City

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For other uses, see City (disambiguation).
Large and permanent human settlement
Population tables
of world cities
  • World's largest cities
  • World's largest cities proper
  • World's densest population
  • World's largest conurbations
  • World's largest urban areas
  • World megacities
  • World megalopolises
  • v
  • t
  • e
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, cred 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.

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.

The most populated city proper is Chongqing[8] while the most populous metropolitan areas are the Greater Tokyo Area, the Shanghai area, and the Jakarta metropolitan area.[9] The cities of Faiyum,[10] Damascus,[11] and Varanasi[12] are among those laying claim to the longest continual inhabitation.