Sept 21 – What is a City?
"Go and look at cities - no one seems to know what they are." - William Morris Davis,
1.What is a city?
2.How are cities defined and by whom?
What is a city?
3.An inhabited place of greater size, population, or importance than a village or town
4.Any large centre of population, often distinguished from a village or town by the
delivery of economic and cultural activities within it
5."The traditional concept of a a town or city would be a free-standing built-up area
with a service core with a sufficient number and variety of shops and services, including
perhaps a market, to make it recognisably urban in character. It would have
administrative, commercial, educational, entertainment and other social and civic
functions and, in many cases, evidence of being historically well established. A local
network of roads and others means of transport would focus on the area, and it would be
a place drawing people for services and employment from surrounding areas. It would
often be a place known beyond its immediate vicinity." Source: United Kingdom
Statistics Authority, 2001
Qualities that define "Urban"
6.High population density
7.Anonymity, 'getting lost in the crowd'
8.Built form (tall, dense buildings)
9.Mixed land uses (commercial, residential, industrial, institutional)
10.Public infrastructure (roads, water, sewage, airports)
11.Sites of production and consumption
12.Real estate and labour markets
Iceland: localities of 200 or more inhabitants
Albania: Towns and other industrial centres of more than 400 inhabitants
Japan: City (shi) having 50, 000 or more inhabitants with 60% or more of the houses
located in the main built-up areas and 60% or more of the population (including their
dependants i.e. family, children) engaged in manufacturing, trade or other urban type of
Canada: Places of 1000 or more inhabitants, having a population density of 400 or more
per square kilometre