Why is a City Located in a Certain Area but not Another?

Why is a City Located in a Certain Area but not Another?

Have you ever stopped to consider why a city is located in a certain area but not another? Architects have lately become increasingly interested in the origins of cities and many fields have become devoted to discovering how they evolved. This article explores some of the theories on how some of the largest cities were formed. 

image ©  AB-me

image © AB-me

1) The Ten Mile Rule

Most cities fall into a ten mile rule because prior to automobiles, people in rural setting could only walk a maximum of five miles to get to the nearest town for supplies. As a result of the limited mobility, towns developed a five-mile sphere of influence which generally created a 10-15 mile distance between each medium-sized establishment. 

image © Wendover Productions

image © Wendover Productions

2) Spheres of Influence

Most towns consist of everyday services such as banks, grocery stores, convenience stores, and a possible postal office. This is because not every town needed specialized facilities like hospitals, repair shops, or even retail locations. As the demand for more services increased however, towns increased in size to accommodate the influx of people and the services required to meet the needs of those people. When the demand expands even further, eventually the creation of large cities equipped with airports, higher education institutions, and other highly-specialized facilities were created. 

image ©  negativespace.co

3) Water

If you take a look at where cities are located, fourteen of the world's largest fifteen cities are located close to water. This is because the water allows for the most feasible, cost-effective, method of transporting heavy goods. 

image ©  Klaus

image © Klaus

4) Resources

Since most cities are located near water they can easily exchange their natural resources with other cities which allows for cities to prosper as manufacturing, trading, and transportation hubs. 

image ©  Nserrano

image © Nserrano

5) Mountains

If a major city isn't located near water, it typically means it is then located near mountains. This is because mountains form a natural line of protection from invasion which allowed time for cities to grow and prosper during ancient times. The mountains also provide minerals and plenty of natural resources which outweigh the economic disadvantage of being in an inaccessible location. 

6) Continents and Climate

When considering the locations of the largest cities, most of them are in the Northern Hemisphere. This is because the climate was predictable which helped the ancient empires conquer the land with the same animals and equipment. 


For a further explanation of how cities were formed, watch the video above.

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Source: Arch Daily

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