Modern cities of the world
Modern cities Today, more than half of the world’s population lives in cities, drawn by the opportunities for work and wealth. As a result, many cities are now very large. Not all of this growth has been planned, however, and cities in developing countries are sometimes fringed by sprawling shantytowns with poor housing and no proper services.
Rio de Janeiro Brazil
- Area 462 sq miles (1,198 sq km)
- Population 6.3 million
- Founding date 1565
- Rio Carnival is the largest festival of its kind in the world, and attracts millions of tourists every year.
Rio is the second largest city in Brazil, and the most spectacular. It lies along the shores of Guanabara Bay on the Atlantic coast, famous for its dramatic granite landscapes and beautiful beaches.
New York United States of America
- Originally a Dutch colony known as New Amsterdam, New York’s name changed when it was surrendered to the English in 1664.
New York is now the largest and most prosperous city in North America, and is famous worldwide as a financial, commercial, and cultural center.
Its huge natural harbor on the Atlantic coast made it an important trading port, and it became the main point of entry for European immigrants to the United States.
- Area 303 sq miles (786 sq km)
- Population 8.4 million
- Founding date 1609
THE HUMAN WORLD
THE BIG APPLE The high-rise skyline of New York City is an emblem of American wealth and aspiration.
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- Area 175 sq miles (453 sq km)
- Population 7.2 million
- Founding date 969 CE
- The “city of a thousand minarets” is famous for its Islamic architecture, but it is also a vibrant modern city—the political and cultural capital of Egypt.
Although it is near several ancient Egyptian sites, including the pyramids of Giza, Cairo itself was founded on the Nile River by the Islamic Fatimid dynasty in the 10th century.
- Federation Area 969 sq miles (2,510 sq km)
- Population 11.5 million
- Founding date Before 1147
Moscow lies farther north than any of the world’s other great cities, and is noted for its very long, cold winters.
At its center lies the medieval fortress of the Kremlin, which is still the center of government today.
Despite this, it is Russia’s largest city and the sixth-largest in the world.
- Area 41 sq miles (105 sq km)
- Population 2.2 million
- Founding date Before 52 BCE
- Famous as one of the most romantic cities in the world, Paris is the capital and cultural center of France.
The city lies at the heart of one of the largest urban areas in Europe, home to 12 million people, and the whole region is responsible for more than a quarter of France’s national wealth.
- Area 505 sq miles (1,308 sq km)
- Population 2.8 million
- Founding date 753 BCE
- Today, its rich heritage of ancient Roman, medieval, and Renaissance architecture attracts visitors from all over the world.
The capital of Italy, Rome was once the capital of the Roman Empire, which controlled Europe for more than 500 years until 476 ce.
- Area 6,336 sq miles (16,410 sq km)
- Population 19.6 million
- Founding date 1045
- The surrounding city is one of the largest in the world, and the political and cultural hub of the nation.
BCE Beijing has been the capital of China for most of its 3,000-year history.
The imperial palace, known as the Forbidden City, is a spectacular complex of 980 medieval buildings hidden behind huge stone walls.
Area 607 sq miles (1,570 sq km) Population 8.3 million Founding date 43 CE
It was a major port for many centuries, and is still one of the world’s leading financial, cultural, and educational centers.
- The capital is home to about 12 percent of the UK population, with more than 300 languages spoken there.
Founded by the Romans soon after their invasion of Britain, London was sited near the mouth of the Thames River.