L02 - an urbanizing world: the role and importance of cities urban: the characteristics attributed to a physical space (city) Higher concentration of political, religious, cultural, and educational institutions. Higher concentration of industries city: a physical space with urban characteristics. Roles: political entities, centres of cultural and economic power, intellectual centres, religious centres, places with geo-political boundaries, physical entities urbanization: the process of becoming urban (can be in the city, or outside of an already established area) Removal of rural characteristics of an area. 21st century = "urban millennium" (united nations) [living in what can be defined as an urban area] 1900: 13% of the global population was considered to live in an urban area. 2020, predicted 60% urbanization level: number of people living in an area that is defined as "urban" urbanization rate: speed of urbanization process. Usa has a higher urbanization level but not rate.