A city is a relatively large and permanent settlement. Although there is no agreement on how a city is distinguished from a town within general English language meanings, many cities have a particular administrative, legal, or historical status based on local law.
For example, in the American state of Massachusetts an article of incorporation approved by the local state legislature distinguishes a city government from a town. In the United Kingdom and parts of the Commonwealth of Nations, a city is usually a settlement with a royal charter. Historically, in Europe, a city was understood to be an urban settlement with a cathedral. This distinction also applies in England (but not to the entire United Kingdom), where the presence of a cathedral church distinguishes a 'city' from a 'town' (which has a parish church).
Cities generally have complex systems for sanitation, utilities, land usage, housing, and transportation. The concentration of development greatly facilitates interaction between people and businesses, benefiting both parties in the process. A big city or metropolis usually has associated suburbs and exurbs. Such cities are usually associated with metropolitan areas and urban areas, creating numerous business commuters traveling to urban centers for employment. Once a city expands far enough to reach another city, this region can be deemed a conurbation or megalopolis.
Famous quotes containing the word city:
“But what we strive to gratify, though we may call it a distant hope, is an immediate desire; the future estate for which men drudge up city alleys exists already in their imagination and love.”
—George Eliot [Mary Ann (or Marian)
“Local television shows do not, in general, supply make-up artists. The exception to this is Los Angeles, an unusually generous city in this regard, since they also provide this service for radio appearances.”
—Fran Lebowitz (b. 1950)
“The language of the younger generation ... has the brutality of the city and an assertion of threatening power at hand, not to come. It is military, theatrical, and at its most coherent probably a lasting repudiation of empty courtesy and bureaucratic euphemism.”
—Elizabeth Hardwick (b. 1916)