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:
“The city of Washington is in some respects self-contained, and it is easy there to forget what the rest of the United States is thinking about. I count it a fortunate circumstance that almost all the windows of the White House and its offices open upon unoccupied spaces that stretch to the banks of the Potomac ... and that as I sit there I can constantly forget Washington and remember the United States.”
—Woodrow Wilson (18561924)
“The City is of Night, but not of Sleep;
There sweet sleep is not for the weary brain;
The pitiless hours like years and ages creep,”
—James Thomson (18341882)
“In soliciting donations from his flock, a preacher may promise eternal life in a celestial city whose streets are paved with gold, and thats none of the laws business. But if he promises an annual free stay in a luxury hotel on Earth, hed better have the rooms available.”
—Unknown. Charlotte Observer (October 6, 1989)