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A city is a large human settlement. It can be defined as a permanent and densely settled place with administratively defined boundaries whose members work primarily on non-agricultural tasks. Cities generally have extensive systems for housing, transportation, sanitation, utilities, land use, and communication. Their density facilitates interaction between people, government organisations and businesses, sometimes benefiting different parties in the process, such as improving efficiency of goods and service distribution. This concentration also can have significant negative consequences, such as forming urban heat islands, concentrating pollution, and stressing water supplies and other resources.

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 centres for employment, entertainment, and edification. However, in a world of intensifying globalisation, all cities are to varying degrees also connected globally beyond these regions. This increased influence means that cities also have significant influences on global issues, such as sustainable development, global warming and global health. Because of these major influences on global issues, the international community has prioritized investment in sustainable cities through Sustainable Development Goal 11.

Other important traits of cities besides population include the capital status and relative continued occupation of the city. For example, country capitals such as Abu Dhabi, Amsterdam, Athens, Beijing, Berlin, Brasilia, Buenos Aires, Cairo, Canberra, Copenhagen, Helsinki, Lisbon, London, Madrid, Mexico City, Moscow, New Delhi, Ottawa, Paris, Rome, San José, Santiago, Seoul, Tokyo, Taipei, Ulaanbaatar, Warsaw, and Washington, D.C. reflect their nation's identity. Some historic capitals, such as Kyoto, maintain their reflection of cultural identity even without modern capital status. Religious holy sites offer another example of capital status within a religion, Jerusalem, Mecca, and Varanasi each hold significance. The cities of Faiyum, Damascus, and Argos are among those laying claim to the longest continual inhabitation.

City Media

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The upper reaches of Frost Bank Tower, a prominent Austin, Texas, skyscraper

The upper reaches of Frost Bank Tower, a prominent Austin, Texas, skys...

Title, date, and keywords based on information provided by the photographer. The 33-story building was developed by Cousins Properties from November 2001 to December 2003. It was the first high- rise building t... More

Bow Tower.  Calgary., Bernard Spragg Photo

Bow Tower. Calgary., Bernard Spragg Photo

Stretching 58 storeys high into the city skyline, The Bow has set the bar for office towers in Calgary. The architectural wonder, with its diagonal ribbons of crossbracing wrapping around a semicircular glass t... More

Paris Las Vegas., Bernard Spragg Photo

Paris Las Vegas., Bernard Spragg Photo

Paris Las Vegas is a hotel and casino located on the Las Vegas Strip in Paradise, Nevada. It is owned and operated by Caesars Entertainment Corporation...The theme is the city of Paris, France; it includes a ha... More

Berlin 1937, Berliner Dom (Berlin Cathedral)

Berlin 1937, Berliner Dom (Berlin Cathedral)

Beskrivelse:Domkirken i Berlin. Pyntede gater i Berlin, Arbeidets dag (1. mai)/ Berlins 700 års jubileum. Store folkemengder, flagg med hakekors. Maistang. Berliner Dom..Fotograf: Thomas Neumann.År: 1937.Kamera... More

[World Trade Center Skyline at Night, New York City]

[World Trade Center Skyline at Night, New York City]

Title: [World Trade Center Skyline at Night, New York City]. .Creator: Richie, Robert Yarnall ..Date: 1971..Place: New York, New York..Part Of: Robert Yarnall Richie photographs..Physical Description: 1 trans... More

I.K. Inha, Helsinki d2005_132_640

I.K. Inha, Helsinki d2005_132_640

Tallberg Building on Aleksanterinkatu. / Tallbergin talo Alkesanterinkadulla..I.K. Inha.1908.Helsinki.Glass negative / lasinegatiivi.Accession Number / diaarinumero: d_2005_132_640.The Finnish Museum of Photogr... More

Irving Trust Bldg., 1 Wall St.

Irving Trust Bldg., 1 Wall St.

JO8624 U.S. Copyright Office. No. C 20599. Copyright by Irving Underhill, Inc., N.Y.C.

Texaco, Southern Methodist University collection

Texaco, Southern Methodist University collection

Title: Texaco ..Creator: Robert Yarnall Richie ..Date: ca. August 12, 1963 - November 25, 1963..Place: Fairbanks, Texas..Physical Description: 1 transparency: film, color; 10 x 13 cm. ..File: ag1982_0... More

[Statue of Liberty at Dusk]

[Statue of Liberty at Dusk]

Title: [Statue of Liberty at Dusk]..Creator: Robert Yarnall Richie, 1908-1984..Date: November 9, 1965..Place: New York Harbor, Manhattan, New York..Part Of: Robert Yarnall Richie photograph collection..Descript... More

[Statue of Liberty with Lower Manhattan in Background]

[Statue of Liberty with Lower Manhattan in Background]

Title: [Statue of Liberty with Lower Manhattan in Background] ..Creator: Robert Yarnall Richie, 1908-1984..Date: November 9, 1965..Place: New York Harbor, Manhattan, New York..Part Of: Robert Yarnall Richie pho... More

[Statue of Liberty and Lighted Brooklyn Bridge]

[Statue of Liberty and Lighted Brooklyn Bridge]

Title: [Statue of Liberty and Lighted Brooklyn Bridge]..Creator: Robert Yarnall Richie, 1908-1984..Date: November 9, 1965..Place: New York Harbor, Manhattan, New York..Part Of: Robert Yarnall Richie photograph ... More

[Statue of Liberty at Sunset]

[Statue of Liberty at Sunset]

Title: [Statue of Liberty at Sunset]..Creator: Robert Yarnall Richie, 1908-1984..Date: November 9, 1965..Place: New York Harbor, Manhattan, New York..Part Of: Robert Yarnall Richie photograph collection..Descri... More

Historic Electric City sign, restored in 2008, shines again. Scranton, Pennsylvania

Historic Electric City sign, restored in 2008, shines again. Scranton,...

Title, date, and subjects provided by the photographer. Credit line: Carol M. Highsmith's America, Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division. Gift and purchase ; Carol M. Highsmith; 2009; (DLC/PP-201... More

Dodge Brothers Motor Car Company Plant, Between Joseph Campau & Conant Avenues, Hamtramck, Wayne County, MI

Dodge Brothers Motor Car Company Plant, Between Joseph Campau & Conant...

Significance: It served as the major manufacturing and assembly plant for the Dodge automobile and is the last large reinforced concrete automobile plant left in the Detroit area. The Dodge factory led to the ... More

Frog Seal Amulet with a City Hieroglyph (?) on the Base

Frog Seal Amulet with a City Hieroglyph (?) on the Base

From Egypt, Upper Egypt, Thebes, Malqata, Palace of Amenhotep III, MMA excavations, 1911–12 New Kingdom

Abû Hishâm and two friends from the city of Medina who have converted to Islam sit respectfully before the Prophet.

Abû Hishâm and two friends from the city of Medina who have converted ...

Life of the Prophet Muhammad written at the order of the Mamluk sultan al-Mansûr 'Alâ' al-Dîn 'Alî (d. 778/1376). The work was first illustrated during the reign of the Ottoman sultan Murâd III.

City officer from BL Royal 19 C XI, f. 39v

City officer from BL Royal 19 C XI, f. 39v

Detail of a miniature of a city officer with a key, a measure, and a purse. Image taken from f. 39v of Moral treatises, poems, prayers and hymns, including the Moralised Game of Chess (ff. 1-51), the tale of Me... More

A city divided by a crevice from BL Harley 334, f. 71v

A city divided by a crevice from BL Harley 334, f. 71v

Detail of a miniature of a city divided by a crevice. Image taken from f. 71v of Image du Monde (Le livre de clergie en roumans) (index Mappe Monde). Written in French.

Charlemagne arrives at the burning city of Rome. from BL Eg 3028, f. 82

Charlemagne arrives at the burning city of Rome. from BL Eg 3028, f. 8...

Charlemagne arrives at the burning city of Rome. Image taken from f. 82 of Roman de Brut, a verse epitome (begins imperfectly) with continuation to Edward III; Destruction de Rome; Fierabras. Written in French.

The holy city of Jerusalem from BL Harley 4972, f. 39

The holy city of Jerusalem from BL Harley 4972, f. 39

Miniature of one of the seven angels showing John the holy city of Jerusalem descending from heaven. Image taken from f. 39 of Apocalypse with prologue of Gilbert de la Porrée (ff. 1-43), Prophétie de la sibyll... More

City from BL Harley 3954, f. 44v

City from BL Harley 3954, f. 44v

Drawing depicting Cassay, a Christian stronghold known as the "City of Heaven," near Cathay. Image taken from f. 44v of Travels (index Voyage d'Outre Mer, Itinerarium). Written in English.

City from BL Royal 17 F III, f. 129v

City from BL Royal 17 F III, f. 129v

Miniature of knights entering the city, with a partial border, at the beginning of book 3. Image taken from f. 129v of City of God (La cité de Dieu). Written in French.

City Romorantin from BL Arundel 263, f. 270v

City Romorantin from BL Arundel 263, f. 270v

Notes and diagrams on a new royal residence in the city of Romorantin; sketch of a man's head in profile. Image taken from f. 270v of Notebook ('The Codex Arundel'). Written in Italian.

Angels in a city from BL YT 2, f. 48

Angels in a city from BL YT 2, f. 48

Miniature of two angels in a walled city with two towers, and decorated initial 'V'(idi). Image taken from f. 48 of Collectar ('The Ottobeuren Collectar'). Written in Latin.

City of Rome from BL Harley 1340, f. 12

City of Rome from BL Harley 1340, f. 12

Detail of a miniature of the fortified city of Rome. Image taken from f. 12 of Vaticinia de Pontificibus (index Prophecies of the Popes). Written in Latin.

King and city from BL Harley 4385, f. 108v

King and city from BL Harley 4385, f. 108v

Miniature of the king outside a city, with a man leading two donkeys, with a decorated initial 'L'(e) and foliate borders. Image taken from f. 108v of Le gouvernement des roys et des princes (De regimine princi... More

City of Jerusalem from BL Harley 5388, f. 17

City of Jerusalem from BL Harley 5388, f. 17

Marginal sketch of the city of Jerusalem. Image taken from f. 17 of Speculum monachorum. Written in Latin.

City of Rome from BL Harley 1340, f. 12

City of Rome from BL Harley 1340, f. 12

Miniature of the fortified city of Rome. Image taken from f. 12 of Vaticinia de Pontificibus (index Prophecies of the Popes). Written in Latin.

City of London from BL Royal 14 C VII, f. 2

City of London from BL Royal 14 C VII, f. 2

Detail of a drawing of the city of London, as part of the itinerary to Jerusalem. Image taken from f. 2 of Historia Anglorum, Chronica majora, Part III; Continuation of Chronica maiora. Written in Latin.

Capture of a city from BL Royal 14 D I, f. 7

Capture of a city from BL Royal 14 D I, f. 7

Miniature of the capture of a city by soldiers, with a full border and an illuminated initial 'D'(e). Image taken from f. 7 of De civitate Dei, books 1-10, in French translation (La cite de Dieu). Written in French.

City from BL Eg 2781, f. 173

City from BL Eg 2781, f. 173

Detail of historiated initial of men before a city. Image taken from f. 173 of Book of Hours, Use of Sarum (The 'Neville of Hornby Hours'). Written in Latin and French.

Nobles entering a city from BL Harley 4418, f. 160v

Nobles entering a city from BL Harley 4418, f. 160v

Miniature depicting nobles entering a city, decorated initial 'L'(e) including heraldic arms and foliate borders. Image taken from f. 160v of Jean d'Arras, Roman de Mélusine (imperfect). Written in French.

City of Rome from BL Harley 1340, f. 12v

City of Rome from BL Harley 1340, f. 12v

Miniature of disembodied hands floating above the city of Rome. Image taken from f. 12v of Vaticinia de Pontificibus (index Prophecies of the Popes). Written in Latin.

City in Syria from BL Royal 20 D I, f. 361v

City in Syria from BL Royal 20 D I, f. 361v

Bas-de-page miniature of siege of a city in Syria. Image taken from f. 361v of Histoire ancienne jusqu'à César, part 3 of the second redaction. Written in French.

Burning of a city from BL Royal 19 D I, f. 45

Burning of a city from BL Royal 19 D I, f. 45

Miniature of a city being burnt to prevent its capture by Perdiccas. Image taken from f. 45 of Historia de proeliis, translated in French as La vraie ystoire dou bon roi Alixandre, and other romances. Written in French.

City of Baghdad from BL Royal 19 D I, f. 64

City of Baghdad from BL Royal 19 D I, f. 64

Detail of a miniature of the city of Baghdad. Image taken from f. 64 of Historia de proeliis, translated in French as La vraie ystoire dou bon roi Alixandre, and other romances. Written in French.

Civitas (City) from BL Royal 6 E VI, f. 270v

Civitas (City) from BL Royal 6 E VI, f. 270v

Detail of a historiated initial 'O' of the New Jerusalem. Image taken from f. 270v of Omne Bonum (Circumcisio-Dona Spiritui Sancti). Written in Latin.

Creative "diver" neon sign at the old Starlight Motel in Mesa, a small Arizona city that became one of sprawling Phoenix's many suburbs. The city far predates Phoenix; it was the site of 15th-Century Indian canals and, four centuries later, was one of several western communities founded by Mormon settlers

Creative "diver" neon sign at the old Starlight Motel in Mesa, a small...

Title, date and keywords based on information provided by the photographer. The city far predates Phoenix; it was the site of 15th-Century Indian canals and, four centuries later, was one of several western com... More

Surrender of a city from BL Royal 20 B XX, f. 34

Surrender of a city from BL Royal 20 B XX, f. 34

Detail of a miniature of the surrender of the keys to a city. Image taken from f. 34 of Historia de proelis in a French translation (Le Livre et le vraye hystoire du bon roy Alixandre)(index Alexandre). Written... More

Burning of a city from BL Royal 20 B XX, f. 94v

Burning of a city from BL Royal 20 B XX, f. 94v

Detail of a miniature of a city being burnt to prevent its capture by Perdiccas. Image taken from f. 94v of Historia de proelis in a French translation (Le Livre et le vraye hystoire du bon roy Alixandre)(index... More

Alexander attacking a city from BL Royal 15 E VI, f. 13

Alexander attacking a city from BL Royal 15 E VI, f. 13

Detail of a miniature of Alexander attacking a city. Image taken from f. 13 of Poems and Romances (the 'Talbot Shrewsbury book'). Written in French.

Surrender of a city of Alexander from BL Royal 15 E VI, f. 12v

Surrender of a city of Alexander from BL Royal 15 E VI, f. 12v

Detail of a miniature of the surrender of a city to Alexander. Image taken from f. 12v of Poems and Romances (the 'Talbot Shrewsbury book'). Written in French.

Alexander attacking a city from BL Royal 15 E VI, f. 13

Alexander attacking a city from BL Royal 15 E VI, f. 13

Miniature of Alexander attacking a city. Image taken from f. 13 of Poems and Romances (the 'Talbot Shrewsbury book'). Written in French.

Spanish Translation of Saint Augustine's "City of God"

Spanish Translation of Saint Augustine's "City of God"

Cano de Aranda (Spanish, active Toledo)

Siege of a Breton city from BL Royal 17 F II, f. 70

Siege of a Breton city from BL Royal 17 F II, f. 70

Miniature of a siege of a Breton city by the Roman army, with a partial border containing the royal arms of England held by a lion. Image taken from f. 70 of La grant hystoire Cesar, i.e. Les faits des Romains,... More

Siege of a Breton city from BL Royal 17 F II, f. 70

Siege of a Breton city from BL Royal 17 F II, f. 70

Detail of a miniature of a siege of a Breton city by the Roman army. Image taken from f. 70 of La grant hystoire Cesar, i.e. Les faits des Romains, with additional texts. Written in French.

Assault on a city and castle from BL Royal 20 E III, f. 30v

Assault on a city and castle from BL Royal 20 E III, f. 30v

Detail of a miniature of an assault on a city and castle. Image taken from f. 30v of Chroniques de France ou de Saint Denis (from 1108 to 1270). Written in French.

Assault of a city and castle from BL Royal 20 E III, f. 30v

Assault of a city and castle from BL Royal 20 E III, f. 30v

Miniature of an assault on a city and castle. Image taken from f. 30v of Chroniques de France ou de Saint Denis (from 1108 to 1270). Written in French.

Rivierlandschap met een herder

Rivierlandschap met een herder

Een rivierlandschap met rechts op de voorgrond een liggende herder met zijn hond. Aan de overzijde van de rivier liggen bergen en een stad.

Francesco Primaticcio - People Fleeing a Burning City

Francesco Primaticcio - People Fleeing a Burning City

Anonymous, French, School of Fontainebleau, 16th century

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