A city is large human settlement. However simplistic it sounds, the definition of a city is constantly changing.
In the US a city is defined by the number of dwellers, ranging from 1500 to 50,000 people. In UK this definition is dependent on the administration of an area. A city is an area which has not only a larger number of people but also many characters that differentiate them from the rural areas.
Characteristics of a city
- A high population and high density of population. The reason for this is also the high level of migration that takes place from rural to urban areas for many reasons, mostly for employment.
- Cities have a much better infrastructure to support that population there. This includes roads, public transport system, energy, water supply, hospitals, schools and more importantly institutions of higher studies, etc.
- There is a local administration responsible for providing the infrastructure. The administration for villages, etc. fall on the regional or district level authorities.
- Employment opportunities are much more easily available in cities. There are more offices and commercial establishments. The market in the physical sense is much bigger in cities. There is a high demand for all kinds of workers, except agricultural in cities. This results in a high migration rate from rural to urban centres.
In the olden times, there were fewer cities and most of the population lived in the rural areas, depending on agriculture and allied activities. The surplus of this was supplied to the urban areas in return for all other services. The cities, especially the ancient cities were planned. When industrialisation took over, it led to a spurt of migration from rural areas in search of better jobs. At this time many cities came up across the globe and the slowly the older cities started growing bigger.
The whole form of urbanisation is undergoing a drastic change because of the new technology. The city centres and new industrial or technical zones remain the prime clusters for employment. What has now changed is that transport has made these areas more accessible and so each of these cities is growing dramatically along the peripheries and more and more rural areas are being merged into forms of suburbs and the previous suburbs becoming the centre, continually growing.
Communication, transportation and other infrastructural facilities are now so widely available as to make the essential features of the cities blurred.