A city is, in its simplest definition, an urban settlement of more than a specific population. The size is ultimately arbitrary, but reflects the reality that a true city has features and qualities that smaller urban settlements lack. Legally, the concept usually implies that the entity has self-governing status, but this feature is not universal or necessary; there have been cities that have lacked this political status. Cities are an essential feature of human civilization. Indeed, the term civilization etymologically connotes the art of living in cities, rather than in other commoner forms of human settlement, such as the small town or village. The appearance and growth of cities is therefore perhaps the central element in the narrative of human economic, cultural, and intellectual ...

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