A city is a large human settlement. Cities generally have extensive systems for housing, transportation, sanitation, utilities, land use, and communication. Their density facilitates interaction between people, government organizations 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 urbanization, roughly half of the world population now lives in cities, which has had profound consequences for global sustainability. Present-day cities usually form the core of larger metropolitan areas and urban areas—creating numerous commuters traveling towards city centers for employment, entertainment, and edification. However, in a world of intensifying globalization, all cities are in different degree also connected globally beyond these regions.
The most populated city proper is Chongqing while the most populous metropolitan areas are the Greater Tokyo Area, the Shanghai area, and Jabodetabek (Jakarta). The cities of Faiyum, Damascus, and Varanasi are among those laying claim to longest continual inhabitation.
A city is distinguished 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.
A variety of definitions, invoking population, population density, number of dwellings, economic function, and infrastructure, are used in national censuses to classify populations as urban. Common population definitions for a city range between 1,500 and 50,000 people, with most U.S. states using a minimum between 1,500 and 5,000 inhabitants. However, some jurisdictions set no such minimums. In the United Kingdom, city status is awarded by the government and then remains permanently, resulting in some very small cities, such as Wells and St Davids. 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. Examples of settlements called city which may not meet any of the traditional criteria to be named such include Broad Top City, Pennsylvania (pop 452), and City Dulas, Anglesey, a hamlet.
The presence of a literate elite is sometimes included in the definition. A typical city has professional administrators, regulations, and some form of taxation (food and other necessities or means to trade for them) to feed 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 projects 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.
The word city and the related civilization come, via Old French, from the Latin root civitas, originally meaning citizenship or community member and eventually coming to correspond with urbs, meaning city in a more physical sense. The Roman civitas was closely linked with the Greek "polis"—another common root appearing in English words such as metropolis.
Town siting has varied through history according to natural, technological, economic, and military contexts. Access to water has long been a major factor in city placement and growth, and despite exceptions enabled by the advent of rail transport in the nineteenth century, through the present most of the world's urban population lives near the coast or on a river.
Urban areas as a rule cannot produce their own food and therefore must develop some relationship with a hinterland which sustains them. Only in special cases such as mining towns which play a vital role in long-distance trade, are cities disconnected from the countryside which feeds them. Thus, centrality within a productive region influences siting, as economic forces would in theory favor the creation of market places in optimal mutually reachable locations.
The vast majority of cities have a central area containing buildings with special economic, political, and religious significance. Archaeologists refer to this area by the Greek term temenos or if fortified as a citadel. These spaces historically reflect and amplify the city's centrality and importance to its wider sphere of influence. Today cities have a city center or downtown, sometimes coincident with a central business district.
Cities typically have public spaces where anyone can go. These include privately owned spaces open to the public as well as forms of public land such as public domain and the commons. Western philosophy since the time of the Greek agora has considered physical public space as the substrate of the symbolic public sphere. Public art adorns (or disfigures) public spaces. Parks and other natural sites within cities provide residents with relief from the hardness and regularity of typical built environments.
Urban structure generally follows one or more basic patterns: geomorphic, radial, concentric, rectilinear, and curvilinear. Physical environment generally constrains the form in which a city is built. If located on a mountainside, urban structure may rely on terraces and winding roads. It may be adapted to its means of subsistence (e.g. agriculture or fishing). And it may be set up for optimal defense given the surrounding landscape. Beyond these "geomorphic" features, cities can develop internal patterns, due to natural growth or to city planning.
In a radial structure, main roads converge on a central point. This form could evolve from successive growth over a long time, with concentric traces of town walls and citadels marking older city boundaries. In more recent history, such forms were supplemented by ring roads moving traffic around the outskirts of a town. Dutch cities such as Amsterdam and Haarlem are structured as a central square surrounded by concentric canals marking every expansion. In cities such as and also Moscow, this pattern is still clearly visible.
A system of rectilinear city streets and land plots, known as the grid plan, has been used for millennia in Asia, Europe, and the Americas. The Indus Valley Civilisation built Mohenjo-Daro, Harappa and other cities on a grid pattern, using ancient principles described by Kautilya, and aligned with the compass points. The ancient Greek city of Priene exemplifies a grid plan with specialized districts used across the Hellenistic Mediterranean.
Urban-type settlement extends far beyond the traditional boundaries of the city proper in a form of development sometimes described critically as urban sprawl. Decentralization and dispersal of city functions (commercial, industrial, residential, cultural, political) has transformed the very meaning of the term and has challenged geographers seeking to classify territories according to an urban-rural binary.
Metropolitan areas include suburbs and exurbs organized around the needs of commuters, and sometimes edge cities characterized by a degree of economic and political independence. (In the US these are grouped into metropolitan statistical areas for purposes of demography and marketing.) Some cities are now part of a continuous urban landscape called urban agglomeration, conurbation, or megalopolis (exemplified by the BosWash corridor of the Northeastern United States.)
Cities, characterized by population density, symbolic function, and urban planning, have existed for thousands of years. In the conventional view, civilization and the city both followed from the development of agriculture, which enabled production of surplus food, and thus a social division of labour (with concomitant social stratification) and trade. Early cities often featured granaries, sometimes within a temple. A minority viewpoint considers that cities may have arisen without agriculture, due to alternative means of subsistence (fishing), to use as communal seasonal shelters, to their value as bases for defensive and offensive military organization, or to their inherent economic function. Cities played a crucial role in the establishment of political power over an area, and ancient leaders such as Alexander the Great founded and created them with zeal.
In the fourth and third millennium BC, complex civilizations flourished in the river valleys of Mesopotamia, India, China, and Egypt. Excavations in these areas have found the ruins of cities geared variously towards trade, politics, or religion. Some had large, dense populations, but others carried out urban activities in the realms of politics or religion without having large associated populations. Among the early Old World cities, Mohenjo-daro of the Indus Valley Civilization in present-day Pakistan, existing from about 2600 BC, was one of the largest, with a population of 50,000 or more and a sophisticated sanitation system. China's planned cities were constructed according to sacred principles to act as celestial microcosms. The Ancient Egyptian cities known physically by archaeologists are not extensive. They include (known by their Arab names) El Lahun, a workers' town associated with the pyramid of Senusret II, and the religious city Amarna built by Akhenaten and abandoned. These sites appear planned in a highly regimented and stratified fashion, with a minimalistic grid of rooms for the workers and increasingly more elaborate housing available for higher classes.
In Mesopotamia, the civilization of Sumer, followed by Assyria and Babylon, gave rise to numerous cities, governed by kings and fostering multiple languages written in cuneiform. The Phoenician trading empire, flourishing around the turn of the first millennium BC, encompassed numerous cities extending from Tyre, Cydon, and Byblos to Carthage and Cádiz.
In the following centuries, independent city-states of Greece developed the polis, an association of male landowning citizens who collectively constituted the city. The agora, meaning "gathering place" or "assembly", was the center of athletic, artistic, spiritual and political life of the polis. Rome's rise to power brought its population to one million. Under the authority of its empire, Rome transformed and founded many cities (coloniae), and with them brought its principles of urban architecture, design, and society.
In the ancient Americas, early urban traditions developed in the Andes and Mesoamerica. In the Andes, the first urban centers developed in the Norte Chico civilization, Chavin and Moche cultures, followed by major cities in the Huari, Chimu and Inca cultures. The Norte Chico civilization included as many as 30 major population centers in what is now the Norte Chico region of north-central coastal Peru. It is the oldest known civilization in the Americas, flourishing between the 30th century BC and the 18th century BC. Mesoamerica saw the rise of early urbanism in several cultural regions, beginning with the Olmec and spreading to the Preclassic Maya, the Zapotec of Oaxaca, and Teotihuacan in central Mexico. Later cultures such as the Aztec drew on these earlier urban traditions.
Jenné-Jeno, located in present-day Mali and dating to the third century BC, lacked monumental architecture and a distinctive elite social class—but nevertheless had specialized production and relations with a hinterland. Pre-Arabic trade contacts probably existed between Jenné-Jeno and North Africa. Other early urban centers in sub-Saharan Africa, dated to around 500 AD, include Awdaghust, Kumbi-Saleh the ancient capital of Ghana, and Maranda a center located on a trade route between Egypt and Gao.
In the remnants of the Roman Empire, cities of late antiquity gained independence but soon lost population and importance. The locus of power in the West shifted to Constantinople and to the ascendant Islamic civilization with its major cities Baghdad, Cairo, and Córdoba. From the 9th through the end of the 12th century, Constantinople, capital of the Byzantine Empire, was the largest and wealthiest city in Europe, with a population approaching 1 million. The Ottoman Empire gradually gained control over many cities in the Mediterranean area, including Constantinople in 1453.
In the Holy Roman Empire, beginning in the 12th. century, free imperial cities such as Nuremberg, Strasbourg, Frankfurt, Zurich, Nijmegen became a privileged elite among towns having won self-governance from their local lay or secular lord or having been granted self-governanace by the emperor and being placed under his immediate protection. By 1480, these cities, as far as still part of the empire, became part of the Imperial Estates governing the empire with the emperor through the Imperial Diet.
By the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, some cities become powerful states, taking surrounding areas under their control or establishing extensive maritime empires. In Italy medieval communes developed into city-states including the Republic of Venice and the Republic of Genoa. In Northern Europe, cities including Lübeck and Bruges formed the Hanseatic League for collective defense and commerce. Their power was later challenged and eclipsed by the Dutch commercial cities of Ghent, Ypres, and Amsterdam. Similar phenomena existed elsewhere, as in the case of Sakai, which enjoyed a considerable autonomy in late medieval Japan.
In the West, nation-states became the dominant unit of political organization following the Peace of Westphalia in the seventeenth century. Western Europe's larger capitals (London and Paris) benefited from the growth of commerce following the emergence of an Atlantic trade. However, most towns remained small.
During the Spanish colonization of the Americas the old Roman city concept was extensively used. Cities were founded in the middle of the newly conquered territories, and were bound to several laws regarding administration, finances and urbanism.
The growth of modern industry from the late 18th century onward led to massive urbanization and the rise of new great cities, first in Europe and then in other regions, as new opportunities brought huge numbers of migrants from rural communities into urban areas.
England led the way as London became the capital of a world empire and cities across the country grew in locations strategic for manufacturing. In the United States from 1860 to 1910, the introduction of railroads reduced transportation costs, and large manufacturing centers began to emerge, fueling migration from rural to city areas.
Industrialized cities became deadly places to live, due to health problems resulting from overcrowding, occupational hazards of industry, contaminated water and air, poor sanitation, and communicable diseases such as typhoid and cholera. Factories and slums emerged as regular features of the urban landscape.
In the second half of the twentieth century, deindustrialization (or "economic restructuring") in the West led to poverty, homelessness, and urban decay in formerly prosperous cities. America's "Steel Belt" became a "Rust Belt" and cities such as Detroit, Michigan, and Gary, Indiana began to shrink, contrary to the global trend of massive urban expansion. Such cities have shifted with varying success into the service economy and public-private partnerships, with concomitant gentrification, uneven revitalization efforts, and selective cultural development. Under the Great Leap Forward and subsequent five-year plans continuing today, the People's Republic of China has undergone concomitant urbanization and industrialization and to become the world's leading manufacturer.
Amidst these economic changes, high technology and instantaneous telecommunication enable select cities to become centers of the knowledge economy. A new smart city paradigm, supported by institutions such as the RAND Corporation and IBM, is bringing computerized surveillance, data analysis, and governance to bear on cities and city-dwellers. Some companies are building brand new masterplanned cities from scratch on greenfield sites.
Urbanization is the process of migration from rural into urban areas, driven by various political, economic, and cultural factors. Until the 18th century, an equilibrium existed between the rural agricultural population and towns featuring markets and small-scale manufacturing. With the agricultural and industrial revolutions urban population began its unprecedented growth, both through migration and through demographic expansion. In England the proportion of the population living in cities jumped from 17% in 1801 to 72% in 1891. In 1900, 15% of the world population lived in cities. The cultural appeal of cities also plays a role in attracting residents.
Urbanization rapidly spread across the Europe and the Americas and since the 1950s has taken hold in Asia and Africa as well. The Population Division of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, reported in 2014 that for the first time more than half of the world population lives in cities.[a]
Latin America is the most urban continent, with four fifths of its population living in cities, including one fifth of the population said to live in shantytowns (favelas, poblaciones callampas, etc.). Batam, Indonesia, Mogadishu, Somalia, Xiamen, China and Niamey, Niger, are considered among the world's fastest-growing cities, with annual growth rates of 5–8%. In general, the more developed countries of the "Global North" remain more urbanized than the less developed countries of the "Global South"—but the difference continues to shrink because urbanization is happening faster in the latter group. Asia is home to by far the greatest absolute number of city-dwellers: over two billion and counting. The UN predicts an additional 2.5 billion citydwellers (and 300 million fewer countrydwellers) worldwide by 2050, with 90% of urban population expansion occurring in Asia and Africa.
Megacities, cities with population in the multi-millions, have proliferated into the dozens, arising especially in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Economic globalization fuels the growth of these cities, as new torrents of foreign capital arrange for rapid industrialization, as well as relocation of major businesses from Europe and North America, attracting immigrants from near and far. A deep gulf divides rich and poor in these cities, with usually contain a super-wealthy elite living in gated communities and large masses of people living in substandard housing with inadequate infrastructure and otherwise poor conditions.
Cities around the world have expanded physically as they grow in population, with increases in their surface extent, with the creation of high-rise buildings for residential and commercial use, and with development underground.
Urbanization can create rapid demand for water resources management, as formerly good sources of freshwater become overused and polluted, and the volume of sewage begins to exceed manageable levels.
Local government of cities takes different forms including prominently the municipality (especially in England, in the United States, in India, and in other British colonies; legally, the municipal corporation; municipio in Spain and in Portugal, and, along with municipalidad, in most former parts of the Spanish and Portuguese empires) and the commune (in France and in Chile; or comune in Italy).
City governments have authority to make laws governing activity within cities, while its jurisdiction is generally considered subordinate (in ascending order) to state/provincial, national, and perhaps international law. This hierarchy of law is not enforced rigidly in practice—for example in conflicts between municipal regulations and national principles such as constitutional rights and property rights. Legal conflicts and issues arise more frequently in cities than elsewhere due to the bare fact of their greater density. Modern city governments thoroughly regulate everyday life in many dimensions, including public and personal health, transport, burial, resource use and extraction, recreation, and the nature and use of buildings. Technologies, techniques, and laws governing these areas—developed in cities—have become ubiquitous in many areas. Municipal officials may be appointed from a higher level of government or elected locally.
Cities typically provide municipal services such as education, through school systems; policing, through police departments; and firefighting, through fire departments; as well as the city's basic infrastructure. These are provided more or less routinely, in a more or less equal fashion. Responsibility for administration usually falls on the city government, though some services may be operated by a higher level of government, while others may be privately run. Armies may assume responsibility for policing cities in states of domestic turmoil such as America's King assassination riots of 1968.
The traditional basis for municipal finance is local property tax levied on real estate within the city. Local government can also collect revenue for services, or by leasing land that it owns. However, financing municipal services, as well as urban renewal and other development projects, is a perennial problem, which cities address through appeals to higher governments, arrangements with the private sector, and techniques such as privatization (selling services into the private sector), corporatization (formation of quasi-private municipally-owned corporations), and financialization (packaging city assets into tradable financial instruments and derivatives). This situation has become acute in deindustrialized cities and in cases where businesses and wealthier citizens have moved outside of city limits and therefore beyond the reach of taxation. Cities in search of ready cash increasingly resort to the municipal bond, essentially a loan with interest and a repayment date. City governments have also begun to use tax increment financing, in which a development project is financed by loans based on future tax revenues which it is expected to yield. Under these circumstances, creditors and consequently city governments place a high importance on city credit ratings.
Governance includes government but refers to a wider domain of social control functions implemented by many actors including nongovernmental organizations. The impact of globalization and the role of multinational corporations in local governments worldwide, has led to a shift in perspective on urban governance, away from the "urban regime theory" in which a coalition of local interests functionally govern, toward a theory of outside economic control, widely associated in academics with the philosophy of neoliberalism. In the neoliberal model of governance, public utilities are privatized, industry is deregulated, and corporations gain the status of governing actors—as indicated by the power they wield in public-private partnerships and over business improvement districts, and in the expectation of self-regulation through corporate social responsibility. The biggest investors and real estate developers act as the city's de facto urban planners.
The related concept of good governance places more emphasis on the state, with the purpose of assessing urban governments for their suitability for development assistance. The concepts of governance and good governance are especially invoked in the emergent megacities, where international organizations consider existing governments inadequate for their large populations.
Urban planning, the application of forethought to city design, involves optimizing land use, transportation, utilities, and other basic systems, in order to achieve certain objectives. Urban planners and scholars have proposed overlapping theories as ideals for how plans should be formed. Planning tools, beyond the original design of the city itself, include public capital investment in infrastructure and land-use controls such as zoning. The continuous process of comprehensive planning involves identifying general objectives as well as collecting data to evaluate progress and inform future decisions.
Government, as the ultimate wielder of force is legally the final authority on planning but in practice the process involves both public and private elements. The legal principle of eminent domain is used by government to divest citizens of their property in cases where its use is required for a project. Planning often involves tradeoffs—decisions in which some stand to gain and some to lose—and thus is closely connected to the prevailing political situation.
The history of urban planning dates to some of the earliest known cities, especially in the Indus Valley and Mesoamerican civilizations, which built their cities on grids and apparently zoned different areas for different purposes. The effects of planning, ubiquitous in today's world, can be seen most clearly in the layout of planned communities, fully designed prior to construction, often with consideration for interlocking physical, economic, and cultural systems.
Urban society is typically stratified. Spatially, cities are formally or informally segregated along ethnic, economic and racial lines. People living relatively close together may live, work, and play, in separate areas, and associate with different people, forming ethnic or lifestyle enclaves or, in areas of concentrated poverty, ghettoes. While in the US and elsewhere poverty became associated with the inner city, in France it has become associated with the banlieues, areas of urban development which surround the city proper. Meanwhile, across Europe and North America, the racially white majority is empirically the most segregated group. Suburbs in the west, and, increasingly, gated communities and other forms of "privatopia" around the world, allow local elites to self-segregate into secure and exclusive neighborhoods.
Landless urban workers, contrasted with peasants and known as the proletariat, form a growing stratum of society in the age of urbanization. In Marxist doctrine, the proletariat will inevitably revolt against the bourgeoisie as their ranks swell with disenfranchised and disaffected people lacking all stake in the status quo. The global urban proletariat of today, however, generally lacks the status as factory workers which in the nineteenth century provided access to the means of production.
Historically, cities rely on rural areas for intensive farming to yield surplus crops, in exchange for which they provide money, political administration, manufactured goods, and culture. Urban economics tends to analyze larger agglomerations, stretching beyond city limits, in order to reach a more complete understanding of the local labor market.
As hubs of trade cities have long been home to retail commerce and consumption through the interface of shopping. In the 20th century, department stores using new techniques of advertising, public relations, decoration, and design, transformed urban shopping areas into fantasy worlds encouraging self-expression and escape through consumerism.
In general, the density of cities expedites commerce and facilitates knowledge spillovers, helping people and firms exchange information and generate new ideas. A thicker labor market allows for better skill matching between firms and individuals. Population density enables also sharing of common infrastructure and production facilities, however in very dense cities, increased crowding and waiting times may lead to some negative effects.
Although manufacturing fueled the growth of cities, many now rely on a tertiary or service economy. The services in question range from tourism, hospitality, entertainment, housekeeping and prostitution to grey-collar work in law, finance, and administration.
Cities are typically hubs for education and the arts, supporting universities, museums, temples, and other cultural institutions. They feature impressive displays of architecture ranging from small to enormous and ornate to brutal; skyscrapers, providing thousands of offices or homes within a small footprint, and visible from miles away, have become iconic urban features. Cultural elites tend to live in cities, bound together by shared cultural capital, and themselves playing some role in governance. By virtue of their status as centers of culture and literacy, cities can be described as the locus of civilization, world history, and social change.
Density makes for effective mass communication and transmission of news, through heralds, printed proclamations, newspapers, and digital media. These communication networks, though still using cities as hubs, penetrate extensively into all populated areas. In the age of rapid communication and transportation, commentators have described urban culture as nearly ubiquitous or as no longer meaningful.
Today, a city's promotion of its cultural activities dovetails with place branding and city marketing, public diplomacy techniques used to inform development strategy; to attract businesses, investors, residents, and tourists; and to create a shared identity and sense of place within the metropolitan area. Physical inscriptions, plaques, and monuments on display physically transmit a historical context for urban places. Some cities, such as Jerusalem, Mecca, and Rome have indelible religious status and for hundreds of years have attracted pilgrims. Patriotic tourists visit Agra to see the Taj Mahal, or New York City to visit the World Trade Center. Elvis lovers visit Memphis to pay their respects at Graceland. Place brands (which include place satisfaction and place loyalty) have great economic value (comparable to the value of commodity brands) because of their influence on the decision-making process of people thinking about doing business in—"purchasing" (the brand of)—a city.
Bread and circuses among other forms of cultural appeal, attract and entertain the masses. Sports also play a major role in city branding and local identity formation. Cities go to considerable lengths in competing to host the Olympic Games, which bring global attention and tourism.
Cities play a crucial strategic role in warfare due to their economic, demographic, symbolic, and political centrality. For the same reasons, they are targets in asymmetric warfare. Many cities throughout history were founded under military auspices, a great many have incorporated fortifications, and military principles continue to influence urban design. Indeed, war may have served as the social rationale and economic basis for the very earliest cities.
Powers engaged in geopolitical conflict have established fortified settlements as part of military strategies, as in the case of garrison towns, America's Strategic Hamlet Program during the Vietnam War, and Israeli settlements in Palestine. While occupying the Philippines, the US Army ordered local people concentrated into cities and towns, in order to isolate committed insurgents and battle freely against them in the countryside.
During World War II, national governments on occasion declared certain cities open, effectively surrendering them to an advancing enemy in order to avoid damage and bloodshed. Urban warfare proved decisive, however, in the Battle of Stalingrad, where Soviet forces repulsed German occupiers, with extreme casualties and destruction. In an era of low-intensity conflict and rapid urbanization, cities have become sites of long-term conflict waged both by foreign occupiers and by local governments against insurgency. Such warfare, known as counterinsurgency, involves techniques of surveillance and psychological warfare as well as close combat, functionally extends modern urban crime prevention, which already uses concepts such as defensible space.
Although capture is the more common objective, warfare has in some cases spelt complete destruction for a city. Mesopotamian tablets and ruins attest to such destruction, as does the Latin motto Carthago delenda est. Since the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and throughout the Cold War, nuclear strategists continued to contemplate the use of "countervalue" targeting: crippling an enemy by annihilating its valuable cities, rather than aiming primarily at its military forces.
Urban infrastructure involves various physical networks and spaces necessary for transportation, water use, energy, recreation, and public functions. Infrastructure carries a high initial cost in fixed capital (pipes, wires, plants, vehicles, etc.) but lower marginal costs and thus positive economies of scale. Because of the higher barriers to entry, these networks have been classified as natural monopolies, meaning that economic logic favors control of each network by a single organization, public or private.[b]
Infrastructure in general (if not every infrastructure project) plays a vital role in a city's capacity for economic activity and expansion, underpinning the very survival of the city's inhabitants, as well as technological, commercial, industrial, and social activities. Structurally, many infrastructure systems take the form of networks with redundant links and multiple pathways, so that the system as a whole continue to operate even if parts of it fail. The particulars of a city's infrastructure systems have historical path dependence because new development must build from what exists already.
Megaprojects such as the construction of airports, power plants, and railways require large upfront investments and thus tend to require funding from national government or the private sector. Privatization may also extend to all levels of infrastructure construction and maintenance.
Public utilities (literally, useful things with general availability) include basic and essential infrastructure networks, chiefly concerned with the supply of water, electricity, and telecommunications capability to the populace.
Sanitation, necessary for good health in crowded conditions, requires water supply and waste management as well as individual hygiene. Urban water systems include principally a water supply network and a network for wastewater including sewage and stormwater. Historically, either local governments or private companies have administered urban water supply, with a tendency toward government water supply in the 20th century and a tendency toward private operation at the turn of the twenty-first.[c] The market for private water services is dominated by two French companies, Veolia Water (formerly Vivendi) and Engie (formerly Suez), said to hold 70% of all water contracts worldwide.
Modern urban life relies heavily on the energy transmitted through electricity for the operation of electric machines (from household appliances to industrial machines to now-ubiquitous electronic systems used in communications, business, and government) and for traffic lights, streetlights and indoor lighting. Cities rely to a lesser extent on hydrocarbon fuels such as gasoline and natural gas for transportation, heating, and cooking. Telecommunications infrastructure such as telephone lines and coaxial cables also traverse cities, forming dense networks for mass and point-to-point communications.
Because cities rely on specialization and an economic system based on wage labour, their inhabitants must have the ability to regularly travel between home, work, commerce, and entertainment. Citydwellers travel foot or by wheel on roads and walkways, or use special rapid transit systems based on underground, overground, and elevated rail. Cities also rely on long-distance transportation (truck, rail, and airplane) for economic connections with other cities and rural areas.
Historically, city streets were the domain of horses and their riders and pedestrians, who only sometimes had sidewalks and special walking areas reserved for them. In the west, bicycles or (velocipedes), efficient human-powered machines for short- and medium-distance travel, enjoyed a period of popularity at the beginning of the twentieth century before the rise of automobiles. Soon after, they gained a more lasting foothold in Asian and African cities under European influence. In western cities, industrializing, expanding, and electrifying at this time, public transit systems and especially streetcars enabled urban expansion as new residential neighborhoods sprung up along transit lines and workers rode to and from work downtown.
Since the mid-twentieth century, cities have relied heavily on motor vehicle transportation, with major implications for their layout, environment, and aesthetics. (This transformation occurred most dramatically in the US—where corporate and governmental policies favored automobile transport systems—and to a lesser extent in Europe.) The rise of personal cars accompanied the expansion of urban economic areas into much larger metropolises, subsequently creating ubiquitous traffic issues with accompanying construction of new highways, wider streets, and alternative walkways for pedestrians.
The urban bus system, the world's most common form of public transport, uses a network of scheduled routes to move people through the city, alongside cars, on the roads. Economic function itself also became more decentralized as concentration became impractical and employers relocated to more car-friendly locations (including edge cities). Some cities have introduced bus rapid transit systems which include exclusive bus lanes and other methods for prioritizing bus traffic over private cars. Many big American cities still operate conventional public transit by rail, as exemplified by the ever-popular New York City Subway system. Rapid transit is widely used in Europe and has increased in Latin America and Asia.
Walking and cycling ("non-motorized transport") enjoy increasing favor (more pedestrian zones and bike lanes) in American and Asian urban transportation planning, under the influence of such trends as the Healthy Cities movement, the drive for sustainable development, and the idea of a carfree city. Techniques such as road space rationing and road use charges have been introduced to limit urban car traffic.
Housing of residents presents one of the major challenges every city must face. Adequate housing entails not only physical shelters but also the physical systems necessary to sustain life and economic activity. Home ownership represents status and a modicum of economic security, compared to renting which may consume much of the income of low-wage urban workers. Homelessness, or lack of housing, is a challenged currently faced by millions of people in countries rich and poor.
Urban ecosystems, influenced as they are by the density of human buildings and activities differ considerably from those of their rural surroundings. Anthropogenic buildings and waste, as well as cultivation in gardens, create physical and chemical environments which have no equivalents in wilderness, in some cases enabling exceptional biodiversity. They provide homes not only for immigrant humans but also for immigrant plants, bringing about interactions between species which never previously encountered each other. They introduce frequent disturbances (construction, walking) to plant and animal habitats, creating opportunities for recolonization and thus favoring young ecosystems with r-selected species dominant. On the whole, urban ecosystems are less complex and productive than others, due to the diminished absolute amount of biological interactions.
Cities generate considerable ecological footprints, locally and at longer distances, due to concentrated populations and technological activities. From one perspective, cities are not ecologically sustainable due to their resource needs. From another, proper management may be able to ameliorate a city's ill effects. Air pollution arises from various forms of combustion, including fireplaces, wood or coal-burning stoves, other heating systems, and internal combustion engines. Industrialized cities, and today third-world megacities, are notorious for veils of smog (industrial haze) which envelop them, posing a chronic threat to the health of their millions of inhabitants. Urban soil contains higher concentrations of heavy metals (especially lead, copper, and nickel) and has lower pH than soil in comparable wilderness.
Modern cities are known for creating their own microclimates, due to concrete, asphalt, and other artificial surfaces, which heat up in sunlight and channel rainwater into underground ducts. The temperature in New York City exceeds nearby rural temperatures by an average of 2–3 °C and at times 5–10 °C differences have been recorded. This effect varies nonlinearly with population changes (independently of the city's physical size). Aerial particulates increase rainfall by 5–10%. Thus, urban areas experience unique climates, with earlier flowering and later leaf dropping than in nearby country.
Poor and working-class people face disproportionate exposure to environmental risks (known as environmental racism when intersecting also with racial segregation). For example, within the urban microclimate, less-vegetated poor neighborhoods bear more of the heat (but have fewer means of coping with it).
As the world becomes more closely linked through economics, politics, technology, and culture (a process called globalization), cities have come to play a leading role in transnational affairs, exceeding the limitations of international relations conducted by national governments. This phenomenon, resurgent today, can be traced back to the Silk Road, Phoenicia, and the Greek city-states, through the Hanseatic League and other alliances of cities. Today the information economy based on high-speed internet infrastructure enables instantaneous telecommunication around the world, effectively eliminating the distance between cities for the purposes of stock markets and other high-level elements of the world economy, as well as personal communications and mass media.
A global city, also known as a world city, is a prominent centre of trade, banking, finance, innovation, and markets. Saskia Sassen used the term "global city" in her 1991 work, The Global City: New York, London, Tokyo to refer to a city's power, status, and cosmopolitanism, rather than to its size. Following this view of cities, it is possible to rank the world's cities hierarchically. Global cities form the capstone of the global hierarchy, exerting command and control through their economic and political influence. Global cities may have reached their status due to early transition to post-industrialism or through inertia which has enabled them to maintain their dominance from the industrial era. This type of ranking exemplifies an emerging discourse in which cities, considered variations on the same ideal type, must compete with each other globally to achieve prosperity.
Critics of the notion point to the different realms of power and interchange. The term "global city" is heavily influenced by economic factors and, thus, may not account for places that are otherwise significant. Paul James, for example argues that the term is "reductive and skewed" in its focus on financial systems.
Multinational corporations and banks make their headquarters in global cities and conduct much of their business within this context. American firms dominate the international markets for law and engineering and maintain branches in the biggest foreign global cities.
Global cities feature concentrations of extremely wealthy and extremely poor people. Their economies are lubricated by their capacity (limited by the national government's immigration policy, which functionally defines the supply side of the labor market) to recruit low- and high-skilled immigrant workers from poorer areas. More and more cities today draw on this globally available labor force.
Cities increasingly participate in world political activities independently of their enclosing nation-states. Early examples of this phenomenon are the sister city relationship and the promotion of multi-level governance within the European Union as a technique for European integration. Cities including Hamburg, Prague, Amsterdam, The Hague, and City of London maintain their own embassies to the European Union at Brussels.
Cities participate in global governance by various means including membership in global networks which transmit norms and regulations. At the general, global level, United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) is a significant umbrella organization for cities; regionally and nationally, Eurocities, Asian Network of Major Cities 21, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities the National League of Cities, and the United States Conference of Mayors play similar roles. UCLG took responsibility for creating Agenda 21 for culture, a program for cultural policies promoting sustainable development, and has organized various conferences and reports for its furtherance.
Networks have become especially prevalent in the arena of environmentalism and specifically climate change following the adoption of Agenda 21. Environmental city networks include the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, World Association of Major Metropolises ("Metropolis"), the United Nations Global Compact Cities Programme, the Carbon Neutral Cities Alliance (CNCA), the Covenant of Mayors and the Compact of Mayors, ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability, and the Transition Towns network.
Cities with world political status as meeting places for advocacy groups, non-governmental organizations, lobbyists, educational institutions, intelligence agencies, military contractors, information technology firms, and other groups with a stake in world policymaking. They are consequently also sites for symbolic protest.[d]
The United Nations System has been involved in a series of events and declarations dealing with the development of cities during this period of rapid urbanization.
UN-Habitat coordinates the UN urban agenda, working with the UN Environmental Programme, the UN Development Programme, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the World Health Organization, and the World Bank.
The World Bank, a United Nations specialized agency, has been a primary force in promoting the Habitat conferences, and since the first Habitat conference has used their declarations as a framework for issuing loans for urban infrastructure. The bank's structural adjustment programs contributed to urbanization in the Third World by creating incentives to move to cities. The World Bank and UN-Habitat in 1999 jointly established the Cities Alliance (based at the World Bank headquarters in Washington, D.C.) to guide policymaking, knowledge sharing, and grant distribution around the issue of urban poverty. (UN-Habitat plays an advisory role in evaluating the quality of a locality's governance.) The Bank's policies have tended to focus on bolstering real estate markets through credit and technical assistance.
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, UNESCO has increasingly focused on cities as key sites for influencing cultural governance. It has developed various city networks including the International Coalition of Cities against Racism and the Creative Cities Network. UNESCO's capacity to select World Heritage Sites and maintain them through Public/social/private partnerships gives the organization significant influence over cultural capital, tourism, and historic preservation funding.
Cities figure prominently in traditional Western culture, appearing in the Bible in both evil and holy forms, symbolized by Babylon and Jerusalem. Cain and Nimrod are the first city builders in the Book of Genesis. In Sumerian mythology Gilgamesh built the walls of Uruk.
Cities can be perceived in terms of extremes or opposites: at once liberating and oppressive, wealthy and poor, organized and chaotic. The name anti-urbanism refers to various types of ideological opposition to cities, whether because of their culture or their political relationship with the country. Such opposition may result from identification of cities with oppression and the ruling elite. This and other political ideologies strongly influence narratives and themes in discourse about cities. In turn, cities symbolize their home societies.
Writers, painters, and filmmakers have produced innumerable works of art concerning the urban experience. Classical and medieval literature includes a genre of descriptiones which treat of city features and history. Modern authors such as Charles Dickens and James Joyce are famous for evocative descriptions of their home cities. Fritz Lang conceived the idea for his influential 1927 film Metropolis while visiting Times Square and marveling at the nighttime neon lighting. Other early cinematic representations of cities in the twentieth century generally depicted them as technologically efficient spaces with smoothly functioning systems of automobile transport. By the 1960s, however, traffic congestion began to appear in such films as The Fast Lady (1962) and Playtime (1967).
Literature, film, and other forms of popular culture have supplied visions of future cities both utopian and dystopian. The prospect of expanding, communicating, and increasingly interdependent world cities has given rise to images such as Nylonkong (NY, London, Hong Kong) and visions of a single world-encompassing ecumenopolis.
Atlanta () is the capital of, and the most populous city in, the U.S. state of Georgia. With an estimated 2017 population of 486,290, it is also the 38th most-populous city in the United States. The city serves as the cultural and economic center of the Atlanta metropolitan area, home to 5.8 million people and the ninth-largest metropolitan area in the nation. Atlanta is the seat of Fulton County, the most populous county in Georgia. A small portion of the city extends eastward into neighboring DeKalb County.
Atlanta was originally founded as the terminating stop of a major state-sponsored railroad. With rapid expansion, however, it soon became the convergence point between multiple railroads, spurring its rapid growth. The city's name derives from that of the Western and Atlantic Railroad's local depot, signifying the town's growing reputation as a transportation hub. During the American Civil War, the city was almost entirely burned to the ground in General William T. Sherman's famous March to the Sea. However, the city rose from its ashes and quickly became a national center of commerce and the unofficial capital of the "New South". During the 1950s and 1960s, Atlanta became a major organizing center of the civil rights movement, with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Ralph David Abernathy, and many other locals playing major roles in the movement's leadership. During the modern era, Atlanta has attained international prominence as a major air transportation hub, with Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport being the world's busiest airport by passenger traffic since 1998.Atlanta is rated as a "beta(+)" world city that exerts a moderate impact on global commerce, finance, research, technology, education, media, art, and entertainment. It ranks in the top twenty among world cities and 10th in the nation with a gross domestic product (GDP) of $385 billion. Atlanta's economy is considered diverse, with dominant sectors that include transportation, logistics, professional and business services, media operations, medical services, and information technology. Atlanta has topographic features that include rolling hills and dense tree coverage, earning it the nickname of "the city in a forest." Revitalization of Atlanta's neighborhoods, initially spurred by the 1996 Summer Olympics, has intensified in the 21st century, altering the city's demographics, politics, aesthetics, and culture.Barcelona
Barcelona ( BAR-sə-LOH-nə, Catalan: [bəɾsəˈlonə], Spanish: [baɾθeˈlona]) is a city in Spain. It is the capital and largest city of Catalonia, as well as the second most populous municipality of Spain. With a population of 1.6 million within city limits, its urban area extends to numerous neighbouring municipalities within the Province of Barcelona and is home to around 4.8 million people, making it the sixth most populous urban area in the European Union after Paris, London, Madrid, the Ruhr area and Milan. It is one of the largest metropolises on the Mediterranean Sea, located on the coast between the mouths of the rivers Llobregat and Besòs, and bounded to the west by the Serra de Collserola mountain range, the tallest peak of which is 512 metres (1,680 feet) high.
Founded as a Roman city, in the Middle Ages Barcelona became the capital of the County of Barcelona. After merging with the Kingdom of Aragon, Barcelona continued to be an important city in the Crown of Aragon as an economic and administrative centre of this Crown and the capital of the Principality of Catalonia. Barcelona has a rich cultural heritage and is today an important cultural centre and a major tourist destination. Particularly renowned are the architectural works of Antoni Gaudí and Lluís Domènech i Montaner, which have been designated UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The headquarters of the Union for the Mediterranean are located in Barcelona. The city is known for hosting the 1992 Summer Olympics as well as world-class conferences and expositions and also many international sport tournaments.
Barcelona is one of the world's leading tourist, economic, trade fair and cultural centres, and its influence in commerce, education, entertainment, media, fashion, science, and the arts all contribute to its status as one of the world's major global cities. It is a major cultural and economic centre in southwestern Europe, 24th in the world (before Zürich, after Frankfurt) and a financial centre. In 2008 it was the fourth most economically powerful city by GDP in the European Union and 35th in the world with GDP amounting to €177 billion. In 2012 Barcelona had a GDP of $170 billion; and it was leading Spain in employment rate in that moment.In 2009 the city was ranked Europe's third and one of the world's most successful as a city brand. In the same year the city was ranked Europe's fourth best city for business and fastest improving European city, with growth improved by 17% per year, and the city has been experiencing strong and renewed growth for the past three years. Since 2011 Barcelona has been a leading smart city in Europe. Barcelona is a transport hub, with the Port of Barcelona being one of Europe's principal seaports and busiest European passenger port, an international airport, Barcelona–El Prat Airport, which handles over 50 million passengers per year, an extensive motorway network, and a high-speed rail line with a link to France and the rest of Europe.Chennai
Chennai ( (listen); also known by its former name Madras (listen) or ) is the capital of the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Located on the Coromandel Coast off the Bay of Bengal, it is the biggest cultural, economic and educational centre of south India. According to the 2011 Indian census, it is the sixth most populous city and fourth-most populous urban agglomeration in India. The city together with the adjoining regions constitute the Chennai Metropolitan Area, which is the 36th-largest urban area by population in the world. Chennai is among the most visited Indian cities by foreign tourists. It was ranked the 43rd most visited city in the world for the year 2015. The Quality of Living Survey rated Chennai as the safest city in India. Chennai attracts 45 percent of health tourists visiting India, and 30 to 40 percent of domestic health tourists. As such, it is termed "India's health capital". As a growing metropolitan city in a developing country, Chennai confronts substantial pollution and other logistical and socio-economic problems.Chennai had the third-largest expatriate population in India at 35,000 in 2009, 82,790 in 2011 and estimated at over 100,000 by 2016. Tourism guide publisher Lonely Planet named Chennai as one of the top ten cities in the world to visit in 2015. Chennai is ranked as a beta-level city in the Global Cities Index, and was ranked the best city in India by India Today in the 2014 annual Indian city survey. In 2015 Chennai was named the "hottest" city (worth visiting, and worth living in for long term) by the BBC, citing the mixture of both modern and traditional values. National Geographic mentioned Chennai as the only South Asian city to feature in its 2015 "Top 10 food cities" list. Chennai was also named the ninth-best cosmopolitan city in the world by Lonely Planet. In October 2017, Chennai was added to the UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN) list for its rich musical tradition.The Chennai Metropolitan Area is one of the largest municipal economies of India. Chennai is nicknamed "The Detroit of India", with more than one-third of India's automobile industry being based in the city. Home to the Tamil film industry, Chennai is also known as a major film production centre. Chennai has been selected as one of the 100 Indian cities to be developed as a smart city under Smart Cities Mission.Detroit
Detroit (, locally also ; French: Détroit, lit. 'strait') is the largest and most populous city in the U.S. state of Michigan, the largest United States city on the United States–Canada border, and the seat of Wayne County. The municipality of Detroit had a 2017 estimated population of 673,104, making it the 23rd-most populous city in the United States. The metropolitan area, known as Metro Detroit, is home to 4.3 million people, making it the second-largest in the Midwest after the Chicago metropolitan area. Regarded as a major cultural center, Detroit is known for its contributions to music and as a repository for art, architecture and design.
Detroit is a major port located on the Detroit River, one of the four major straits that connect the Great Lakes system to the Saint Lawrence Seaway. The Detroit Metropolitan Airport is among the most important hubs in the United States. The City of Detroit anchors the second-largest regional economy in the Midwest, behind Chicago and ahead of Minneapolis–Saint Paul, and the 13th-largest in the United States. Detroit and its neighboring Canadian city Windsor are connected through a tunnel and the Ambassador Bridge, the busiest international crossing in North America. Detroit is best known as the center of the U.S. automobile industry, and the "Big Three" auto manufacturers General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler are all headquartered in Metro Detroit.
In 1701, Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac founded Fort Pontchartrain du Détroit, the future city of Detroit. During the 19th century, it became an important industrial hub at the center of the Great Lakes region. With expansion of the auto industry in the early 20th century, the city and its suburbs experienced rapid growth, and by the 1940s, the city had become the fourth-largest in the country. However, due to industrial restructuring, the loss of jobs in the auto industry, and rapid suburbanization, Detroit lost considerable population from the late 20th century to the present. Since reaching a peak of 1.85 million at the 1950 census, Detroit's population has declined by more than 60 percent. In 2013, Detroit became the largest U.S. city to file for bankruptcy, which it successfully exited in December 2014, when the city government regained control of Detroit's finances.Detroit's diverse culture has had both local and international influence, particularly in music, with the city giving rise to the genres of Motown and techno, and playing an important role in the development of jazz, hip-hop, rock, and punk music. The erstwhile rapid growth of Detroit left a globally unique stock of architectural monuments and historic places, and since the 2000s conservation efforts managed to save many architectural pieces and allowed several large-scale revitalizations, including the restoration of several historic theatres and entertainment venues, high-rise renovations, new sports stadiums, and a riverfront revitalization project. More recently, the population of Downtown Detroit, Midtown Detroit, and various other neighborhoods has increased. An increasingly popular tourist destination, Detroit receives 19 million visitors per year. In 2015, Detroit was named a "City of Design" by UNESCO, the first U.S. city to receive that designation.Edinburgh
Edinburgh ( (listen); Scottish Gaelic: Dùn Èideann [ˈt̪uːn ˈeːtʲən̪ˠ]; Scots: Edinburgh) is the capital city of Scotland and one of its 32 council areas. Historically part of the county of Midlothian (or Edinburghshire), it is located in Lothian on the Firth of Forth's southern shore.
Recognised as the capital of Scotland since at least the 15th century, Edinburgh is the seat of the Scottish Government, the Scottish Parliament and the supreme courts of Scotland. The city's Palace of Holyroodhouse is the official residence of the monarch in Scotland. The city has long been a centre of education, particularly in the fields of medicine, Scots law, literature, philosophy, the sciences and engineering. It is the second largest financial centre in the United Kingdom (after London) and the city's historical and cultural attractions have made it the United Kingdom's second most popular tourist destination (again, after London), attracting over one million overseas visitors each year.Edinburgh is Scotland's second most populous city and the seventh most populous in the United Kingdom. The official population estimates are 464,990 (2012) for the Locality of Edinburgh (Edinburgh pre 1975 regionalisation plus Currie and Balerno), 513,210 (2017) for the City of Edinburgh, and 1,339,380 (2014) for the city region. Edinburgh lies at the heart of the Edinburgh and South East Scotland city region comprising East Lothian, Edinburgh, Fife, Midlothian, Scottish Borders and West Lothian.The city is the annual venue of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland. It is home to national institutions such as the National Museum of Scotland, the National Library of Scotland and the Scottish National Gallery. The University of Edinburgh, founded in 1582 and now one of four in the city, is placed 18th in the QS World University Rankings for 2019. The city is also famous for the Edinburgh International Festival and the Fringe, the latter being the world's largest annual international arts festival. Historic sites in Edinburgh include Edinburgh Castle, the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the churches of St. Giles, Greyfriars and the Canongate, and the extensive Georgian New Town, built in the 18th/19th centuries. Edinburgh's Old Town and New Town together are listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site, which has been managed by Edinburgh World Heritage since 1999.Houston
Houston ( (listen) HEW-stən) is the most populous city in the U.S. state of Texas and the fourth most populous city in the United States, with a census-estimated population of 2.312 million in 2017. It is the most populous city in the Southern United States and on the Gulf Coast of the United States. Located in Southeast Texas near Galveston Bay and the Gulf of Mexico, it is the seat of Harris County and the principal city of the Greater Houston metropolitan area, which is the fifth most populous metropolitan statistical area (MSA) in the United States and the second most populous in Texas after the Dallas-Fort Worth MSA. With a total area of 627 square miles (1,620 km2), Houston is the eighth most expansive city in the United States (including consolidated city-counties); it is the largest city in the United States by total area, whose government is similarly not consolidated with that of a county or borough. Though primarily in Harris County, small portions of the city extend into Fort Bend and Montgomery counties.
Houston was founded by land speculators on August 30, 1836, at the confluence of Buffalo Bayou and White Oak Bayou (a point now known as Allen's Landing) and incorporated as a city on June 5, 1837. The city is named after former General Sam Houston, who was president of the Republic of Texas and had won Texas' independence from Mexico at the Battle of San Jacinto 25 miles (40 km) east of Allen's Landing. After briefly serving as the capital of the Texas Republic in the late 1830s, Houston grew steadily into a regional trading center for the remainder of the 19th century.The arrival of the 20th century saw a convergence of economic factors which fueled rapid growth in Houston, including a burgeoning port and railroad industry, the decline of Galveston as Texas' primary port following a devastating 1900 hurricane, the subsequent construction of the Houston Ship Channel, and the Texas oil boom. In the mid-20th century, Houston's economy diversified as it became home to the Texas Medical Center—the world's largest concentration of healthcare and research institutions—and NASA's Johnson Space Center, where the Mission Control Center is located.
Houston's economy has a broad industrial base in energy, manufacturing, aeronautics, and transportation. Leading in healthcare sectors and building oilfield equipment, Houston has the second most Fortune 500 headquarters of any U.S. municipality within its city limits (after New York City). The Port of Houston ranks first in the United States in international waterborne tonnage handled and second in total cargo tonnage handled. Nicknamed the "Space City", Houston is a global city, with strengths in culture, medicine, and research. The city has a population from various ethnic and religious backgrounds and a large and growing international community. Houston is the most diverse metropolitan area in Texas and has been described as the most racially and ethnically diverse major metropolis in the U.S. It is home to many cultural institutions and exhibits, which attract more than 7 million visitors a year to the Museum District. Houston has an active visual and performing arts scene in the Theater District and offers year-round resident companies in all major performing arts.Las Vegas
Las Vegas (, Spanish for "The Meadows"; Spanish: [las ˈβeɣas]), officially the City of Las Vegas and often known simply as Vegas, is the 28th-most populated city in the United States, the most populated city in the state of Nevada, and the county seat of Clark County. The city anchors the Las Vegas Valley metropolitan area and is the largest city within the greater Mojave Desert. Las Vegas is an internationally renowned major resort city, known primarily for its gambling, shopping, fine dining, entertainment, and nightlife. The Las Vegas Valley as a whole serves as the leading financial, commercial, and cultural center for Nevada.
The city bills itself as The Entertainment Capital of the World, and is famous for its mega casino–hotels and associated activities. It is a top three destination in the United States for business conventions and a global leader in the hospitality industry, claiming more AAA Five Diamond hotels than any other city in the world. Today, Las Vegas annually ranks as one of the world's most visited tourist destinations. The city's tolerance for numerous forms of adult entertainment earned it the title of Sin City, and has made Las Vegas a popular setting for literature, films, television programs, and music videos.
Las Vegas was settled in 1905 and officially incorporated in 1911. At the close of the 20th century, it was the most populated American city founded within that century (a similar distinction earned by Chicago in the 1800s). Population growth has accelerated since the 1960s, and between 1990 and 2000 the population nearly doubled, increasing by 85.2%. Rapid growth has continued into the 21st century, and according to a 2018 estimate, the population is 648,224 with a regional population of 2,227,053."Las Vegas" is often used to describe areas beyond official city limits—especially the areas on and near the Las Vegas Strip, which is actually located within the unincorporated communities of Paradise and Winchester.Los Angeles
Los Angeles ( (listen); Spanish: Los Ángeles), officially the City of Los Angeles and often known by its initials L.A., is the most populous city in California and the second most populous city in the United States, after New York. With an estimated population of four million, Los Angeles is the cultural, financial, and commercial center of Southern California. Nicknamed the "City of Angels" partly because of its name's Spanish meaning, Los Angeles is known for its Mediterranean climate, ethnic diversity, Hollywood, and the entertainment industry, and sprawling metropolis.
Los Angeles is in a large basin bounded by the Pacific Ocean on one side and by mountains as high as 10,000 feet (3,000 m) on the others. The city proper, which covers about 469 square miles (1,210 km2), is the seat of Los Angeles County, the most populated county in the country. Los Angeles is also the principal city of the Los Angeles metropolitan area, the second largest in the United States after that of New York City, with a population of 13.1 million. It is part of the Los Angeles-Long Beach combined statistical area, also the nation's second most populous area with a 2015 estimated population of 18.7 million.Los Angeles is one of the most substantial economic engines within the United States, with a diverse economy in a broad range of professional and cultural fields. Los Angeles is also famous as the home of Hollywood, a major center of the world entertainment industry. A global city, it has been ranked 6th in the Global Cities Index and 9th in the Global Economic Power Index. The Los Angeles combined statistical area also has a gross metropolitan product of $831 billion (as of 2008), making it the third-largest in the world, after the Tokyo and New York metropolitan areas. Los Angeles hosted the 1932 and 1984 Summer Olympics and will host the event for a third time in 2028. The city also hosted the Miss Universe pageant twice, in 1990 and 2006, and was one of 9 American cities to host the 1994 FIFA men's soccer World Cup and one of 8 to host the 1999 FIFA women's soccer World Cup, hosting the final match for both tournaments.
Historically home to the Chumash and Tongva, Los Angeles was claimed by Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo for Spain in 1542 along with the rest of what would become Alta California. The city was officially founded on September 4, 1781, by Spanish governor Felipe de Neve. It became a part of Mexico in 1821 following the Mexican War of Independence. In 1848, at the end of the Mexican–American War, Los Angeles and the rest of California were purchased as part of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, becoming part of the United States. Los Angeles was incorporated as a municipality on April 4, 1850, five months before California achieved statehood. The discovery of oil in the 1890s brought rapid growth to the city. The completion of the Los Angeles Aqueduct in 1913, delivering water from Eastern California, later assured the city's continued rapid growth.Manchester City F.C.
Manchester City Football Club, sometimes abbreviated to Man City or City, is a football club based in Manchester, England, that competes in the Premier League, the top flight of English football. The club has won five league titles, five FA Cups, five League Cups, five FA Community Shields, and one European Cup Winners' Cup.
Founded in 1880, Manchester City entered the Football League in 1899, and won their first major honour with the FA Cup in 1904. It had its first major period of success in the late 1960s, winning the League, FA Cup and League Cup under the management of Joe Mercer and Malcolm Allison. After losing the 1981 FA Cup Final, the club went through a period of decline, culminating in relegation to the third tier of English football. Having regained their Premier League status in the early 2000s, Manchester City was purchased in 2008 by Abu Dhabi United Group for £210 million, receiving considerable investment.
Manchester City won the Premier League for the first time in the 2011-12 season, narrowly surpassing local rivals Manchester United on goal difference. The club won a second Premier League title in 2013-14. In 2017-18, City won a third Premier League title, in the process becoming the only team to attain 100 points in a season.
Manchester City's revenue was the fifth highest of a football club in the world in the 2017–18 season at €527.7 million. In 2018, Forbes estimated the club was the fifth most valuable in the world at $2.47 billion.Manhattan
Manhattan (), often referred to locally as the City, is the most densely populated of the five boroughs of New York City and its economic and administrative center, cultural identifier, and historical birthplace. The borough is coextensive with New York County, one of the original counties of the U.S. state of New York. The borough consists mostly of Manhattan Island, bounded by the Hudson, East, and Harlem rivers; several small adjacent islands; and Marble Hill, a small neighborhood now on the U.S. mainland, physically connected to the Bronx and separated from the rest of Manhattan by the Harlem River. Manhattan Island is divided into three informally bounded components, each aligned with the borough's long axis: Lower, Midtown, and Upper Manhattan.
Manhattan is often described as the cultural, financial, media, and entertainment capital of the world, and the borough hosts the United Nations Headquarters. Anchored by Wall Street in the Financial District of Lower Manhattan, New York City has been called both the most economically powerful city and the leading financial center of the world, and Manhattan is home to the world's two largest stock exchanges by total market capitalization: the New York Stock Exchange and NASDAQ. Many multinational media conglomerates are based in Manhattan, and the borough has been the setting for numerous books, films, and television shows. Manhattan is historically documented to have been purchased by Dutch colonists from Native Americans in 1626 for 60 guilders, which equals roughly US$1038 in current terms. Manhattan real estate has since become among the most expensive in the world, with the value of Manhattan Island, including real estate, estimated to exceed US$3 trillion in 2013; median residential property sale prices in Manhattan approximated US$1,600 per square foot ($17,000/m2) as of 2018, with Fifth Avenue in Midtown Manhattan commanding the highest retail rents in the world, at US$3,000 per square foot ($32,000/m2) in 2017.Manhattan traces its origins to a trading post founded by colonists from the Dutch Republic in 1624 on Lower Manhattan; the post was named New Amsterdam in 1626. The territory and its surroundings came under English control in 1664 and were renamed New York after King Charles II of England granted the lands to his brother, the Duke of York. New York, based in present-day Manhattan, served as the capital of the United States from 1785 until 1790. The Statue of Liberty greeted millions of immigrants as they came to the Americas by ship in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and is a world symbol of the United States and its ideals of liberty and peace. Manhattan became a borough during the consolidation of New York City in 1898.
New York County is the United States' second-smallest county by land area (larger only than Kalawao County, Hawaii), and is also the most densely populated U.S. county. It is also one of the most densely populated areas in the world, with a census-estimated 2017 population of 1,664,727 living in a land area of 22.83 square miles (59.13 km2), or 72,918 residents per square mile (28,154/km2), higher than the density of any individual U.S. city. On business days, the influx of commuters increases this number to over 3.9 million, or more than 170,000 people per square mile (65,600/km2). Manhattan has the third-largest population of New York City's five boroughs, after Brooklyn and Queens, and is the smallest borough in terms of land area. Manhattan Island is often informally divided into three areas, each aligned with its long axis: Lower, Midtown, and Upper Manhattan.
Many districts and landmarks in Manhattan are well known, as New York City received a record 62.8 million tourists in 2017, and Manhattan hosts three of the world's 10 most-visited tourist attractions in 2013: Times Square, Central Park, and Grand Central Terminal. The borough hosts many prominent bridges, such as the Brooklyn Bridge; skyscrapers such as the Empire State Building; and parks, such as Central Park. Chinatown incorporates the highest concentration of Chinese people in the Western Hemisphere, and the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village, part of the Stonewall National Monument, is considered the birthplace of the modern gay rights movement. The City of New York was founded at the southern tip of Manhattan, and the borough houses New York City Hall, the seat of the city's government. Numerous colleges and universities are located in Manhattan, including Columbia University, New York University, Cornell Tech, Weill Cornell Medical College, and Rockefeller University, which have been ranked among the top 40 in the world.Melbourne
Melbourne ( (listen) MEL-bərn) is the capital and most populous city of the Australian state of Victoria, and the second most populous city in Australia and Oceania. Its name refers to an urban agglomeration of 9,992.5 km2 (3,858.1 sq mi), comprising a metropolitan area with 31 municipalities, and is also the common name for its city centre. The city occupies much of the coastline of Port Phillip bay and spreads into the hinterlands towards the Dandenong and Macedon ranges, Mornington Peninsula and Yarra Valley. It has a population of approximately 4.9 million (19% of the population of Australia), and its inhabitants are referred to as "Melburnians".The city was founded on 30 August 1835, in what was the British colony of New South Wales, by free settlers from the colony of Van Diemen’s Land. It was incorporated as a Crown settlement in 1837 and named in honour of the British Prime Minister, William Lamb, 2nd Viscount Melbourne. It was declared a city by Queen Victoria in 1847, after which it became the capital of the new colony of Victoria in 1851. In the wake of the 1850s Victorian gold rush, the city entered the "Marvellous Melbourne" boom period, transforming into one of the most important cities in the British Empire and one of the largest and wealthiest in the world. After the federation of Australia in 1901, it served as interim seat of government of the new nation until Canberra became the permanent capital in 1927. Today, it is a leading financial centre in the Asia-Pacific region and ranks 20th in the Global Financial Centres Index.The city is home to many of the best-known cultural institutions in the nation, such as the Melbourne Cricket Ground, the National Gallery of Victoria and the World Heritage-listed Royal Exhibition Building. It is also the birthplace of Australian impressionism, Australian rules football, the Australian film and television industries and Australian contemporary dance. More recently, it has been recognised as a UNESCO City of Literature and a global centre for street art, live music and theatre. It is the host city of annual international events such as the Australian Grand Prix, the Australian Open and the Melbourne Cup, and has also hosted the 1956 Summer Olympics and the 2006 Commonwealth Games. Due to it rating highly in entertainment, tourism and sport, as well as education, health care, research and development, the EIU currently ranks it the second most liveable city in the world.The main airport serving the city is Melbourne Airport (also referred to as Tullamarine Airport), which is the second busiest in Australia, and Australia's busiest seaport the Port of Melbourne. Its main metropolitan rail terminus is Flinders Street station and its main regional rail and road coach terminus is Southern Cross station. It also has the most extensive freeway network in Australia and the largest urban tram network in the world.Mexico City
Mexico City, or the City of Mexico (Spanish: Ciudad de México, American Spanish: [sjuˈða(ð) ðe ˈmexiko] (listen); abbreviated as CDMX, Nahuatl languages: Āltepētl Mēxihco), is the capital of Mexico and the most populous city in North America. Mexico City is one of the most important cultural and financial centres in the Americas. It is located in the Valley of Mexico (Valle de México), a large valley in the high plateaus in the center of Mexico, at an altitude of 2,240 meters (7,350 ft). The city has 16 boroughs.
The 2009 population for the city proper was approximately 8.84 million people, with a land area of 1,485 square kilometers (573 sq mi). According to the most recent definition agreed upon by the federal and state governments, the population of Greater Mexico City is 21.3 million, which makes it the largest metropolitan area of the Western Hemisphere, the eleventh-largest agglomeration (2017), and the largest Spanish-speaking city in the world.Greater Mexico City has a GDP of $411 billion in 2011, making Greater Mexico City one of the most productive urban areas in the world. The city was responsible for generating 15.8% of Mexico's GDP, and the metropolitan area accounted for about 22% of total national GDP. If it were an independent country, in 2013, Mexico City would be the fifth-largest economy in Latin America, five times as large as Costa Rica and about the same size as Peru.Mexico’s capital is both the oldest capital city in the Americas and one of two founded by Native Americans, the other being Quito, Ecuador. The city was originally built on an island of Lake Texcoco by the Aztecs in 1325 as Tenochtitlan, which was almost completely destroyed in the 1521 siege of Tenochtitlan and subsequently redesigned and rebuilt in accordance with the Spanish urban standards. In 1524, the municipality of Mexico City was established, known as México Tenochtitlán, and as of 1585, it was officially known as Ciudad de México (Mexico City). Mexico City was the political, administrative, and financial center of a major part of the Spanish colonial empire. After independence from Spain was achieved, the federal district was created in 1824.
After years of demanding greater political autonomy, residents were finally given the right to elect both a Head of Government and the representatives of the unicameral Legislative Assembly by election in 1997. Ever since, the left-wing Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD) has controlled both of them. The city has several progressive policies, such as abortion on request, a limited form of euthanasia, no-fault divorce, and same-sex marriage.
On January 29, 2016, it ceased to be the Federal District (Spanish: Distrito Federal or D.F.), and is now officially known as "Ciudad de México" (or "CDMX"), with a greater degree of autonomy. A clause in the Constitution of Mexico, however, prevents it from becoming a state, as it is the seat of power in the country, unless the capital of the country were relocated elsewhere.New Orleans
New Orleans (, locally ; French: La Nouvelle-Orléans [la nuvɛlɔʁleɑ̃] (listen)) is a consolidated city-parish located along the Mississippi River in the southeastern region of the U.S. state of Louisiana. With an estimated population of 393,292 in 2017, it is the most populous city in Louisiana. A major port, New Orleans is considered an economic and commercial hub for the broader Gulf Coast region of the United States.
New Orleans is world-renowned for its distinct music, Creole cuisine, unique dialect, and its annual celebrations and festivals, most notably Mardi Gras. The historic heart of the city is the French Quarter, known for its French and Spanish Creole architecture and vibrant nightlife along Bourbon Street. The city has been described as the "most unique" in the United States, owing in large part to its cross-cultural and multilingual heritage. Founded in 1718 by French colonists, New Orleans was once the territorial capital of French Louisiana before being traded to the United States in the Louisiana Purchase of 1803. New Orleans was once the third-most populous city in the United States, and it was the largest city in the American South from the Antebellum era until after World War II. The city's location and low elevation have historically made it very vulnerable to flooding, leading to the installation of a complex system of levees and drainage pumps.New Orleans was severely affected by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, flooding over 80% of the city and causing a population decline of over 50%. Since Katrina, major redevelopment efforts have led to a rebound in the city's population. Although, concerns about gentrification, new residents buying property in closely knit communities, and displacement of longtime residents have been voiced.The city and Orleans Parish (French: paroisse d'Orléans) are coterminous. As of 2017, Orleans Parish is the third most-populous parish in Louisiana, behind East Baton Rouge Parish and neighboring Jefferson Parish. The city and parish are bounded by St. Tammany Parish and Lake Pontchartrain to the north, St. Bernard Parish and Lake Borgne to the east, Plaquemines Parish to the south, and Jefferson Parish to the south and west.
The city anchors the larger New Orleans metropolitan area, which had an estimated population of 1,275,762 in 2017. It is the most populous metropolitan area in Louisiana and the 46th-most populated in the United States.New York City
The City of New York, usually called either New York City (NYC) or simply New York (NY), is the most populous city in the United States and thus also in the state of New York. With an estimated 2017 population of 8,622,698 distributed over a land area of about 302.6 square miles (784 km2), New York is also the most densely populated major city in the United States. Located at the southern tip of the state of New York, the city is the center of the New York metropolitan area, the largest metropolitan area in the world by urban landmass and one of the world's most populous megacities, with an estimated 20,320,876 people in its 2017 Metropolitan Statistical Area and 23,876,155 residents in its Combined Statistical Area. A global power city, New York City has been described as the cultural, financial, and media capital of the world, and exerts a significant impact upon commerce, entertainment, research, technology, education, politics, tourism, art, fashion, and sports. The city's fast pace has inspired the term New York minute. Home to the headquarters of the United Nations, New York is an important center for international diplomacy.Situated on one of the world's largest natural harbors, New York City consists of five boroughs, each of which is a separate county of the State of New York. The five boroughs – Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, The Bronx, and Staten Island – were consolidated into a single city in 1898. The city and its metropolitan area constitute the premier gateway for legal immigration to the United States. As many as 800 languages are spoken in New York, making it the most linguistically diverse city in the world. New York City is home to more than 3.2 million residents born outside the United States, the largest foreign-born population of any city in the world. In 2017, the New York metropolitan area produced a gross metropolitan product (GMP) of US$1.73 trillion. If greater New York City were a sovereign state, it would have the 12th highest GDP in the world. New York is home to the highest number of billionaires of any city in the world.New York City traces its origins to a trading post founded by colonists from the Dutch Republic in 1624 on Lower Manhattan; the post was named New Amsterdam in 1626. The city and its surroundings came under English control in 1664 and were renamed New York after King Charles II of England granted the lands to his brother, the Duke of York. New York served as the capital of the United States from 1785 until 1790. It has been the country's largest city since 1790. The Statue of Liberty greeted millions of immigrants as they came to the Americas by ship in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and is an international symbol of the United States and its ideals of liberty and peace. In the 21st century, New York has emerged as a global node of creativity and entrepreneurship, social tolerance, and environmental sustainability, and as a symbol of freedom and cultural diversity.Many districts and landmarks in New York City are well known, with the city having three of the world's ten most visited tourist attractions in 2013 and receiving a record 62.8 million tourists in 2017. Several sources have ranked New York the most photographed city in the world. Times Square, iconic as the world's "heart" and its "Crossroads", is the brightly illuminated hub of the Broadway Theater District, one of the world's busiest pedestrian intersections, and a major center of the world's entertainment industry. The names of many of the city's landmarks, skyscrapers, and parks are known around the world. Manhattan's real estate market is among the most expensive in the world. New York is home to the largest ethnic Chinese population outside of Asia, with multiple signature Chinatowns developing across the city. Providing continuous 24/7 service, the New York City Subway is the largest single-operator rapid transit system worldwide, with 472 rail stations. Over 120 colleges and universities are located in New York City, including Columbia University, New York University, and Rockefeller University, which have been ranked among the top universities in the world. Anchored by Wall Street in the Financial District of Lower Manhattan, New York has been called both the most economically powerful city and the leading financial center of the world, and the city is home to the world's two largest stock exchanges by total market capitalization, the New York Stock Exchange and NASDAQ.Philadelphia
Philadelphia, sometimes known colloquially as Philly, is the largest city in the U.S. state and Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and the sixth-most populous U.S. city, with a 2017 census-estimated population of 1,580,863. Since 1854, the city has been coterminous with Philadelphia County, the most populous county in Pennsylvania and the urban core of the eighth-largest U.S. metropolitan statistical area, with over 6 million residents as of 2017. Philadelphia is also the economic and cultural anchor of the greater Delaware Valley, located along the lower Delaware and Schuylkill Rivers, within the Northeast megalopolis. The Delaware Valley's population of 7.2 million ranks it as the eighth-largest combined statistical area in the United States.William Penn, an English Quaker, founded the city in 1682 to serve as capital of the Pennsylvania Colony. Philadelphia played an instrumental role in the American Revolution as a meeting place for the Founding Fathers of the United States, who signed the Declaration of Independence in 1776 at the Second Continental Congress, and the Constitution at the Philadelphia Convention of 1787. Several other key events occurred in Philadelphia during the Revolutionary War including the First Continental Congress, the preservation of the Liberty Bell, the Battle of Germantown, and the Siege of Fort Mifflin. Philadelphia was one of the nation's capitals during the revolution, and served as temporary U.S. capital while Washington, D.C., was under construction. In the 19th century, Philadelphia became a major industrial center and a railroad hub. The city grew from an influx of European immigrants, most of whom came from Ireland, Italy and Germany—the three largest reported ancestry groups in the city as of 2015. In the early 20th century, Philadelphia became a prime destination for African Americans during the Great Migration after the Civil War, as well as Puerto Ricans. The city's population doubled from one million to two million people between 1890 and 1950.
The Philadelphia area's many universities and colleges make it a top study destination, as the city has evolved into an educational and economic hub. According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, the Philadelphia area had a gross domestic product of US$445 billion in 2017, the eighth-largest metropolitan economy in the United States. Philadelphia is the center of economic activity in Pennsylvania and is home to five Fortune 1000 companies. The Philadelphia skyline is expanding, with a market of almost 81,900 commercial properties in 2016, including several nationally prominent skyscrapers. Philadelphia has more outdoor sculptures and murals than any other American city. Fairmount Park, when combined with the adjacent Wissahickon Valley Park in the same watershed, is one of the largest contiguous urban park areas in the United States. The city is known for its arts, culture, cuisine, and colonial history, attracting 42 million domestic tourists in 2016 who spent US$6.8 billion, generating an estimated $11 billion in total economic impact in the city and surrounding four counties of Pennsylvania. Philadelphia has also emerged as a biotechnology hub.Philadelphia is the birthplace of the United States Marine Corps, and is also the home of many U.S. firsts, including the first library (1731), hospital (1751), medical school (1765), national capital (1774), stock exchange (1790), zoo (1874), and business school (1881). Philadelphia contains 67 National Historic Landmarks and the World Heritage Site of Independence Hall. The city became a member of the Organization of World Heritage Cities in 2015, as the first World Heritage City in the United States. Although Philadelphia is rapidly undergoing gentrification, the city actively maintains mitigation strategies to minimize displacement of homeowners in gentrifying neighborhoods.Rome
Rome (Latin and Italian: Roma [ˈroːma] (listen)) is the capital city and a special comune of Italy (named Comune di Roma Capitale). Rome also serves as the capital of the Lazio region. With 2,872,800 residents in 1,285 km2 (496.1 sq mi), it is also the country's most populated comune. It is the fourth-most populous city in the European Union by population within city limits. It is the centre of the Metropolitan City of Rome, which has a population of 4,355,725 residents, thus making it the most populous metropolitan city in Italy. Rome is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, within Lazio (Latium), along the shores of the Tiber. The Vatican City (the smallest country in the world) is an independent country inside the city boundaries of Rome, the only existing example of a country within a city: for this reason Rome has been often defined as capital of two states.Rome's history spans 28 centuries. While Roman mythology dates the founding of Rome at around 753 BC, the site has been inhabited for much longer, making it one of the oldest continuously occupied sites in Europe. The city's early population originated from a mix of Latins, Etruscans, and Sabines. Eventually, the city successively became the capital of the Roman Kingdom, the Roman Republic and the Roman Empire, and is regarded as the birthplace of Western civilization and by some as the first ever metropolis. It was first called The Eternal City (Latin: Urbs Aeterna; Italian: La Città Eterna) by the Roman poet Tibullus in the 1st century BC, and the expression was also taken up by Ovid, Virgil, and Livy. Rome is also called the "Caput Mundi" (Capital of the World). After the fall of the Western Empire, which marked the beginning of the Middle Ages, Rome slowly fell under the political control of the Papacy, which had settled in the city since the 1st century AD, until in the 8th century it became the capital of the Papal States, which lasted until 1870. Beginning with the Renaissance, almost all the popes since Nicholas V (1447–1455) pursued over four hundred years a coherent architectural and urban programme aimed at making the city the artistic and cultural centre of the world. In this way, Rome became first one of the major centres of the Italian Renaissance, and then the birthplace of both the Baroque style and Neoclassicism. Famous artists, painters, sculptors and architects made Rome the centre of their activity, creating masterpieces throughout the city. In 1871, Rome became the capital of the Kingdom of Italy, which, in 1946, became the Italian Republic.
Rome has the status of a global city. In 2016, Rome ranked as the 14th-most-visited city in the world, 3rd most visited in the European Union, and the most popular tourist attraction in Italy. Its historic centre is listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. The famous Vatican Museums are among the world's most visited museums while the Colosseum was the most popular tourist attraction in world with 7.4 million visitors in 2018. Host city for the 1960 Summer Olympics, Rome is the seat of several specialized agencies of the United Nations, such as the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the World Food Programme (WFP) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). The city also hosts the Secretariat of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) as well as the headquarters of many international business companies such as Eni, Enel, TIM, Leonardo S.p.A., and national and international banks such as Unicredit and BNL. Its business district, called EUR, is the base of many companies involved in the oil industry, the pharmaceutical industry, and financial services. Rome is also an important fashion and design centre thanks to renowned international brands centered in the city. Rome's Cinecittà Studios have been the set of many Academy Award–winning movies.San Francisco
San Francisco (SF; , Spanish: [sam fɾanˈsisko]; Spanish for 'Saint Francis'), officially the City and County of San Francisco, is the cultural, commercial, and financial center of Northern California. San Francisco is the 13th-most populous city in the United States, and the fourth-most populous in California, with 884,363 residents as of 2017. It covers an area of about 46.89 square miles (121.4 km2), mostly at the north end of the San Francisco Peninsula in the San Francisco Bay Area, making it the second-most densely populated large US city, and the fifth-most densely populated U.S. county, behind only four of the five New York City boroughs. San Francisco is also part of the fifth-most populous primary statistical area in the United States, the San Jose–San Francisco–Oakland, CA Combined Statistical Area (9.7 million residents).
As of 2017, it was the seventh-highest income county in the United States, with a per capita personal income of $119,868, meaning that the average San Francisco household earned over $280,000. As of 2015, San Francisco proper had a GDP of $154 billion, and a GDP per capita of ~$178,000. The San Francisco CSA was the country's third-largest urban economy as of 2017, with a GDP of $907 billion. Of the 500+ primary statistical areas in the US, the San Francisco CSA had among the highest GDP per capita in 2017, at $93,938. San Francisco was ranked 14th in the world and third in the United States on the Global Financial Centres Index as of September 2018.San Francisco was founded on June 29, 1776, when colonists from Spain established Presidio of San Francisco at the Golden Gate and Mission San Francisco de Asís a few miles away, all named for St. Francis of Assisi. The California Gold Rush of 1849 brought rapid growth, making it the largest city on the West Coast at the time. San Francisco became a consolidated city-county in 1856. San Francisco's status as the West Coast's largest city peaked between 1870 and 1900, when around 25% of California's population resided in the city proper. After three-quarters of the city was destroyed by the 1906 earthquake and fire, San Francisco was quickly rebuilt, hosting the Panama-Pacific International Exposition nine years later. In World War II, San Francisco was a major port of embarkation for service members shipping out to the Pacific Theater. It then became the birthplace of the United Nations in 1945. After the war, the confluence of returning servicemen, significant immigration, liberalizing attitudes, along with the rise of the "hippie" counterculture, the Sexual Revolution, the Peace Movement growing from opposition to United States involvement in the Vietnam War, and other factors led to the Summer of Love and the gay rights movement, cementing San Francisco as a center of liberal activism in the United States. Politically, the city votes strongly along liberal Democratic Party lines.
A popular tourist destination, San Francisco is known for its cool summers, fog, steep rolling hills, eclectic mix of architecture, and landmarks, including the Golden Gate Bridge, cable cars, the former Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary, Fisherman's Wharf, and its Chinatown district. San Francisco is also the headquarters of five major banking institutions and various other companies such as Levi Strauss & Co., Gap Inc., Fitbit, Salesforce.com, Dropbox, Reddit, Square, Inc., Dolby, Airbnb, Weebly, Pacific Gas and Electric Company, Yelp, Pinterest, Twitter, Uber, Lyft, Mozilla, Wikimedia Foundation, Craigslist, and Weather Underground. It is home to a number of educational and cultural institutions, such as the University of San Francisco (USF), University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), San Francisco State University (SFSU), the De Young Museum, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the California Academy of Sciences.
As of 2018, San Francisco is the highest rated American city on world liveability rankings.Sergio Agüero
Sergio Leonel Agüero (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈseɾxjo le.oˈnel aˈɣweɾo]; born 2 June 1988) is an Argentine professional footballer who plays as a striker for Premier League club Manchester City and the Argentine national team.
Agüero began his career at Independiente. On 5 July 2003, he became the youngest player to play in the Argentine Primera División on his debut at 15 years and 35 days, breaking the record previously established by Diego Maradona in 1976. In 2006, he moved to Europe to play for La Liga side Atlético Madrid, for a transfer fee of €23 million and made a name for himself, attracting attention from Europe's top clubs by scoring 101 goals in 234 appearances while winning the UEFA Europa League and the UEFA Super Cup in 2010.
Agüero moved to Premier League club Manchester City in July 2011 for an undisclosed fee thought to be in the region of £35 million. On the last day of his debut season with the club, he scored a 94th-minute winner against Queens Park Rangers that earned City its first league title in 44 years. At the end of the 2015–16 season, of players who had played at least two seasons in the Premier League, Agüero had the highest goals per minute ratio in the history of the competition since its formation in 1992, averaging a goal every 106 minutes, ahead of Thierry Henry. He also holds the joint-record for the most goals scored in a single Premier League match – five – and the fastest to do so, in 23 minutes and 34 seconds of match time. In November 2017, Agüero became Manchester City's all-time highest goal-scorer, scoring his 178th City goal against Napoli. Agüero is currently the 8th highest goalscorer in Premier League history, and the highest non-European scorer in the history of the Premier League, with over 100 goals in the division.
At international level, Agüero represented the Argentina under-20 team at the FIFA U-20 World Cup in 2005 and in 2007, winning both tournaments. He played at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, scoring two goals in the 3–0 semi-final win against Brazil as Argentina went on to win the gold medal. Agüero was selected to represent Argentina in the 2010 FIFA World Cup, the 2011 Copa América, the 2014 FIFA World Cup, the 2015 Copa América, and the Copa América Centenario, reaching the finals of the latter three tournaments. He also participated in the 2018 FIFA World Cup, where he scored his first and second World Cup goals for Argentina.
He wears "Kun" on his shirt, a childhood nickname.Toronto
Toronto ( (listen) tə-RON-toh) is the provincial capital of Ontario and the most populous city in Canada, with a population of 2,731,571 in 2016. Current to 2016, the Toronto census metropolitan area (CMA), of which the majority is within the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), held a population of 5,928,040, making it Canada's most populous CMA. Toronto is the anchor of an urban agglomeration, known as the Golden Horseshoe in Southern Ontario, located on the northwestern shore of Lake Ontario. A global city, Toronto is a centre of business, finance, arts, and culture, and is recognized as one of the most multicultural and cosmopolitan cities in the world.People have travelled through and inhabited the Toronto area, situated on a broad sloping plateau interspersed with rivers, deep ravines, and urban forest, for more than 10,000 years. After the broadly disputed Toronto Purchase, when the Mississauga surrendered the area to the British Crown, the British established the town of York in 1793 and later designated it as the capital of Upper Canada. During the War of 1812, the town was the site of the Battle of York and suffered heavy damage by United States troops. York was renamed and incorporated in 1834 as the city of Toronto. It was designated as the capital of the province of Ontario in 1867 during Canadian Confederation. The city proper has since expanded past its original borders through both annexation and amalgamation to its current area of 630.2 km2 (243.3 sq mi).
The diverse population of Toronto reflects its current and historical role as an important destination for immigrants to Canada. More than 50 percent of residents belong to a visible minority population group, and over 200 distinct ethnic origins are represented among its inhabitants. While the majority of Torontonians speak English as their primary language, over 160 languages are spoken in the city.Toronto is a prominent centre for music, theatre, motion picture production, and television production, and is home to the headquarters of Canada's major national broadcast networks and media outlets. Its varied cultural institutions, which include numerous museums and galleries, festivals and public events, entertainment districts, national historic sites, and sports activities, attract over 25 million tourists each year. Toronto is known for its many skyscrapers and high-rise buildings, in particular the tallest free-standing structure in the Western Hemisphere, the CN Tower.The city is home to the Toronto Stock Exchange, the headquarters of Canada's five largest banks, and the headquarters of many large Canadian and multinational corporations. Its economy is highly diversified with strengths in technology, design, financial services, life sciences, education, arts, fashion, business services, environmental innovation, food services, and tourism.Vatican City
Vatican City ( (listen)), officially Vatican City State (Italian: Stato della Città del Vaticano; Latin: Status Civitatis Vaticanae), is an independent city-state enclaved within Rome, Italy. Established with the Lateran Treaty (1929), it is distinct from yet under "full ownership, exclusive dominion, and sovereign authority and jurisdiction" of the Holy See (Latin: Sancta Sedes). With an area of 44 hectares (110 acres), and a population of about 1,000, it is the smallest state in the world by both area and population.
The Vatican City is an ecclesiastical or sacerdotal-monarchical state (a type of theocracy) ruled by the pope who is, religiously speaking, the bishop of Rome and head of the Catholic Church. The highest state functionaries are all Catholic clergy of various national origins. Since the return of the popes from Avignon in 1377, they have generally resided at the Apostolic Palace within what is now Vatican City, although at times residing instead in the Quirinal Palace in Rome or elsewhere.
The Holy See dates back to early Christianity, and is the primate episcopal see of the Catholic Church, with 1.3 billion Catholics around the world distributed in the Latin Church and 23 Eastern Catholic Churches. The independent Vatican City-state, on the other hand, came into existence in 11 February 1929 by the Lateran Treaty between the Holy See and Italy, which spoke of it as a new creation, not as a vestige of the much larger Papal States (756–1870), which had previously encompassed much of central Italy.
Within the Vatican City are religious and cultural sites such as St. Peter's Basilica, the Sistine Chapel and the Vatican Museums. They feature some of the world's most famous paintings and sculptures. The unique economy of Vatican City is supported financially by the sale of postage stamps and souvenirs, fees for admission to museums, and sales of publications.