A city is a larger, centralized and delimited settlement with its own administrative and supply structure at the intersection of larger traffic routes. Thus, almost every city is also a central place.
From a cultural-scientific point of view, cities are the ideal case of a densification of cultural areas. From a sociological point of view, these are comparatively dense and populated with as many people as possible, as well as clearly defined settlements with unifying, constitutional or municipal law features such as u. own market sovereignty, own government or own cult. A socially highly differentiated population distinguishes cities from camps, a separate market sovereignty from the village.
Cities developed as more surpluses were earned by their residents through their labor, leading to typically urban activities (such as trade and crafts). An urban economy emerged that differed significantly from the rural economy in terms of its complexity.
Urban functions, such as trade with other regions, require the city to be integrated into its surroundings as favorably as possible. Most cities were therefore founded at precisely defined locations, such as at the intersection of existing trade routes or river crossings. In addition, there was often also a military significance of the location. Industrialization brought about the most important change in urban development; the construction of the railways redefined the traffic centrality of cities.
Depending on their size, cities are divided into small towns, medium-sized towns, large cities, megacities, etc. According to the development and type i.a. in a country town, Hanseatic town, industrial town, district town or mountain town.
In Denmark, the minimum population limit for an urban settlement is 200 inhabitants, in Germany and France it is 2,000, in Austria it is 5,000, in Switzerland, Spain and Great Britain it is 10,0000 and in Japan it is 50,000 inhabitants. However, since the term city is not legally defined, there are also counterparts, such as the city of Arnis with only 351 inhabitants as the smallest city in Germany.