Cities, Regions and Urbanism

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The excerpts post a problem of the definition of a city and a region. A city is often confused with a region in terms of the reference and definition. The defining parameters lack precision for both the city and the region. In addition, the inevitable relationship between the two entities complicates the problem since in some cases a city shares characteristics with a region. Here, the definition of a city in terms of the minimum population level and the economic level is most acceptable. This definition draws no distinct line between the definition of a city in terms of the minimum population density and itself. This is because the presence of a high level of structural development and economic activity requires a high population density everywhere in the world.

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A region is a space in which a city is situated. Furthermore, the definition of a region is not limited to the presence of the city, but the spatial entity that is bounded by distinct isolating contrasts and has a city situated in the present one possible definition of a region. In this essence, a precise demarcation that separates a region from other spatial expanse characterized by different economic and structural orientation must be present. The extended definitions of a city such as a reference to megacities, and the presence of cities defined by the nature of government policies that authorities adopt, present a bigger problem for the distinction. In contrast, the development of globalization in the modern world disputes the existence of entities such as distinct regions.

All the highlighted definitions have at least some relationship among them, and the existence of entities that befit the various definitions is incontrovertible. Consequently, scholars of various disciplines have developed varying theories seeking to explain the emergence of urban setups. One suggestion is that the culture of the developing urban centers is because of the need to organize economic activities and facilitate economic convenience. Since the economy has always been a part of the culture, the development of urban centers is attributed partly or entirely to the present economic activities.

Another explanation for the emergence of urban centers is the religious harmony that exists among people in urban centers. The need to commune for religious purposes may have resulted in the emergence of the initial urban settlements. In addition, security is another suggested cause for the development of urban centers. People gathered in concentrated settlements in a bid to consolidate defensive power. However, not all urban settlements have a history of the need to establish a strong defensive mechanism.

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Various mechanisms that laid the foundation for the development of urban centers are the cause of the spread of similar settlements. Long-distance trade, the spread of religion, and increased warfare, particularly with an increased rate of development, carried urbanism to all continents of the world. Cities and smaller urban settlements have different perspectives with respect to their role and functions. In some societies, a city is a place of convenience and pleasurable life while in others it is an economic hub. However, the city is regarded as an unstable political entity where civil order is prone to disruption due to the complex social and political structure.

The excerpts have provided various possible definitions of a city. The complexity of the urban setup does not allow the adoption of one single definition for a city. Cities have changed structurally socially and economically since the first urban civilizations emerged. Consequently, the possibility of coining one single definition f a city has to refer to a certain era for it to be valid. The excerpts fail in this aspect. However, the excerpts exhaust the concept of urbanism and present a clear image of the ancient and present-day urban centers.

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