The Cities Portal

The city of Erbil in Kurdistan has a radial urban structure centred on an ancient fortress.
The city of Erbil in Kurdistan has a radial urban structure centred on an ancient fortress.

A city is a large human settlement. It can be defined as a permanent and densely settled place with administratively defined boundaries whose members work primarily on non-agricultural tasks. Cities generally have extensive systems for housing, transportation, sanitation, utilities, land use, production of goods, and communication. Their density facilitates interaction between people, government organisations and businesses, sometimes benefiting different parties in the process, such as improving efficiency of goods and service distribution.

Historically, city-dwellers have been a small proportion of humanity overall, but following two centuries of unprecedented and rapid urbanization, more than half of the world population now lives in cities, which has had 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 centres for employment, entertainment, and education. However, in a world of intensifying globalization, all cities are to varying degrees also connected globally beyond these regions. This increased influence means that cities also have significant influences on global issues, such as sustainable development, global warming, and global health. Because of these major influences on global issues, the international community has prioritized investment in sustainable cities through Sustainable Development Goal 11. Due to the efficiency of transportation and the smaller land consumption, dense cities hold the potential to have a smaller ecological footprint per inhabitant than more sparsely populated areas. Therefore, compact cities are often referred to as a crucial element of fighting climate change. However, this concentration can also have significant negative consequences, such as forming urban heat islands, concentrating pollution, and stressing water supplies and other resources. (Full article...)

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Azadi Tower (29358497718) (cropped).jpg

Tehran (/tɛəˈræn, -ˈrɑːn, ˌtə-/; Persian: تهران Tehrān [tehˈɾɒːn] (listen)) is the capital of Iran and Tehran Province. With a population of around 8.7 million in the city and 15 million in the larger metropolitan area of Greater Tehran, Tehran is the most populous city in Iran and Western Asia, and has the second-largest metropolitan area in the Middle East, after Cairo. It is ranked 24th in the world by metropolitan area population.

In the Classical era, part of the territory of present-day Tehran was occupied by Rhages, a prominent Median city destroyed in the medieval Arab, Turkic, and Mongol invasions. Modern Ray is urban area absorbed into the metropolitan area of Greater Tehran. (Full article...)
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Central Park - The Pond (48377220157).jpg

Central Park is an urban park in New York City, between the Upper West and Upper East Sides of Manhattan. It is the fifth largest park in the city, covering 843 acres (341 ha). It is the most visited urban park in the United States, with an estimated 42 million visitors annually , and is the most filmed location in the world.

After proposals for a large park in Manhattan during the 1840s, it was approved in 1853 to cover 778 acres (315 ha). In 1857, landscape architects Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux won a design competition for the park with their "Greensward Plan". Construction began the same year; existing structures, including a majority-Black settlement named Seneca Village, were seized through eminent domain and razed. The park's first areas were opened to the public in late 1858. Additional land at the northern end of Central Park was purchased in 1859, and the park was completed in 1876. After a period of decline in the early 20th century, New York City parks commissioner Robert Moses started a program to clean up Central Park in the 1930s. The Central Park Conservancy, created in 1980 to combat further deterioration in the late 20th century, refurbished many parts of the park starting in the 1980s. (Full article...)
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Ebenezer Howard's three magnets diagram which addressed the question 'Where will the people go?', with the choices 'Town', 'Country' or 'Town-Country'
Ebenezer Howard's three magnets diagram which addressed the question 'Where will the people go?', with the choices 'Town', 'Country' or 'Town-Country'
The garden city movement was a 20th century urban planning movement promoting satellite communities surrounding the central city and separated with greenbelts. These Garden Cities would contain proportionate areas of residences, industry, and agriculture. Ebenezer Howard first posited the idea in 1898 as a way to capture the primary benefits of the countryside and the city while avoiding the disadvantages presented by both. In the early 20th century, Letchworth, Brentham Garden Suburb and Welwyn Garden City were built in or near London according to Howard's concept and many other garden cities inspired by his model have since been built all over the world. (Full article...)
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