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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.The Indus Valley Civilisation built Mohenjo-Daro, Harappa and other cities on a grid pattern, using ancient principles described by Kautilya, and aligned with the compass points.The ancient Greek city of Priene exemplifies a grid plan with specialized districts used across the Hellenistic Mediterranean.
Dutch cities such as Amsterdam and Haarlem are structured as a central square surrounded by concentric canals marking every expansion.
Physical environment generally constrains the form in which a city is built.
If located on a mountainside, it may rely on terraces and winding roads.
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.
Access to water has long been a major factor in city placement and growth, and despite exceptions enabled by the advent of rail transport in the nineteenth century, through the present most of the world's urban population lives near the coast or on a river.