In more recent history, such forms were supplemented by ring roads moving traffic around the outskirts of a town.
Dutch cities such as Amsterdam and Haarlem are structured as a central square surrounded by concentric canals marking every expansion.
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The word city and the related civilization come, via Old French, from the Latin root civitas, originally meaning citizenship or community member and eventually coming to correspond with urbs, meaning city in a more physical sense.
Town siting has varied through history according to natural, technological, economic, and military contexts.
Cities generally have extensive systems for housing, transportation, sanitation, utilities, land use, and communication.
Their density facilitates interaction between people, government organizations and businesses, sometimes benefiting different parties in the process.
In others, such as in the United Kingdom, city status is awarded on local criteria.
According to the "functional definition" a city is not distinguished by size alone, but also by the role it plays within a larger political context.It may be adapted to its means of subsistence (e.g. And it may be set up for optimal defense given the surrounding landscape.Beyond these "geomorphic" features, cities can develop internal patterns, due to natural growth or to city planning.In a radial structure, main roads converge on a central point.This form could evolve from successive growth over a long time, with concentric traces of town walls and citadels marking older city boundaries.Historically city-dwellers have been a small proportion of humanity overall, but today, following two centuries of unprecedented and rapid urbanization, half of the world population is said to live in cities.