Town


A town is a human settlement. Towns are generally larger than villages but smaller than cities, though the criteria to distinguish them vary considerably between different parts of the world.

Lemgo - Marktplatz mit Rathaus
Lemgo, an old hanseatic town in Germany
Turkish.town.cesme
Çeşme, Turkey a coastal Turkish town with houses in regional style and an Ottoman Castle
Luftbild Davos2
The alpine town of Davos in the Swiss Alps
St Mary's Church, Castle Street 1
Reading, England, is a large town which has unsuccessfully tried to become a city.
Mecca1880s
The town of Mecca in the Arabian Peninsula, before its inflation, in 1880.
View from tower of church st michal during skalica days
The historical town of Skalica in Slovakia
Fatima 0549 (19531851070)
The Marian town of Fátima (Portugal)

Origin and use

The word town shares an origin with the German word Zaun, the Dutch word tuin, and the Old Norse tun. The German word Zaun comes closest to the original meaning of the word: a fence of any material. An early borrowing from Celtic *dunom (cf. Old Irish dun, Welsh din "fortress, fortified place, camp," dinas "city").

In English and Dutch, the meaning of the word took on the sense of the space which these fences enclosed. In England, a town was a small community that could not afford or was not allowed to build walls or other larger fortifications, and built a palisade or stockade instead. In the Netherlands, this space was a garden, more specifically those of the wealthy, which had a high fence or a wall around them (like the garden of the palace of Het Loo in Apeldoorn, which was the model for the privy garden of William III and Mary II at Hampton Court). In Old Norse tun means a (grassy) place between farmhouses, and the word is still used in a similar meaning in modern Norwegian.

In Old English and Early and Middle Scots, the words ton, toun, etc. could refer to diverse kinds of settlements from agricultural estates and holdings, partly picking up the Norse sense (as in the Scots word fermtoun) at one end of the scale, to fortified municipalities. If there was any distinction between toun (fortified municipality) and burgh (unfortified municipality) as claimed by some, it did not last in practice as burghs and touns developed. For example, "Edina Burgh" or "Edinburgh" (called a city today) was built around a fort and eventually came to have a defensive wall.

In some cases, "town" is an alternative name for "city" or "village" (especially a larger village). Sometimes, the word "town" is short for "township". In general, today towns can be differentiated from townships, villages, or hamlets on the basis of their economic character, in that most of a town's population will tend to derive their living from manufacturing industry, commerce, and public services rather than primary industry such as agriculture or related activities.

A place's population size is not a reliable determinant of urban character. In many areas of the world, e.g. in India at least until recent times, a large village might contain several times as many people as a small town. In the United Kingdom, there are historical cities that are far smaller than the larger towns.

The modern phenomenon of extensive suburban growth, satellite urban development, and migration of city dwellers to villages has further complicated the definition of towns, creating communities urban in their economic and cultural characteristics but lacking other characteristics of urban localities.

Some forms of non-rural settlement, such as temporary mining locations, may be clearly non-rural, but have at best a questionable claim to be called a town.

Towns often exist as distinct governmental units, with legally defined borders and some or all of the appurtenances of local government (e.g. a police force). In the United States these are referred to as "incorporated towns". In other cases the town lacks its own governance and is said to be "unincorporated". Note that the existence of an unincorporated town may be legally set out by other means, e.g. zoning districts. In the case of some planned communities, the town exists legally in the form of covenants on the properties within the town. The United States Census identifies many census-designated places (CDPs) by the names of unincorporated towns which lie within them; however, those CDPs typically include rural and suburban areas and even surrounding villages and other towns.

The distinction between a town and a city similarly depends on the approach: a city may strictly be an administrative entity which has been granted that designation by law, but in informal usage, the term is also used to denote an urban locality of a particular size or importance: whereas a medieval city may have possessed as few as 10,000 inhabitants, today some consider an urban place of fewer than 100,000 as a town, even though there are many officially designated cities that are much smaller than that.

Age of towns scheme

Australian geographer Thomas Griffith Taylor proposed a classification of towns based on their age and pattern of land use. He identified five types of town:[1]

By country

Afghanistan

In Afghanistan, towns and cities are known as shār (Dari: شهر, Pashto: ښار).[2] As the country is an historically rural society with few larger settlements, with major cities never holding more than a few hundred thousand inhabitants before the 2000s, the lingual tradition of the country does not discriminate between towns and cities.

Albania

In Albania "qytezë" means town, which is very similar with the word for city ("qytet"). Although there is no official use of the term for any settlement. In Albanian "qytezë" means "small city" or "new city", while in ancient times "small residential center within the walls of a castle".

Arab

The center is a population group, larger than a village, and smaller than a city. Though the village is bigger than a hamlet

Australia

In Australia, towns or "urban centre localities" are commonly understood to be those centers of population not formally declared to be cities and having a population in excess of about 200 people.[3] Centers too small to be called towns are generally understood to be a township.

In addition, some local government entities are officially styled as towns in Queensland, Western Australia and the Northern Territory, and before the statewide amalgamations of the 1990s in Victoria some local government entities were styled as towns, but now towns are only localities that contain an urban centre with a population greater than 200.

Austria

The Austrian legal system does not distinguish between villages, towns, and cities. The country is partitioned into 2098 municipalities (German: Gemeinden) of fundamentally equal rank. Larger municipalities are designated as market towns (German: Marktgemeinden) or cities (Städte), but these distinctions are purely symbolic and do not confer additional legal responsibilities. There is a number of smaller communities that are labelled cities because they used to be regional population centers in the distant past. The city of Rattenberg for example has about 400 inhabitants. The city of Hardegg has about 1200 inhabitants, although the historic city core − Hardegg proper without what used to be the surrounding hamlets − is home to just 80 souls.

There are no unincorporated areas.

Of the 201 cities in Austria, 15 are statutory cities (Statutarstädte). A statutory city is a city that is vested, in addition to its purview as a municipality, with the duties of a district administrative authority. The status does not come with any additional autonomy: district administrative authorities are essentially just service centers that citizens use to interact with the national government, for example to apply for driver licenses or passports. The national government generally uses the provinces to run these points of contact on its behalf; in the case of statutory cities, the municipality gets to step up.

Bulgaria

Bulgarians do not, in general, differentiate between 'city' and 'town'. However, in everyday language and media the terms "large towns" and "small towns" are in use. "Large towns" usually refers to Sofia, Plovdiv, Varna and Burgas, which have population over 200,000. Ruse and Stara Zagora are often included as well due to presence of relatively developed infrastructure and population over 100,000 threshold. It is difficult to call the remaining provincial capitals "large towns" as, in general, they are less developed and have shrinking population, some with as few as 30,000 inhabitants.

In Bulgaria the Council of Ministers defines what constitutes a settlement, while the President of Bulgaria grants each settlement its title. In 2005 the requirement that villages that wish to classify themselves as town must have a social and technical infrastructure, as well as a population of no fewer than 3500 people. For resort settlements the requirements are lower with the population needing to be no fewer than 1000 people but infrastructure requirements remain.

Canada

The legal definition of a town in Canada varies by province or territory, as each has jurisdiction over defining and legislating towns, cities and other types of municipal organization within its own boundaries.

The province of Quebec is unique in that it makes no distinction under law between towns and cities. There is no intermediate level in French between village and ville (municipality is an administrative term usually applied to a legal, not geographical entity), so both are combined under the single legal status of ville. While an informal preference may exist among English speakers as to whether any individual ville is commonly referred to as a city or as a town, no distinction and no objective legal criteria exist to make such a distinction under law.

Chile

In Chile, towns (Spanish: pueblos) are defined by the National Statistics Institute (INE) as an urban entity with a population from 2001 to 5000 or an area with a population from 1001 to 2000 and an established economic activity.

Czech Republic

In the Czech Republic, the word město (city) is used for very wide variety of municipalities, ranging from Prague, the largest and capital city with approximately 1.2 million inhabitants, to the smallest, Přebuz, with just 74 inhabitants. Technically, a municipality must have at least 3,000 inhabitants to be granted the město title, although many smaller municipalities, especially some former mining towns, retain the title město for historic reasons. Currently, approximately 192 of the 592 města have less than 3,000 inhabitants.

Some municipalities have been amalgamated together, such that the whole is considered as a město.

Statutory cities (statutární město), which are defined by law no. 128/2000 Coll.,[4] can define their own self-governing municipal districts.. There are 25 such cities, in addition to Prague, which is a de facto statutory city.

In 2006, the legal concept of a town (městys, or formerly městečko) was reintroduced. Currently, around 213 municipalities hold the title městys.

Municipalities which do not qualify as a město or a městys default to the title of obec (a municipality) or, unofficially, a vesnice (village), even though they may consist of one or more villages.

Denmark

In Denmark, in many contexts no distinction is made between "city", "town" and "village"; all three translate as "by". In more specific use, for small villages and hamlets the word "landsby" (meaning "country town") is used, while the Danish equivalent of English "city" is "storby" (meaning "large town"). For formal purposes, urban areas having at least 200 inhabitants are counted as "by".[5]

Historically some towns held various privileges, the most important of which was the right to hold market. They were administered separately from the rural areas in both fiscal, military and legal matters. Such towns are known as "købstad" (roughly the same meaning as "borough" albeit deriving from a different etymology) and they retain the exclusive right to the title even after the last vestiges of their privileges vanished through the reform of the local administration carried through in 1970.

Estonia

In Estonia, there is no distinction between a town and a city as the word linn is used for both bigger and smaller settlements, which are bigger than villages and boroughs. There are 30 municipal towns (omavalitsuslik linn) in Estonia and a further 17 towns, which have merged with a municipal parish (vallasisene linn).

France

From an administrative standpoint, the smallest level of local authorities are all called "communes". However, some laws do treat these authorities differently based on the population and different rules apply to the three big cities Paris, Lyon and Marseille. For historical reasons, six communes in the Meuse département exist as independent entities despite having no inhabitant at all.

For statistical purposes, the national statistical institute (INSEE) operates a distinction between urban areas with fewer than 2,000 inhabitants and bigger communes, the latter being called "villes". Smaller settlements are usually called "villages". The French term for "town" is "bourg" but in fact, the French laws do not really distinguish between towns and cities which are all commonly called "villes".

Putbus (2011-05-21) 14
Putbus on Rügen Island, Germany

Germany

Germans do not, in general, differentiate between 'city' and 'town'. The German word for both is Stadt, as it is the case in many other languages that do not differentiate between these Anglo-Saxon concepts. The word for a 'village', as a smaller settlement, is Dorf. However, the International Statistics Conference of 1887 defined different sizes of Stadt, based on their population size, as follows: Landstadt ("country town"; under 5,000), Kleinstadt ("small town"; 5,000 to 20,000), Mittelstadt ("middle town"; between 20,000 and 100,000) and Großstadt ("large town"; over 100,000).[6] The term Großstadt may be translated as "city". In addition, Germans may speak of a Millionenstadt, a city with over one million inhabitants (such as Munich, Hamburg and Berlin).

Historically, many settlements became a Stadt by being awarded a Stadtrecht in medieval times. In modern German language use, the historical importance, the existence of central functions (education, retail etc.) and the population density of an urban place might also be taken as characteristics of a Stadt. The modern local government organisation is subject to the laws of each state and refers to a Gemeinde (municipality), regardless of its historic title. While most Gemeinden form part of a Landkreis (district) on a higher tier of local government, larger towns and cities may have the status of a kreisfreie Stadt, combining both the powers of a municipality and a district.

Designations in different states are as diverse as e.g. in Australian States and Territories, and differ from state to state. In some German states, the words Markt ("market"), Marktflecken (both used in southern Germany) or Flecken ("spot"; northern Germany e.g. in Lower Saxony) designate a town-like residential community between Gemeinde and Stadt with special importance to its outer conurbation area. Historically those had Marktrecht (market right) but not full town privileges; see Market town. The legal denomination of a specific settlement may differ from its common designation (e.g. Samtgemeinde – a legal term in Lower Saxony for a group of villages [Dorf, pl. Dörfer] with common local government created by combining municipalities [Gemeinde, pl. Gemeinden]).

Greece and Cyprus

In written speech, Greeks use the word πόλη (póli) to express 'city' and the word κωμόπολη (komópoli) to express 'town', both with a feminine grammatical gender. For Greeks, a town (komópoli) is a human settlement with a population of 2,000–9,999. If a settlement has a lower population, it is considered a village (χωριό, chorjó). For the cities, Greeks, use the word 'póli', whereas for bigger cities with a population above 1 million, they usually use another name, μητρόπολη (mitrópoli), in English Metropolis. In the Greek speaking world (Greece and Cyprus) only Athens and Salonica can be described as "metropoleis".

In spoken speech, Greeks use the word for village to refer both to villages and towns and the word for city to refer to both cities and metropoleis.

Hong Kong

ShatinTownHall 20070529
Nearly every town in Hong Kong has its own town hall. The picture shows the Sha Tin Town Hall in the town of Sha Tin.

Hong Kong started developing new towns in the 1950s, to accommodate exponential population increase. The very first new towns included Tsuen Wan and Kwun Tong. In the late 1960s and the 1970s, another stage of new town developments was launched. Nine new towns have been developed so far. Land use is carefully planned and development provides plenty of room for public housing projects. Rail transport is usually available at a later stage. The first towns are Sha Tin, Tsuen Wan, Tuen Mun and Tseung Kwan O. Tuen Mun was intended to be self-reliant, but was not successful and turned into a bedroom community like the other new towns. More recent developments are Tin Shui Wai and North Lantau (Tung Chung-Tai Ho).

Hungary

In Hungary there is no official distinction between a city and a town (the word for both in Hungarian is: város). Nevertheless, the expressions formed by adding the adjectives "kis" (small) and "nagy" (large) to the beginning of the root word (e.g. "nagyváros") have been normalized to differentiate between cities and towns (towns being smaller, therefore bearing the name "kisváros".) In Hungary, a village can gain the status of "város" (town), if it meets a set of diverse conditions for quality of life and development of certain public services and utilities (e.g. having a local secondary school or installing full-area sewage collection pipe network). Every year the Minister of Internal Affairs selects candidates from a committee-screened list of applicants, whom the President of Republic usually affirms by issuing a bill of town's rank to them. Since being a town carries extra fiscal support from the government, many relatively small villages try to win the status of "városi rang" nowadays.

Before the fall of communism in 1990, Hungarian villages with fewer than 10,000 residents were not allowed to become towns. Recently some settlements as small as 2,500 souls have received the rank of town (e.g. Visegrád, Zalakaros or Gönc) and meeting the conditions of development is often disregarded to quickly elevate larger villages into towns. As of middle 2013, there are 346 towns in Hungary, encompassing some 69% of the entire population.

Towns of more than 50,000 people are able to gain the status of "megyei jogú város" (town with the rights of a county), which allows them to maintain a higher degree of services. (There are a few exceptions, when towns of fewer than 50,000 people gained the status: Érd, Hódmezővásárhely, Salgótarján and Szekszárd)[7] As of middle 2013, there are only 23 such towns in Hungary.[8]

Ireland

The Local Government act 2001 provides that from January 1, 2002 (section 10 subsection (3) Within the county in which they are situated and of which they form part, there continue to be such other local government areas as are set out in Schedule 6 which – (a) in the case of the areas set out in Chapter 1 of Part 1 of that Schedule, shall be known as boroughs, and – (b) in the case of the areas set out in Chapter 2 of Part 1 and Part 2 of that Schedule, shall be known as towns, and in this Act a reference to a town shall include a reference to a borough.

These provisions affect the replacement of the boroughs, Towns and urban districts which existed before then. Similar reforms in the nomenclature of local authorities ( but not their functions) are effected by section 11 part 17 of the act includes provision (section 185(2)) Qualified electors of a town having a population of at least 7,500 as ascertained at the last preceding census or such other figure as the Minister may from time to time prescribe by regulations, and not having a town council, may make a proposal in accordance with paragraph (b) for the establishment of such a council and contains provisions enabling the establishment of new town councils and provisions enabling the dissolution of existing or new town councils in certain circumstances

The reference to town having a population of at least 7,500 as ascertained at the last preceding census hands much of the power relating to defining what is in fact a town over to the Central Statistics Office and their criteria are published as part of each census.

Planning and Development Act 2000

Another reference to the Census and its role in determining what is or is not a town for some administrative purpose is in the Planning and Development act 2000 (part II chapter I which provides for Local area plans)

A local area plan shall be made in respect of an area which —(i) is designated as a town in the most recent census of population, other than a town designated as a suburb or environs in that census, (ii) has a population in excess of 2,000, and (iii) is situated within the functional area of a planning authority which is a county council.

Central Statistics Office criteria

These are set out in full at 2006 Census Appendices.

In short they speak of "towns with legally defined boundaries" ( i.e. those established by the Local Government Act 2001) and the remaining 664 as "census towns", defined by themselves since 1971 as a cluster of 50 or more occupied dwellings in which within a distance of 800 meters there is a nucleus of 30 occupied houses on both sides of the road or twenty occupied houses on one side of the road there is also a 200 meter criterion for determining whether a house is part of a census town.

India

One of the high streets in Paravur
A street in Paravur town, India

The 2011 Census of India defines towns of two types: statutory town and census town. Statutory town is defined as all places with a municipality, corporation, cantonment board or notified town area committee. Census towns are defined as places that satisfy the following criteria:

  1. Minimum population of 5,000
  2. At least 75% of male working population engaged in non-agricultural pursuits
  3. Density of population at least 400/km2. (1,000 per sq. mile).

All the statutory towns, census towns and out growths are considered as urban settlements, as opposed to rural areas.[9]

Iran

In contemporary Persian texts, no distinction is made between "city" and "town"; both translate as "Shahr" (شهر). In older Persian texts (until the first half of the 20th century), the Arabic word "Qasabeh" (قصبه) was used for a town. However, in recent 50 years, this word has become obsolete.

There is a word in Persian which is used for special sort of satellite townships and city neighborhoods. It is Shahrak (شهرک), (lit.: small city). Another smaller type of town or neighborhood in a big city is called Kuy (کوی). Shahrak and Kuy each have their different legal definitions. Large cities such as Tehran, Mashhad, Isfahan, Tabriz, etc. which have millions of populations are referred to as Kalan-shahrکلان‌شهر (metropole).

The pace in which different large villages have gained city status in Iran shows a dramatic increase in the last two decades.

Bigger cities and towns usually are centers of a township (in Persian: Shahrestan (شهرستان). Shahrestan itself is a subdivision of Ostan استان (Province).

Isle of Man

There are four settlements which are historically and officially designated as towns (Douglas, Ramsey, Peel, Castletown); however

  • Peel is also sometimes referred to as a city by virtue of its cathedral.
  • Onchan and Port Erin are both larger in population than the smallest "town", having expanded in modern times, but are designated as villages.

Israel

Modern Hebrew does provide a word for the concept of a town: Ayara (עיירה), derived from Ir (עיר), the biblical word for "city". However, the term ayara is normally used only to describe towns in foreign countries, i.e. urban areas of limited population, particularly when the speaker is attempting to evoke nostalgic or romantic attitudes. The term is also used to describe a Shtetl, a pre-Holocaust Eastern European Jewish town.

Within Israel, established urban areas are always referred to as cities (with one notable exception explained below) regardless of their actual size. Israeli law does not define any nomenclature for distinction between urban areas based on size or any other factor – meaning that all urban settlements in Israel are legally referred to as "cities".

The exception to the above is the term Ayeret Pituakh (עיירת פיתוח, lit. "Development Town") which is applied to certain cities in Israel based on the reasons for their establishment. These cities, created during the earlier decades of Israeli independence (1950s and 1960s, generally), were designed primarily to serve as commercial and transportation hubs, connecting smaller agricultural settlements in the northern and southern regions of the country (the "Periphery") to the major urban areas of the coastal and central regions. Some of these "development towns" have since grown to a comparatively large size, and yet are still referred to as "development towns", particularly when the speaker wishes to emphasize their (often low) socio-economic status. Nonetheless, they are rarely (if ever) referred to simply as "towns"; when referring to one directly, it will be called either a "development town" or a "city", depending on context.

Italy

Although Italian provides different words for city (città), town (paese) and village (villaggio, old-fashioned, or frazione, most common), no legal definitions exist as to how settlements must be classified. Administratively, both towns and cities are ruled as comuni/comunes, while villages might be subdivisions of the former. Generally, in everyday's speech, a town is larger or more populated than a village and smaller than a city. Various cities and towns together may form a metropolitan area (area metropolitana). A city, can also be a culturally, economically or politically prominent community with respect to surrounding towns. Moreover, a city can be such by Presidential decree. A town, in contrast, can be an inhabited place which would elsewhere be styled a city, but has not received any official recognition. Remarkable exceptions do exist: for instance, Bassano del Grappa, was given the status of "città" in 1760 by Francesco Loredan's dogal decree and has since then carried this title. Also, the Italian word for town (paese with lowercase P) must not be confused with the Italian word for country/nation (Paese usually with uppercase P).

Japan

In Japan city status (shi) was traditionally reserved for only a few particularly large settlements. Over time however the necessary conditions to be a city have been watered down and today the only loose rules that apply are having a population over 50,000 and over 60% of the population in a "city centre". In recent times many small villages and towns have merged in order to form a city despite seeming geographically to be just a collection of villages.

The distinction between towns (machi/chō) and villages (mura/son) is largely unwritten and purely one of population size when the settlement was founded with villages having under 10,000 and towns 10,000–50,000.

Korea

In both of South Korea and North Korea, towns are called eup ().

Latvia

In Latvia, towns and cities are indiscriminately called pilsēta in singular form. The name is a contraction of two Latvian words: pils (castle) and sēta (fence), making it very obvious what is meant by the word – what is situated between the castle and the castle fence. However, a city can be called lielpilsēta in reference to its size. A village is called ciemats or ciems in Latvian.

Lithuania

In Lithuanian, a city is called miestas, a town is called miestelis (literally "small miestas). Metropolis is called didmiestis (literally "big miestas).

Malaysia

In Malaysia, a town is the area administered by Municipal Council (Malay: Majlis Perbandaran).

Netherlands

Before 1848 there was a legal distinction between stad and non-stad parts of the country, but the word no longer has any legal significance. About 220 places were granted stadsrechten (city rights) and are still so called for historical and traditional reasons, though the word is also used for large urban areas that never obtained such rights. Because of this, in the Netherlands, no distinction is made between "city" and "town"; both translate as stad. A hamlet (gehucht) usually has fewer than 1,000 inhabitants, a village (dorp) ranges from 1,000 up to 25,000 inhabitants, and a place above 25,000 can call itself either village or city, mostly depending on historic reasons or size of the place. As an example, The Hague never gained city rights, but because of its size - more than half a million inhabitants - it is regarded as a city. Staverden, with only 40 inhabitants, would be a hamlet, but because of its city rights it may call itself a city.

For statistical purposes, the Netherlands has three sorts of cities:

  • kleine stad (small city): 50,000 — 99,999 inhabitants
  • middelgrote stad (medium-sized city): 100,000 — 249,999 inhabitants
  • grote stad (large city): 250,000 or more

Only Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague and Utrecht are regarded as a grote stad.

New Zealand

In New Zealand, a town is a built-up area that is not large enough to be considered a city. Historically, this definition corresponded to a population of between approximately 1,000 and 20,000. Towns have no independent legal existence, being administered simply as built-up parts of districts, or, in some cases, of cities.

New Zealand's towns vary greatly in size and importance, ranging from small rural service centres to significant regional centres such as Blenheim and Taupo. Typically, once a town reaches a population of somewhere between 20,000 and 30,000 people, it will begin to be informally regarded as a city. One who regards a settlement as too small to be a town will typically call it a "township" or "village."

Norway

In Norway, "city" and "town" both translate to "by", even if a city may be referred to as "storby" ("large town"). They will all be part of and administered as a "kommune" ("municipality").

Norway has had inland the northernmost city in the world: Hammerfest. Now the record is held by New Ålesund on the Norwegian island Svalbard

Philippines

Loboc Bohol 1
The town center of Loboc, Bohol.

In the Philippines, the local official equivalent of the town is the municipality (Filipino bayan). Every municipality, or town, in the country has a mayor (Filipino alkalde) and a vice mayor (Filipino bise alkalde) as well as local town officials (Sangguniang Bayan). Philippine towns, otherwise called as municipalities, are composed of a number of villages and communities called barangays with one (or a few cluster of) barangay(s) serving as the town center or poblacion.

Unique in Philippine towns is that they have fixed budget, population and land requirements to become as such, i.e. from a barangay, or a cluster of such, to a town, or to become cities, i.e. from town to a city. Respectively, examples of these are the town of B.E. Dujali in Davao del Norte province, which was formed in 1998 from a cluster of 5 barangays, and the city of El Salvador, which was converted from a town to a city in 2007. Each town in the Philippines was classified by its annual income and budget.

A sharp, hierarchical distinction exists between Philippine cities (Filipino lungsod or siyudad) and towns, as towns in the country are juridically separate from cities, which are typically larger and more populous (some smaller and less populated) and which political and economic status are above those of towns. This was further supported and indicated by the income classification system implemented by the National Department of Finance, to which both cities and towns fell into their respective categories that indicate they are such as stated under Philippine law. However, both towns and cities equally share the status as local government units (LGU's) grouped under and belong to provinces and regions; both each are composed of barangays and are governed by a mayor and a vice mayor supplemented by their respective LGU legislative councils.

Poland

Zamość. Ratusz.
Zamość in Poland is an example of a utopian ideal town. It was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1992

Similarly to Germany and Sweden, in Poland there is no linguistic distinction between a city and a town. The word for both is miasto, as a form of settlement distinct from following: village (wieś), hamlet (przysiółek), settlement (osada), or colony (kolonia). Town status is conferred by administrative decree, new towns are announced by the Government in a separate Bill effective from the first day of the year. Some settlements tend to remain villages even though they have a larger population than many smaller towns. Town may be called in diminutive way as "miasteczko", what is colloquially used for localities with a few thousand residents. Such localities have usually a Mayor (burmistrz) as a chief of town council.

Cities are the biggest localities, generally must be bigger than 100 thousand of residents, they are ruled by President (prezydent) as a chief of City Council. There are bare a few (mainly historic or political) exemptions which have allowed towns lesser than 100 thousand of people, to obtain President title for their Mayors, and to become recognized as Cities that way. Just to name a few: Bolesławiec, Gniezno, Zamość.

Portugal

Like other Iberian cultures, in Portugal there is a traditional distinction between towns (vilas) and cities (cidades). Similarly, although these areas are not defined under the constitution, and have no political function (with associated organs), they are defined by law,[10] and a town must have:

  • at least 3,000 inhabitants
  • at least half of these services: health unit, pharmacy, cultural centre, public transportation network, post office, commercial food and drinking establishments, primary school and/or bank office

In this context, the town or city is subordinate to the local authority (civil parish or municipality, in comparison to the North American context, where they have political functions. In special cases, some villages may be granted the status of town if they possess historical, cultural or architectonic importance.

The Portuguese urban settlements heraldry reflects the difference between towns and cities,[11] with the coat of arms of a town bearing a crown with 4 towers, while the coat of arms of a city bears a crown with 5 towers. This difference between towns and cities is still in use in other Portuguese speaking countries, but in Brazil is no longer in use.

Romania

In Romania there is no official distinction between a city and a town (the word for both in Romanian is: oraş). Cities and towns in Romania can have the status either of oraş municipiu, conferred to large urban areas, or only oraş to smaller urban localities. Some settlements remain villages (communes) even though they have a larger population than other smaller towns.

Russia

Moscow reutov
The town of Reutov is separated from the city of Moscow just by the MKAD highway

Unlike English, the Russian language does not distinguish the terms "city" and "town"—both are translated as "город" (gorod). Occasionally the term "город" is applied to urban-type settlements as well, even though the status of those is not the same as that of a city/town proper.

In Russia, the criteria an inhabited locality needs to meet in order to be granted city/town (gorod) status vary in different federal subjects. In general, to qualify for this status, an inhabited locality should have more than 12,000 inhabitants and the occupation of no less than 85% of inhabitants must be other than agriculture. However, inhabited localities which were previously granted the city/town status but no longer meet the criteria can still retain the status for historical reasons.

Singapore

In Singapore, towns are large scale satellite housing developments which are designed to be self contained. It includes public housing units, a town centre and other amenities.[12] Helmed by a hierarchy of commercial developments, ranging from a town centre to precinct-level outlets, there is no need to venture out of town to meet the most common needs of residences. Employment can be found in industrial estates located within several towns. Educational, health care, and recreational needs are also taken care of with the provision of schools, hospitals, parks, sports complexes, and so on. The most populous town in the country is Bedok.

1 2014 panorama bishan park aerial gopro dji phantom
Bishan, one of Singapore's towns is the 38th biggest in terms of geographical size and the 21st most populated planning area in the country.

South Africa

In South Africa the Afrikaans term "Dorp" is used interchangeably with the English equivalent of "Town". A "town" is a settlement that has a size that is smaller than that of a city.

Spain

In Spain, the equivalent of town would be villa, a population unit between a village (pueblo) and a city (ciudad), and is not defined by the number of inhabitants, but by some historical rights and privileges dating from the Middle Ages, such as the right to hold a market or fair. For instance, while Madrid is technically a villa, Barcelona, with a smaller population, is known as a city.

Sweden

Övre Finngränd 7 Sta Maria 29 Visby Gotland
View towards St Mary's Cathedral in Visby, Sweden. Visby is one of the most well-preserved former Hanseatic cities in Sweden and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Today it is the seat of Gotland Municipality.

The Swedish language does not differentiate between towns and cities in the English sense of the words; both words are commonly translated as stad, a term which has no legal significance today. The term tätort is used for an urban area or a locality, which however is a statistical rather than an administrative concept and encompasses densely settled villages with only 200 inhabitants as well as the major cities. The word köping corresponds to an English market town (chipping) or German Markt but is mainly of historical significance, as the term is not used today and only survives in some toponyms. Some towns with names ending in -köping are cities with over 100 000 inhabitants today, e.g. Linköping.

Before 1971, 132 larger municipalities in Sweden enjoyed special royal charters as stad instead of kommun (which is similar to a US county). However, since 1971 all municipalities are officially defined as kommun, thus making no legal difference between, for instance, Stockholm and a small countryside municipality. Every urban area that was a stad before 1971 is still often referred to as a stad in daily speech. Since the 1980s, 14 of these municipalities brand themselves as stad again, although this has no legal or administrative significance, as they still have refer to themselves as kommun in all legal documentation.

For statistical purposes, Statistics Sweden officially defines a stad as an urban area of at least 10,000 inhabitants. In the Swedish language the term for a major city is storstad (literally "big town"), but there is no clear definition as to when a stad should be called a storstad. Most Swedes would only call Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmö storstäder, i.e. "major cities", although Uppsala fulfills the definition of "municipality with a population that exceeds 200 000 inhabitants".[13]

Ukraine

Богородчани, 4 державна пожежно-рятувальна частина у ДСНС України, 2
Fire station in town of Bohorodchany

In Ukraine the term town (містечко, mistechko) existed from the Medieval period until 1925, when it was replaced by the Soviet regime with urban type settlement.[14] Historically, town in the Ukrainian lands was a smaller populated place that was chartered under the German town law and had a market square (see Market town). Today informally, town is also referred to cities of district significance, cities with small population, and former Jewish shtetls.

United Kingdom

England and Wales

Rugby town centre
A traditional English town centre at Rugby

In England and Wales, a town traditionally was a settlement which had a charter to hold a market or fair and therefore became a "market town". Market towns were distinguished from villages in that they were the economic hub of a surrounding area, and were usually larger and had more facilities.

In parallel with popular usage, however, there are many technical and official definitions of what constitutes a town, to which various interested parties cling.

In modern official usage the term town is employed either for old market towns, or for settlements which have a town council, or for settlements which elsewhere would be classed a city, but which do not have the legal right to call themselves such. Any parish council can decide to describe itself as a town council, but this will usually only apply to the smallest "towns" (because larger towns will be larger than a single civil parish).

Not all settlements which are commonly described as towns have a "Town Council" or "Borough Council". In fact, because of many successive changes to the structure of local government, there are now few large towns which are represented by a body closely related to their historic borough council. These days, a smaller town will usually be part of a local authority which covers several towns. And where a larger town is the seat of a local authority, the authority will usually cover a much wider area than the town itself (either a large rural hinterland, or several other, smaller towns).

Additionally, there are "new towns" which were created during the 20th century, such as Basildon, Redditch and Telford. Milton Keynes was designed to be a "new city" but legally it is still a town despite its size.

Some settlements which describe themselves as towns (e.g. Shipston-on-Stour, Warwickshire) are smaller than some large villages (e.g. Kidlington, Oxfordshire).

The status of a city is reserved for places that have letters patent entitling them to the name, historically associated with the possession of a cathedral. Some large municipalities (such as Northampton and Bournemouth) are legally boroughs but not cities, whereas some cities are quite small — such as Ely or St David's. The city of Brighton and Hove was created from the two former towns and some surrounding villages, and within the city the correct term for the former distinct entities is somewhat unclear.

It appears that a city may become a town, though perhaps only through administrative error: Rochester in Kent had been a city for centuries but, when in 1998 the Medway district was created, a bureaucratic blunder meant that Rochester lost its official city status and is now technically a town.

It is often thought that towns with bishops' seats rank automatically as cities: however, Chelmsford was a town until 5 June 2012 despite being the seat of the diocese of Chelmsford, created in 1914. St Asaph, which is the seat of the diocese of St Asaph, only became a city on 1 June 2012 though the diocese was founded in the mid sixth century. In reality, the pre-qualification of having a cathedral of the established Church of England, and the formerly established Church in Wales or Church of Ireland, ceased to apply from 1888.

The word town can also be used as a general term for urban areas, including cities and in a few cases, districts within cities. In this usage, a city is a type of town; a large one, with a certain status. For example, central Greater London is sometimes referred to colloquially as "London town". (The "City of London" is the historical nucleus, informally known as the "Square Mile", and is administratively separate from the rest of Greater London, while the City of Westminster is also technically a city and is also a London borough.) Camden Town and Somers Town are districts of London, as New Town is a district of Edinburgh – actually the Georgian centre.

Scotland

A town in Scotland has no specific legal meaning and (especially in areas which were or are still Gaelic-speaking) can refer to a mere collection of buildings (e.g. a farm-town or in Scots ferm-toun), not all of which might be inhabited, or to an inhabited area of any size which is not otherwise described in terms such as city, burgh, etc. Many locations of greatly different size will be encountered with a name ending with -town, -ton, -toun etc. (or beginning with the Gaelic equivalent baile etc.).

A burgh (pronounced burruh) is the Scots' term for a town or a municipality. They were highly autonomous units of local government from at least the 12th century until their abolition in 1975, when a new regional structure of local government was introduced across the country. Usually based upon a town, they had a municipal corporation and certain rights, such as a degree of self-governance and representation in the sovereign Parliament of Scotland adjourned in 1707.

The term no longer describes units of local government although various claims are made from time to time that the legislation used was not competent to change the status of the Royal Burghs described below. The status is now chiefly ceremonial but various functions have been inherited by current Councils (e.g. the application of various endowments providing for public benefit) which might only apply within the area previously served by a burgh; in consequence a burgh can still exist (if only as a defined geographical area) and might still be signed as such by the current local authority. The word 'burgh' is generally not used as a synonym for 'town' or 'city' in everyday speech, but is reserved mostly for government and administrative purposes.

Historically, the most important burghs were royal burghs, followed by burghs of regality and burghs of barony. Some newer settlements were only designated as police burghs from the 19th century onward, a classification which also applies to most of the older burghs.

United States

Wyatt-indiana-from-above
The tiny farming community of Wyatt, Indiana

Since the Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution largely leaves local-government organization to the individual U.S. states, the definition (if any) of "town" varies widely from state to state. In some states, the term "town" refers to an area of population distinct from others in some meaningful dimension, typically population or type of government. The characteristic that distinguishes a town from another type of populated place — a city, borough, village, or township, for example — differs from state to state. In some states, a town is an incorporated municipality; that is, one with a charter received from the state, similar to a city (see incorporated town), while in others, a town is unincorporated. In some instances, the term "town" refers to a small incorporated municipality of less than a population threshold specified by state statute, while in others a town can be significantly larger. Some states do not use the term "town" at all, while in others the term has no official meaning and is used informally to refer to a populated place, of any size, whether incorporated or unincorporated. In still other states, the words "town" and "city" are legally interchangeable.

Small town life has been a major theme in American literature, especially stories of rejection by young people leaving for the metropolis.[15]

Since the use of the term varies considerably by state, individual usages are presented in the following sections:

Alabama

In Alabama, the legal use of the terms "town" and "city" is based on population. A municipality with a population of 2,000 or more is a city, while less than 2,000 is a town (Code of Alabama 1975, Section 11-40-6). For legislative purposes, municipalities are divided into eight classes based on population. Class 8 includes all towns, plus cities with populations of less than 6,000 (Code of Alabama 1975, Section 11-40-12).

Arizona

In Arizona, the terms "town" and "city" are largely interchangeable. A community may incorporate under either a town or a city organization with no regard to population or other restrictions according to Arizona law (see Arizona Revised Statutes, Title 9). Cities may function under slightly differing governmental systems, such as the option to organize a district system for city governments, but largely retain the same powers as towns. Arizona law also allows for the consolidation of neighboring towns and the unification of a city and a town, but makes no provision for the joining of two adjacent cities.

California

In California, the words "town" and "city" are synonymous by law (see Cal. Govt. Code Secs. 34500–34504). There are two types of cities in California: charter and general law. Cities organized as charter cities derive their authority from a charter that they draft and file with the state, and which, among other things, states the municipality's name as "City of (Name)" or "Town of (Name)." Government Code Sections 34500–34504 applies to cities organized as general law cities, which differ from charter cities in that they do not have charters but instead operate with the powers conferred them by the pertinent sections of the Government Code. Like charter cities, general law cities may incorporate as "City of (Name)" or "Town of (Name)."

Some cities change their minds as to how they want to be called. The sign in front of the municipal offices in Los Gatos, California, for example, reads "City of Los Gatos", but the words engraved on the building above the front entrance when the city hall was built read "Town of Los Gatos." There are also signs at the municipal corporation limit, some of which welcome visitors to the "City of Los Gatos" while older, adjacent signs welcome people to the "Town of Los Gatos." Meanwhile, the village does not exist in California as a municipal corporation. Instead, the word "town" is commonly used to indicate any unincorporated community that might otherwise be known as an unincorporated village. Additionally, some people may still use the word "town" as shorthand for "township", which is not an incorporated municipality but an administrative division of a county.

Hawaii

The Hawaiian Island of Oahu has various communities that may be referred to as towns. However, the entire island is lumped as a single incorporated city, the City and County of Honolulu. The towns on Oahu are merely unincorporated census-designated places.

Illinois

In Illinois, the word "town" has been used both to denote a subdivision of a county called a township,[16] and to denote a form of municipality similar to a village, in that it is generally governed by a president and trustees rather than a mayor.[17] In some areas a "Town" may be incorporated legally as a Village (meaning it has at large Trustees) or a City (meaning it has aldermen from districts) and absorb the duties of the Township it is coterminous with (maintenance of birth records, certain welfare items). Evanston, Berwyn and Cicero are examples of Towns in this manner. Under the current Illinois Municipal Code, an incorporated or unincorporated town may choose to incorporate as a city or as a village, but other forms of incorporation are no longer allowed.[18]

Louisiana

In Louisiana a "town" is defined as being a municipal government having a population of 1,001 to 4,999 inhabitants.[19]

Maryland

While a "town" is generally considered a smaller entity than a "city", the two terms are legally interchangeable in Maryland. The only exception may be the Independent city of Baltimore, which is a special case, as it was created by the Constitution of Maryland.

Nevada

In Nevada, a town has a form of government, but is not considered to be incorporated. It generally provides a limited range of services, such as land use planning and recreation, while leaving most services to the county. Many communities have found this "semi-incorporated" status attractive; the state has only 20 incorporated cities, and towns as large as Paradise (186,020 in 2000 Census), home of the Las Vegas Strip. Most county seats are also towns, not cities.

New England

In the six New England states, a town is a municipality and a more important unit than the county. In Connecticut, Rhode Island and 7 out of 14 counties in Massachusetts, in fact, counties only exist as map divisions and have no legal functions; in the other three states, counties are primarily judicial districts, with other functions primarily in New Hampshire, Maine, and Vermont. In all six, towns perform functions that in most states would be county functions. The defining feature of a New England town, as opposed to a city, is that a town meeting and a board of selectmen serve as the main form of government for a town, while cities are run by a mayor and a city council. For example, Brookline, Massachusetts is a town, even though it is fairly urban, because of its form of government.

New Jersey

A "town" in the context of New Jerseyan local government refers to one of five types and one of eleven forms of municipal government. While Town is often used as a shorthand to refer to a Township, the two are not the same. The Town Act of 1895 allowed any municipality or area with a population exceeding 5,000 to become a Town through a petition and referendum process. Under the 1895 Act, a newly incorporated town was divided into at least three wards, with two councilmen per ward serving staggered two-year terms, and one councilman at large, who also served a two-year term. The councilman at large served as chairman of the town council. The Town Act of 1988 completely revised the Town form of government and applied to all towns incorporated under the Town Act of 1895 and to those incorporated by a special charter granted by the Legislature prior to 1875.

Under the 1988 Act, the mayor is also the councilman at large, serving a term of two years, unless increased to three years by a petition and referendum process. The Council under the Town Act of 1988 consists of eight members serving staggered two-year terms with two elected from each of four wards. One councilman from each ward is up for election each year. Towns with different structures predating the 1988 Act may retain those features unless changed by a petition and referendum process. Two new provisions were added in 1991 to the statutes governing towns, First, a petition and referendum process was created whereby the voters can require that the mayor and town council be elected to four-year terms of office. The second new provision defines the election procedure in towns with wards. The mayor in a town chairs the town council and heads the municipal government. The mayor may both vote on legislation before council and veto ordinances. A veto may be overridden by a vote of two-thirds of all the members of the council. The council may enact an ordinance to delegate all or a portion of the executive responsibilities of the town to a municipal administrator. Fifteen New Jersey municipalities currently have a type of Town, nine of which operate under the town form of government.

New York

In New York, a town is similarly a division of the county, but with less importance than in New England. Of some importance, a town provides a closer level of governance than its enclosing county, providing almost all municipal services to unincorporated communities, called hamlets, and selected services to incorporated areas, called villages. In New York, a town typically contains a number of such hamlets and villages. However, due to their independent nature, incorporated villages may exist in two towns or even two counties (example: Almond (village), New York). Everyone in New York who does not live on an Indian reservation or a city lives in a town and possibly in one of the town's hamlets or villages. (There are no towns in the five counties – also known as boroughs – that make up New York City.) What is a "town" in New York is called a township in some other states.

North Carolina

In North Carolina, all cities, towns, and villages are incorporated as municipalities. According to the North Carolina League of Municipalities,[20] there is no legal distinction among a city, town, or village—it is a matter of preference of the local government. Some North Carolina cities have populations as small as 1,000 residents, while some towns, such as Cary, have populations of greater than 100,000.

Pennsylvania

In Pennsylvania, only one municipality is incorporated as a "town": Bloomsburg. Most of the rest of the state is incorporated as townships (there are also boroughs and cities), which function in much the same way as the towns of New York or New England, although they may have different forms of government.

Texas

In Texas, although some municipalities refer to themselves as "towns" or "villages" (to market themselves as an attractive place to live), these names have no specific designation in Texas law; legally all incorporated places are considered cities.

Utah

In Utah, the legal use of the terms "town" and "city" is based on population. A municipality with a population of 1,000 or more is a city, while less than 1,000 is a town. In addition, cities are divided into five separate classes based on population.[21]

Virginia

In Virginia, a town is an incorporated municipality similar to a city (though with a smaller required minimum population). But while cities are by Virginia law independent of counties, towns are contained within counties.[22]

Washington

A town in the state of Washington is a municipality that has a population of less than 1,500 at incorporation, however an existing town can reorganize as a code city.[23] Town government authority is limited relative to cities, the other main classification of municipalities in the state.[24] As of 2012, most municipalities in Washington are cities. (See List of towns in Washington.)

Wisconsin

Wisconsin has Towns which are areas outside of incorporated cities and villages. These Towns retain the name of the Civil Township from which they evolved and are often the same name as a neighboring City. Some Towns, especially those in urban areas, have services similar to those of incorporated Cities, such as police departments. These Towns will from time to time incorporate into Cities, such as Fox Crossing in 2016 from the former town of Menasha.[25] Often this is to protect against being annexed into neighboring cities and villages.

Wyoming

Wyoming statute indicates towns are incorporated municipalities with populations of less than 4,000. Municipalities of 4,000 or more residents are considered "first-class cities".

Vietnam

In Vietnam, a district-level town (Vietnamese: thị xã) is the second subdivision, below a province (tỉnh) or municipality (thành phố trực thuộc trung ương). A commune-level town (thị trấn) a third-level (commune-level) subdivision, below a district (huyện).

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Goodall, B. (1987) The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography. London: Penguin.
  2. ^ "A dictionary of the Puk'hto, Pus'hto, or language of the Afghans". dsalsrv0 2.uchicago.edu. Retrieved 2018-05-04.
  3. ^ "The Australian", December 13, 2012
  4. ^ "Consolidated version of Law no. 128/200 Coll". Zakonyprolidi.cz. 2000-05-15. Retrieved 2018-04-18.
  5. ^ "Byopgørelsen pr. 1. januar – Varedeklaration – Danmarks Statistik". Dst.dk. 2005-03-22. Retrieved 2010-08-06.
  6. ^ Universität Dortmund: Kleine und mittlere Städte – Blaupausen der Großstadt?, Dokumentation des Expertenkolloquiums am 29. April 2004 in Dortmund
  7. ^ Megyei jogú városok – essay of Hungarian Central Statistical Office (Hungarian, July 2012)
  8. ^ "Magyarország megyei jogú városai" – list of Hungarian town with the rights of a county on "Térport" related webpage of Ministry of National Development (Hungarian, access date: May 4, 2013.)
  9. ^ "Some Concepts and Definitions" (PDF). Census of India. Retrieved 7 February 2015.
  10. ^ "Law n.º 11/82 (Lei das designações e determinação de categoria das povoações), of June, 2nd" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2010-06-08. Retrieved 2010-08-06.
  11. ^ "Portuguese municipal flags". Flags of the World. Crwflags.com.
  12. ^ Wong, Maisy (July 2014). "Estimating the distortionary effects of ethnic quotas in Singapore using housing transactions". Journal of Public Economics. 115: 131–145. doi:10.1016/j.jpubeco.2014.04.006. (Subscription required (help)). Cite uses deprecated parameter |subscription= (help)
  13. ^ "Bilaga 1. Begrepp och definitioner" (PDF) (in Swedish).
  14. ^ Mistechko. Public electronic dictionary of Ukrainian language (ukrlit.org)
  15. ^ Miles Orvell, The Death and Life of Main Street: Small Towns in American Memory, Space, and Community (University of North Carolina Press; 2012)
  16. ^ See the Township Code, 60 ILCS 1 et seq.
  17. ^ See Phillips v. Town of Scales Mound, 195 Ill. 353, 357, 63 N.E. 180 (1902)
  18. ^ See generally Article 2 of the Illinois Municipal Code, 65 ILCS 5/2‑1‑1 et seq.
  19. ^ "Individual State Descriptions: 2002" (PDF). Retrieved 2018-04-18.
  20. ^ "How NC Cities Work". North Carolina League of Municipalities. Archived from the original on 2010-05-16.
  21. ^ "Utah Code, Title 10, Chapter 2, Section 301". Utah State Legislature. Archived from the original on August 8, 2011. Retrieved May 11, 2010.
  22. ^ Charles A. Grymes. "County vs. Town vs. City in Virginia". Archived from the original on 2010-06-20. Retrieved 2011-05-31. Cities own and maintain their roads, while Virginia counties (except for Arlington and Henrico) rely upon VDOT for road maintenance. Cities get a fixed allocation of state funding for building and maintaining those roads, while counties must compete with each other and other VDOT priorities for a substantial portion of their road budget. Cities have been granted more authorities, such as the right of city councils to issue bonds to build roads without a voter referendum (counties must get voter approval in a referendum before issuing road bonds)... In Virginia, towns have distinct boundaries, established by the General Assembly or by courts guided by laws passed by the legislature. Towns are *not* independent from counties; residents of towns are still residents of the county in which the town is located. For example, residents of the four towns of Haymarket, Quantico, Dumfries, and Occoquan are also residents of Prince William County. They pay both town and county property taxes, and town residents get to vote for a town council/mayor.
  23. ^ "Classification of Washington Cities". Municipal Research and Services Center of Washington. Retrieved December 14, 2012.
  24. ^ "A Comparison of the Powers of a Town and a Noncharter Code City". Municipal Research and Services Center of Washington. Archived from the original on July 25, 2008. Retrieved December 14, 2012.
  25. ^ http://www.town-menasha.com/town-of-menasha-incorporation-update/

References

External links

  • Open-Site Regional — Contains information about towns in numerous countries.
  • Geopolis : research group, university of Paris-Diderot, France — Access to Geopolis Database
Cape Town

Cape Town (Afrikaans: Kaapstad [ˈkɑːpstat]; Xhosa: iKapa; Dutch: Kaapstad; South Sotho: Motse Kapa) is the oldest city in South Africa, colloquially named the Mother City. It is the legislative capital of South Africa and primate city of the Western Cape province. It forms part of the City of Cape Town metropolitan municipality.

The Parliament of South Africa sits in Cape Town. The other two capitals are located in Pretoria (the executive capital where the Presidency is based) and Bloemfontein (the judicial capital where the Supreme Court of Appeal is located). The city is known for its harbour, for its natural setting in the Cape Floristic Region, and for landmarks such as Table Mountain and Cape Point. Cape Town is home to 64% of the Western Cape's population. It is one of the most multicultural cities in the world, reflecting its role as a major destination for immigrants and expatriates to South Africa. The city was named the World Design Capital for 2014 by the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design. In 2014, Cape Town was named the best place in the world to visit by both The New York Times and The Daily Telegraph.Located on the shore of Table Bay, Cape Town, as the oldest urban area in South Africa, was developed by the Dutch East India Company (VOC) as a supply station for Dutch ships sailing to East Africa, India, and the Far East. Jan van Riebeeck's arrival on 6 April 1652 established Dutch Cape Colony, the first permanent European settlement in South Africa. Cape Town outgrew its original purpose as the first European outpost at the Castle of Good Hope, becoming the economic and cultural hub of the Cape Colony. Until the Witwatersrand Gold Rush and the development of Johannesburg, Cape Town was the largest city in South Africa.

Although Cape Town in itself is a city of approximately 500 000 people, it is part of a greater urban area, also referred to as The City of Cape Town and functions as a Municipality, with the municipal boundaries stretching from the city centre area and its suburbs, from the South Peninsula to beyond Mamre in the north and as far east as Gordon's Bay.

County seat

A county seat is an administrative center, seat of government, or capital city of a county or civil parish. The term is used in Canada, China, Romania, Taiwan and the United States. County towns have a similar function in the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland, and historically in Jamaica.

EFL League One

The English Football League One (often referred to as League One for short or Sky Bet League One for sponsorship reasons) is the second-highest division of the English Football League and the third tier overall in the entire English football league system.

League One was introduced for the 2004–05 season. It was previously known briefly as the Football League Second Division and for much longer, prior to the advent of the Premier League, as the Football League Third Division.

At present (2018–19 season), Walsall hold the longest tenure in League One, last being out of the division in the 2006–07 season when they were promoted from League Two. There are currently seven former Premier League clubs competing in League One, namely Barnsley (1997–98), Blackpool (2010–11), Bradford City (2000–01), Charlton Athletic (2006–07), Coventry City (2000–01), Portsmouth (2009–10) and Sunderland (2016–17).

EFL League Two

The English Football League Two (often referred to as League Two for short or Sky Bet EFL League Two for sponsorship reasons) is the third and lowest division of the English Football League (EFL) and fourth-highest division overall in the English football league system.

Football League Two was introduced for the 2004–05 season. It was previously known as the Football League Third Division. Before the advent of the Premier League, the fourth-highest division was known as the Football League Fourth Division.

At present (2018–19 season), Morecambe hold the longest tenure in League Two, last being outside the division in the 2006–07 season when they were promoted from the league then known as the Conference National (now the National League). There are currently two former Premier League clubs competing in League Two, namely Oldham Athletic and Swindon Town.

English Football League

The English Football League (EFL) is a league competition featuring professional football clubs from England and Wales. Founded in 1888 as the Football League, the league is the oldest such competition in world football. It was the top-level football league in England from its foundation until 1992, when the top 22 clubs split away to form the Premier League.

The three leagues below the Premier League are known as the Championship, League One and League Two, with 24 clubs in each division (72 in total). Promotion and relegation between these divisions is a central feature of the League and is further extended to allow the top Championship clubs to exchange places with the lowest-placed clubs in the Premier League, and the bottom clubs of League Two to switch with the top clubs of the National League, thus integrating the League into the English football league system. Although primarily a competition for English clubs, clubs from Wales – currently Swansea City and Newport County – also take part, while in the past Cardiff City, Wrexham, Merthyr Town and Aberdare Athletic have been members.

The Football League was associated with a title sponsor between 1983 and 2016. As this sponsor changed over the years the league too has been known by various names. Starting with the 2016–17 season, the league has moved away from having a title sponsor, rebranding itself as the English Football League (EFL), in much the same way the Premier League is known as the "EPL" internationally.The English Football League is also the name of the governing body of the league competition, and this body also organises two knock-out cup competitions, the EFL Cup and the EFL Trophy. The operations centre of the Football League is in Preston, while its commercial office is in London. The commercial office was formerly based in Lytham St Annes, after its original spell in Preston.

Ghost town

A ghost town is an abandoned village, town, or city, usually one that contains substantial visible remains. A town often becomes a ghost town because the economic activity that supported it has failed, or due to natural or human-caused disasters such as floods, prolonged droughts, government actions, uncontrolled lawlessness, war, pollution, or nuclear disasters. The term can sometimes refer to cities, towns, and neighbourhoods that are still populated, but significantly less so than in past years; for example, those affected by high levels of unemployment and dereliction.Some ghost towns, especially those that preserve period-specific architecture, have become tourist attractions. Some examples are Bannack, Calico, Centralia, Oatman, and South Pass City in the United States, Barkerville in Canada, Craco in Italy, Elizabeth Bay and Kolmanskop in Namibia, Pripyat in Ukraine, and Danushkodi in India.

The town of Plymouth on the Caribbean island of Montserrat is a ghost town that is the de jure capital of Montserrat. It was rendered uninhabitable by volcanic ash from an eruption.

Huddersfield Town A.F.C.

Huddersfield Town Association Football Club is a professional football club in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, England, which competes in the Premier League, the top tier of English football.

Huddersfield became the first English club to win three successive English League titles in 1926, a feat which only three other clubs have matched. The first two league titles were won under legendary manager and pioneer Herbert Chapman, who also led the club to an FA Cup win in 1922. In the late 1950s the club was managed by Bill Shankly and featured Denis Law and Ray Wilson. Following relegation from the First Division in 1972, Huddersfield spent 45 years in the second, third and fourth tiers of English football, before returning to the top flight in 2017.

Ipswich Town F.C.

Ipswich Town Football Club (also known as Ipswich, The Blues, Town, or The Tractor Boys) is a professional association football club based in Ipswich, Suffolk, England. They play in the Championship, the second tier of the English football league system, having last appeared in the Premier League in the 2001–02 season.

The club was founded in 1878 but did not turn professional until 1936, and was subsequently elected to join the Football League in 1938. They play their home games at Portman Road in Ipswich. The only fully professional football club in Suffolk, they have a long-standing and fierce rivalry with Norwich City in Norfolk, with whom they have contested the East Anglian derby 148 times since 1902. The club's traditional home colours are blue shirts and white shorts.

Ipswich have won the English league title once, in their first season in the top flight in 1961–62, and have twice finished runners-up, in 1980–81 and 1981–82. They won the FA Cup in 1977–78, and the UEFA Cup in 1980–81. They have competed in all three European club competitions, and have never lost at home in European competition, defeating Real Madrid, A.C. Milan, Inter Milan, Lazio and Barcelona, among others.

Luton Town F.C.

Luton Town Football Club () is a professional association football club based in the town of Luton, Bedfordshire, England, that competes in League One, the third tier of the English football league system. Founded in 1885, it is nicknamed "the Hatters" and affiliated to the Bedfordshire County Football Association. The team plays its home matches at Kenilworth Road, where it has been based since 1905. The club's history includes major trophy wins, several financial crises, numerous promotions and relegations, and some spells of sustained success. It was perhaps most prominent between 1982 and 1992, when it was a member of English football's top division, at that time the First Division; the team won its only major honour, the Football League Cup, in 1988.

The club was the first in southern England to turn professional, making payments to players as early as 1890 and turning fully professional a year later. It joined the Football League before the 1897–98 season, left in 1900 because of financial problems, and rejoined in 1920. Luton reached the First Division in 1955–56 and contested a major final for the first time when playing Nottingham Forest in the 1959 FA Cup Final. The team was then relegated from the top division in 1959–60, and demoted twice more in the following five years, playing in the Fourth Division from the 1965–66 season. However, it was promoted back to the top level by 1974–75.

Luton Town's most recent successful period began in 1981–82, when the club won the Second Division, and thereby gained promotion to the First. Luton defeated Arsenal 3–2 in the 1988 Football League Cup Final and remained in the First Division until relegation at the end of the 1991–92 season. Between 2007 and 2009, financial difficulties caused the club to fall from the second tier of English football to the fifth in successive seasons. The last of these relegations came during the 2008–09 season, when 30 points were docked from Luton's record for various financial irregularities. Luton thereafter spent five seasons in non-League football before winning the Conference Premier in 2013–14, securing promotion back into the Football League.

Nantucket

Nantucket is an island about 30 miles (50 km) by ferry south from Cape Cod, in the U.S. state of Massachusetts. Together with the small islands of Tuckernuck and Muskeget, it constitutes the Town of Nantucket, and the conterminous Nantucket County. As of the 2010 census, the population was 10,172. Part of the town is designated the Nantucket CDP, or census-designated place. The region of Surfside on Nantucket is the southernmost settlement in Massachusetts.

The name "Nantucket" is adapted from similar Algonquian names for the island, perhaps meaning "faraway land or island" or "sandy, sterile soil tempting no one."Nantucket is a tourist destination and summer colony. Due to tourists and seasonal residents, the population of the island increases to at least 50,000 during the summer months. The average sale price for a single-family home was $2.3 million in the first quarter of 2018.The National Park Service cites Nantucket, designated a National Historic Landmark District in 1966, as being the "finest surviving architectural and environmental example of a late 18th- and early 19th-century New England seaport town."

National League (division)

The National League, currently named the Vanarama National League for sponsorship reasons, is the highest level of the National League System and fifth-highest of the overall English football league system. While all of the clubs in the top four divisions of English football are professional, the National League has a mixture of professional and semi-professional clubs. The National League is the lowest division in the English football pyramid organised on a nationwide basis. Formerly the Conference National, the league was renamed the National League from the 2015–16 season.

Northern Premier League

The Northern Premier League is an English football league that was founded in 1968. It has three divisions - the Premier Division (which stands at level 7 of the English football league system) - and Division One East and Division One West (which both stand at level 8).

Geographically, the league covers all of Northern England and the northern/central areas of the Midlands. Originally a single-division competition, a second division was added in 1987: Division One, and in 2007 a third was added when Division One split into two geographic sections - Division One North and Division One South. In 2018 Division One was re-aligned as East and West Divisions.

Successful teams at the top of the NPL Premier Division are promoted to level 6 of the pyramid (either National League North or National League South), and at the bottom end of the competition, teams are relegated down to level 9, where several regional feeder leagues promote clubs into the league.

Penang

Penang is a Malaysian state located on the northwest coast of Peninsular Malaysia, by the Malacca Strait. It has two parts: Penang Island, where the capital city, George Town, is located, and Seberang Perai (formerly Province Wellesley) on the Malay Peninsula. The second smallest Malaysian state by land mass, Penang is bordered by Kedah to the north and the east, and Perak to the south. Currently, Penang is home to Southeast Asia's Longest bridge connecting the island to mainland. Penang's population stood at nearly 1.767 million as of 2018, while its population density rose to 1,684/km2 (4,360/sq mi). It has among the nation's highest population densities and is one of the country's most urbanised states. George Town, Malaysia's second largest city, is also home to a UNESCO World Heritage Site.Penang's modern history began in 1786, upon the establishment of George Town by Francis Light. Penang formed part of the Straits Settlements in 1826, which became a British crown colony in 1867. Direct British rule was only briefly interrupted during World War II, when Japan occupied Penang; the British retook Penang in 1945. Penang was later merged with the Federation of Malaya (now Malaysia), which gained independence from the British in 1957. Following the decline of its entrepôt trade towards the 1970s, Penang's economy was reoriented towards hi-tech manufacturing.Known as the Silicon Valley of the East for its industries, Penang is one of Malaysia's most vital economic powerhouses. Penang has the highest Gross Domestic Product per capita among all Malaysian states and is considered a high-income economy. In addition, Penang recorded the nation's second highest Human Development Index, after Kuala Lumpur. Correspondingly, the state has a relatively well-educated population, with a youth literacy rate of 99.5% as of 2014.Its heterogeneous population is highly diverse in ethnicity, culture, language and religion. Aside from the three main races, the Chinese, Malays and Indians, Penang is home to significant Eurasian, Siamese and expatriate communities. A resident of Penang is colloquially known as a Penangite or Penang Lâng (in Penang Hokkien).

Reading, Berkshire

Reading ( (listen) RED-ing) is a large minster town in Berkshire, England, of which it is now the county town. It is in the Thames Valley at the confluence of the River Thames and River Kennet, and on both the Great Western Main Line railway and the M4 motorway. Reading is 70 miles (110 km) east of Bristol, 24 miles (39 km) south of Oxford, 40 miles (64 km) west of London, 14 miles (23 km) north of Basingstoke, 12 miles (19 km) south-west of Maidenhead and 15 miles (24 km) east of Newbury as the crow flies.

The first evidence for Reading as a settlement dates from the 8th century. It was an important trading and ecclesiastical centre in the medieval period, as the site of Reading Abbey, one of the richest monasteries of medieval England with strong royal connections, of which the 12th-century abbey gateway and significant ruins remain. By 1525, Reading was the largest town in Berkshire, and tax returns show that Reading was the 10th largest town in England when measured by taxable wealth. The town was seriously affected by the English Civil War, with a major siege and loss of trade, and played a pivotal role in the Revolution of 1688, with that revolution's only significant military action fought on the streets of the town. The 18th century saw the beginning of a major iron works in the town and the growth of the brewing trade for which Reading was to become famous. The 19th century saw the coming of the Great Western Railway and the development of the town's brewing, baking and seed growing businesses. During that period, the town grew rapidly as a manufacturing centre.

Today, Reading is a major commercial centre, with involvement in information technology and insurance, and, despite its proximity to London, has a net inward commuter flow. It is ranked the UK's top economic area for economic success and wellbeing, according to factors such as employment, health, income and skills. Reading is also a major regional retail centre serving a large area of the Thames Valley, and is home to the University of Reading. Every year it hosts the Reading Festival, one of England's biggest music festivals. Sporting teams based in Reading include Reading Football Club and the London Irish rugby union team, and over 15,000 runners annually compete in the Reading Half Marathon.

In the 2011 census, the urban area around Reading had an estimated population of 318,014. The Borough of Reading and its immediate suburbs of Woodley, Earley (part of Wokingham Borough) Tilehurst (part of) and Calcot (part of West Berkshire) are widely considered to be one continuous town. This makes Reading a town/ locality of just under 230,000 inhabitants despite being administered by three different councils. This also makes Reading one of the largest towns in the UK without city status. The Borough of Reading in itself has a population of 163,100 (mid-2017 est.). It is represented in Parliament by two members, and has been continuously represented there since 1295. For ceremonial purposes the town is in the county of Berkshire and has served as its county town since 1867, previously sharing this status with Abingdon-on-Thames.

Sister city

Sister cities or twin towns are a form of legal or social agreement between towns, cities, counties, oblasts, prefectures, provinces, regions, states, and even countries in geographically and politically distinct areas to promote cultural and commercial ties. The modern concept of town twinning, conceived after the Second World War in 1947, was intended to foster friendship and understanding among different cultures and between former foes as an act of peace and reconciliation, and to encourage trade and tourism. By the 2000s, town twinning became increasingly used to form strategic international business links among member cities.

Southern Football League

The Southern League, currently known as the Evo-Stik League South under the terms of a sponsorship agreement with Bostik Ltd, is a men's football competition featuring semi-professional clubs from the South West, 'South Central' and Midlands of England and South Wales. Together with the Isthmian League and the Northern Premier League it forms levels seven and eight of the English football league system.

The structure of the Southern League has changed several times since its formation in 1894, and currently there are 84 clubs which are divided into four divisions. The Central and South Divisions are at step 3 of the National League System (NLS), and are feeder divisions, mainly to the National League South but also to the National League North. Feeding the Premier Divisions are two regional divisions, Division One Central and Division One South, which are at step 4 of the NLS. These divisions are in turn fed by various regional leagues.

Stratford-upon-Avon

Stratford-upon-Avon (), commonly known as just Stratford, is a market town and civil parish in the Stratford-on-Avon District, in the county of Warwickshire, England, on the River Avon, 91 miles (146 km) north west of London, 22 miles (35 km) south east of Birmingham, and 8 miles (13 km) south west of Warwick. The estimated population in 2007 was 25,505, increasing to 27,445 at the 2011 Census.

Stratford was originally inhabited by Anglo-Saxons and remained a village before the lord of the manor, John of Coutances, set out plans to develop it into a town in 1196. In that same year, Stratford was granted a charter from King Richard I to hold a weekly market in the town, giving it its status as a market town. As a result, Stratford experienced an increase in trade and commerce as well as urban expansion.

The town is a popular tourist destination owing to its status as birthplace of English playwright and poet William Shakespeare, and receives approximately 2.5 million visitors a year. The Royal Shakespeare Company resides in Stratford's Royal Shakespeare Theatre.

Unincorporated area

In law, an unincorporated area is a region of land that is not governed by a local municipal corporation; similarly an unincorporated community is a settlement that is not governed by its own local municipal corporation, but rather is administered as part of larger administrative divisions, such as a township, parish, borough, county, city, canton, state, province or country. Occasionally, municipalities dissolve or disincorporate, which may happen if they become fiscally insolvent, and services become the responsibility of a higher administration. Widespread unincorporated communities and areas are a distinguishing feature of the United States and Canada. In most other countries of the world, there are either no unincorporated areas at all, or these are very rare; typically remote, outlying, sparsely populated or uninhabited areas.

Urban planning

Urban planning is a technical and political process concerned with the development and design of land use and the built environment, including air, water, and the infrastructure passing into and out of urban areas, such as transportation, communications, and distribution networks. Urban planning deals with physical layout of human settlements. The primary concern is the public welfare, which includes considerations of efficiency, sanitation, protection and use of the environment, as well as effects on social and economic activities. Urban planning is considered an interdisciplinary field that includes social, engineering and design sciences. It is closely related to the field of urban design and some urban planners provide designs for streets, parks, buildings and other urban areas. Urban planning is also referred to as urban and regional planning, regional planning, town planning, city planning, rural planning, urban development or some combination in various areas worldwide.

Urban planning guides orderly development in urban, suburban and rural areas. Although predominantly concerned with the planning of settlements and communities, urban planning is also responsible for the planning and development of water use and resources, rural and agricultural land, parks and conserving areas of natural environmental significance. Practitioners of urban planning are concerned with research and analysis, strategic thinking, architecture, urban design, public consultation, policy recommendations, implementation and management. Enforcement methodologies include governmental zoning, planning permissions, and building codes, as well as private easements and restrictive covenants.Urban planners work with the cognate fields of architecture, landscape architecture, civil engineering, and public administration to achieve strategic, policy and sustainability goals. Early urban planners were often members of these cognate fields. Today urban planning is a separate, independent professional discipline. The discipline is the broader category that includes different sub-fields such as land-use planning, zoning, economic development, environmental planning, and transportation planning.

Designations for types of administrative territorial entities

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.