Urban Ecology Seminar:
Technology Enhanced
Blended Learning

Urban Ecology: WHAT IS A CITY

Selected definitions, or attempts at a definition ...

YOUR submissions, extensions, corrections and/or comments, informative or at least funny, are most welcome !
  1. A large and densely populated urban area; may include several independent administrative districts, as in:  "Ancient Troy was a great city"
  2. An incorporated administrative district established by state charter; "the city raised the tax rate"
  3. People living in a large densely populated municipality; "the city voted for Republicans in 1994"   wordnet.princeton.edu/perl/

  4. A city is an urban settlement with a particularly important status which differentiates it from a town.   en.wikipedia.org/wiki/City
  5. A large settlement, bigger than a town. In Europe a city is a place that had succeeded in obtaining the right to build a city wall, a belfort, etc., from the nobility; public; belonging to a city; of a city; urban   en.wiktionary.org/wiki/city

  6. A city is a unique government entity with its own special charter. Cities are not subdivided, except into neighborhoods which are informal geographic areas.   www.northwesthistoryexpress.com/about/terms.php

  7. A type of incorporated place with legally established boundaries and powers. In California, there are two kinds of cities: charter cities and general law cities. ...   swdb.berkeley.edu/glossary.html

  8. Large towns in common parlance. In the urban planning definition, towns with a population of 100,000 or more.   www.unesco.org/most/p2basu.htm

  9. An incorporated municipality with a population of 5,000 or more as determined by most recent federal census.   www.carrollcountyohio.net/planning/Glossary.doc

  10. A place where a large number of people live in close proximity to each other; more formally, a place incorporated as a city and therefore having specific political and administrative functions
    www.newberry.org/K12maps/glossary/index.html

  11. A city is an urban area with a large population and a particular administrative, legal, or historical status.   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/City

    Large industrialized cities generally have advanced systems for sanitation, utilities, land usage, housing, and transportation and more. This close proximity greatly facilitates interaction between people and firms, benefiting both parties in the process. However, there is debate now whether the age of technology and instantaneous communication with the use of the Internet  are making cities obsolete [1][2]. (really ??? fax-a-pizza ???)

    A big city, or metropolis, may have suburbs. Such cities are usually associated with metropolitan areas and urban sprawl, creating large amounts of business commuters. Once a city sprawls far enough to reach another city, this region can be deemed a conurbation or megalopolis.

  12. URBAN AREA: An urban areais an area with an increased density of human-created structures in comparison to the areas surrounding it. Urban areas may becities,townsorconurbations, but the term is not commonly extended to rural settlements such as villages and hamlets.

    Urban areas are created and further developed by the process of urbanization. Measuring the extent of an urbanized area helps in analyzing population density and urban sprawl, and in determining urban and rural populations (Cubillas 2007).   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Urban_area

    Unlike an urban area, a metropolitan area includes not only the urban area, but also satellitecities plus intervening rural land that is socio-economically connected to the urban core city, typically by employment ties throughcommuting, with the urban core city being the primary labor market. In fact, urbanized areas agglomerate and grow as the core population/economic activity center within a larger metropolitan area or envelope.

    Metropolitan areas tend to be defined using counties or county sized political units as building blocks. Counties tend to be stable political boundaries; economists prefer to work with economic and social statistics based on metropolitan areas.

    Urbanized areas are a more relevant statistic for determining per capita land usage and densities (Dumlao & Felizmenio 1976).

    Exurban, Commuter Towns: A commuter town is an urban community that is primarily residential, from which most of the workforce commute out of the community to earn their livelihood. Most commuter towns are suburbs of a nearby metropolis that workers travel to daily, and many suburbs are commuter towns, but not always. There are exurban communities too. The expression "exurb" (for "extra-urban") was coined in the 1950s, to describe the ring of prosperous rural communities beyond older suburbs, that are commuter towns for an urban area. Most exurbs serve as commuter towns, but some commuter towns are not exurban. These communities can be dense, semi-dense and sparsely populated areas. These communities are mostly towns.

    Populations in exurbs, commuter towns or an exurb of a nearby metropolitan area can be from 1,000 people to 20,000 people. Populations in Rural communities/areas are usually under 10,000 people.

    Urban: An urban area is an area with an increased density of human-created structures in comparison to the areas surrounding it. Urban areas are extremely dense population areas. An urban area is more frequently called a city or metropolitan area.

    The main types of communities in urban areas can be:

    • a metropolis (metropolitan area) (pop. usually over a 1,000,000) or
    • a city (pop. over 100,000.)

    Suburban: A residential area on the outskirts of a city. Suburban areas have lower population density than inner city neighborhoods. Suburban areas are dense to semi-dense population areas. A suburban area is frequently a large community. Populations in suburbs, a suburban area or a suburb in a nearby metropolitan area can vary from 10,000 to over a 1,000,000.

    Rural: Rural areas are settled places outside towns and cities. Such areas are distinct from more intensively settled urban and suburban areas. These areas are mostly sparsely populated areas. Inhabitants live in villages, hamlets, on farms and in other isolated dwellings.

    The main types of communities in rural areas can be:

    • a village (pop. 200-800 people) or
    • a hamlet (pop. fewer than 200 people.) or
    • an isolated dwelling (which is just 1 or 2 buildings with families in it.)


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