Their density facilitates interaction between people, government organizations and businesses, sometimes benefiting different parties in the process.Historically city-dwellers have been a small proportion of humanity overall, but today, following two centuries of unprecedented and rapid urbanization, half of the world population is said to live in cities.Urban structure generally follows one or more basic patterns: geomorphic, radial, concentric, rectilinear, and curvilinear.
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According to the "functional definition" a city is not distinguished by size alone, but also by the role it plays within a larger political context.
Cities serve as administrative, commercial, religious, and cultural hubs for their larger surrounding areas.
This has profound consequences for global sustainability.
Present-day cities usually form the core of larger metropolitan areas and urban areas - creating numerous commuters traveling towards city centers for employment, entertainment, and edification.
Dutch cities such as Amsterdam and Haarlem are structured as a central square surrounded by concentric canals marking every expansion.
In cities such as and also Moscow, this pattern is still clearly visible.
The vast majority of cities have a central area containing buildings with special economic, political, and religious significance.
Archaeologists refer to this area by the Greek term temenos or if fortified as a citadel.
This form could evolve from successive growth over a long time, with concentric traces of town walls and citadels marking older city boundaries.
In more recent history, such forms were supplemented by ring roads moving traffic around the outskirts of a town.
Today cities have a city center or downtown, sometimes coincident with a central business district.