòr
galego: Cidade
ГӀалгӀай: Пхьа
贛語: 城市
Gĩkũyũ: Cĩtĩ
ગુજરાતી: શહેર
客家語/Hak-kâ-ngî: Sàng-sṳ
한국어: 도시
Hawaiʻi: Kūlanakauhale
հայերեն: Քաղաք
हिन्दी: शहर
hornjoserbsce: Město
hrvatski: Grad
Ido: Urbo
Igbo: Okeama
Ilokano: Siudad
Bahasa Indonesia: Kota
interlingua: Citate
Interlingue: Cité
ᐃᓄᒃᑎᑐᑦ/inuktitut: ᓄᓇᓖᑦ
Ирон: Сахар
íslenska: Borg
italiano: Città
עברית: עיר
Jawa: Kutha
ಕನ್ನಡ: ನಗರ
къарачай-малкъар: Шахар
ქართული: დიდი ქალაქი
қазақша: Қала
Kiswahili: Jiji
коми: Кар
Kreyòl ayisyen: Vil
kriyòl gwiyannen: Vil
kurdî: Bajar
Кыргызча: Шаар
Ladino: Sivdad
лакку: Шагьру
Latina: Urbs
latviešu: Pilsēta
Lëtzebuergesch: Stad
лезги: Шегьер
lietuvių: Miestas
Limburgs: Sjtad
lingála: Engumba
Livvinkarjala: Linnu
la .lojban.: tcadu
lumbaart: Cità
magyar: Város
मैथिली: शहर
македонски: Град
Malagasy: Tanàna
മലയാളം: നഗരം
Māori: Tāone
मराठी: शहर
مصرى: مدينه
مازِرونی: شهر
Bahasa Melayu: Bandar raya
Minangkabau: Kota
Mìng-dĕ̤ng-ngṳ̄: Siàng-chê
Mirandés: Cidade
монгол: Хот
Nāhuatl: Altepetl
Dorerin Naoero: Tekawa
Na Vosa Vakaviti: Siti
Nederlands: Stad
Nedersaksies: Stad (woonstee)
नेपाली: सहर
नेपाल भाषा: नगर
日本語: 都市
Napulitano: Cità
нохчийн: ГӀала
Nordfriisk: Stääd
Norfuk / Pitkern: Citii
norsk: By
norsk nynorsk: Storby
Nouormand: Cité
occitan: Vila
олык марий: Ола
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: Shahar
ਪੰਜਾਬੀ: ਸ਼ਹਿਰ
پنجابی: شہر
Patois: Siti
Plattdüütsch: Stadt
polski: Miasto
Ποντιακά: Πόλη
português: Cidade
qırımtatarca: Şeer
Ripoarisch: Stadt
română: Oraș
romani čhib: Foro
Runa Simi: Hatun llaqta
русиньскый: Місто
русский: Город
саха тыла: Куорат
ᱥᱟᱱᱛᱟᱲᱤ: ᱱᱟᱜᱟᱨ
Scots: Ceety
shqip: Qyteti
sicilianu: Citati
සිංහල: නගර
Simple English: City
سنڌي: شهر
slovenčina: Mesto (všeobecne)
slovenščina: Mesto
словѣньскъ / ⰔⰎⰑⰂⰡⰐⰠⰔⰍⰟ: Градъ
ślůnski: Mjasto
Soomaaliga: Caasimad
کوردی: شار
српски / srpski: Град
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Grad
Sunda: Kota
suomi: Kaupunki
svenska: Stad
Tagalog: Lungsod
தமிழ்: மாநகரம்
Taqbaylit: Tamdint
tarandíne: Cetata granne
татарча/tatarça: Шәһәр
ไทย: นคร
тоҷикӣ: Шаҳр
Türkçe: Şehir
українська: Місто
اردو: شہر
vèneto: Sità
vepsän kel’: Lidn
Tiếng Việt: Thành phố
Volapük: Zif
Võro: Liin
West-Vlams: Stad
Winaray: Syudad
吴语: 城市
Xitsonga: Dorobha
ייִדיש: שטאט
Yorùbá: Ìlú
粵語: 城市
Zazaki: Sûke
Zeêuws: Stad
žemaitėška: Miests
中文: 城市