The United States of America known as the United States or America, is a country composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U. S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D. C. and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico; the State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean; the U. S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The diverse geography and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.
Paleo-Indians migrated from Siberia to the North American mainland at least 12,000 years ago. European colonization began in the 16th century; the United States emerged from the thirteen British colonies established along the East Coast. Numerous disputes between Great Britain and the colonies following the French and Indian War led to the American Revolution, which began in 1775, the subsequent Declaration of Independence in 1776; the war ended in 1783 with the United States becoming the first country to gain independence from a European power. The current constitution was adopted in 1788, with the first ten amendments, collectively named the Bill of Rights, being ratified in 1791 to guarantee many fundamental civil liberties; the United States embarked on a vigorous expansion across North America throughout the 19th century, acquiring new territories, displacing Native American tribes, admitting new states until it spanned the continent by 1848. During the second half of the 19th century, the Civil War led to the abolition of slavery.
By the end of the century, the United States had extended into the Pacific Ocean, its economy, driven in large part by the Industrial Revolution, began to soar. The Spanish–American War and World War I confirmed the country's status as a global military power; the United States emerged from World War II as a global superpower, the first country to develop nuclear weapons, the only country to use them in warfare, a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. Sweeping civil rights legislation, notably the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the Fair Housing Act of 1968, outlawed discrimination based on race or color. During the Cold War, the United States and the Soviet Union competed in the Space Race, culminating with the 1969 U. S. Moon landing; the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 left the United States as the world's sole superpower. The United States is the world's oldest surviving federation, it is a representative democracy.
The United States is a founding member of the United Nations, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Organization of American States, other international organizations. The United States is a developed country, with the world's largest economy by nominal GDP and second-largest economy by PPP, accounting for a quarter of global GDP; the U. S. economy is post-industrial, characterized by the dominance of services and knowledge-based activities, although the manufacturing sector remains the second-largest in the world. The United States is the world's largest importer and the second largest exporter of goods, by value. Although its population is only 4.3% of the world total, the U. S. holds 31% of the total wealth in the world, the largest share of global wealth concentrated in a single country. Despite wide income and wealth disparities, the United States continues to rank high in measures of socioeconomic performance, including average wage, human development, per capita GDP, worker productivity.
The United States is the foremost military power in the world, making up a third of global military spending, is a leading political and scientific force internationally. In 1507, the German cartographer Martin Waldseemüller produced a world map on which he named the lands of the Western Hemisphere America in honor of the Italian explorer and cartographer Amerigo Vespucci; the first documentary evidence of the phrase "United States of America" is from a letter dated January 2, 1776, written by Stephen Moylan, Esq. to George Washington's aide-de-camp and Muster-Master General of the Continental Army, Lt. Col. Joseph Reed. Moylan expressed his wish to go "with full and ample powers from the United States of America to Spain" to seek assistance in the revolutionary war effort; the first known publication of the phrase "United States of America" was in an anonymous essay in The Virginia Gazette newspaper in Williamsburg, Virginia, on April 6, 1776. The second draft of the Articles of Confederation, prepared by John Dickinson and completed by June 17, 1776, at the latest, declared "The name of this Confederation shall be the'United States of America'".
The final version of the Articles sent to the states for ratification in late 1777 contains the sentence "The Stile of this Confederacy shall be'The United States of America'". In June 1776, Thomas Jefferson wrote the phrase "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA" in all capitalized letters in the headline of his "original Rough draught" of the Declaration of Independence; this draft of the document did not surface unti
Patmos is a small Greek island in the Aegean Sea, most famous for being the location of the vision given to the disciple John in the Book of Revelation in the New Testament, where the book was written. One of the northernmost islands of the Dodecanese complex, it has a population of 2,998 and an area of 34.05 km2. The highest point is 269 metres above sea level; the municipality of Patmos, which includes the offshore islands of Arkoi and several uninhabited islets, has a total population of 3,047 and a combined land area of 45.039 square kilometres. It is part of the Kalymnos regional unit. Patmos' main communities are Chora, Skala, the only commercial port. Other settlements are Kampos; the churches and communities on Patmos are of the Eastern Orthodox tradition. The mayor of Patmos is Gregory Stoikos. According to a legend in Greek mythology, the island's original name was "Letois", after the goddess and huntress of deer Artemis, daughter of Leto, it was believed. The myth tells. Artemis paid visits to Caria, the mainland across the shore from Patmos, where she had a shrine on Mount Latmos.
There she met the moon goddess Selene, who cast her light on the ocean, revealing the sunken island of Patmos. Selene was always trying to get Artemis to bring the sunken island to the surface and hence to life. Selene convinced Artemis, who, in turn, gained her brother Apollo's help to persuade Zeus to allow the island to arise from the sea. Zeus agreed, the island emerged from the water; the sun brought life to it. Inhabitants from the surrounding areas, including Mount Latmos, settled on the island and named it "Letois" in honour of Artemis. Patmos is mentioned by ancient writers; therefore little can be conjectured about the earliest inhabitants. In the Classical period, the Patmians prefer to identify themselves as Dorians descending from the families of Argos and Epidaurus, further mingling with people of Ionian ancestry. During the 3rd century BC, in the Hellenistic period, the settlement of Patmos acquired the form of an acropolis with an improved defence through a fortification wall and towers.
Patmos is mentioned in the Book of the last book of the Christian Bible. The book's introduction states that its author, was on Patmos when he was given a vision from Jesus. Early Christian tradition identified this writer John of Patmos as John the Apostle. For this reason, Patmos is a destination for Christian pilgrimage. Visitors can see the cave where John is said to have received his Revelation, several monasteries on the island are dedicated to Saint John. After the death of John of Patmos around 100, a number of Early Christian basilicas were erected on Patmos. Among these was a Grand Royal Basilica in honour of Saint John, built c. 300–350 at the location where the Monastery of Saint John the Theologian stands today. Early Christian life on Patmos, however survived Muslim raids from the 7th to the 9th century. During this period, the Grand Basilica was destroyed. In the 11th century, the Byzantine Emperor Alexios I Komnenos gave Christodoulos the complete authority over the island of Patmos, as well as the permission to build a monastery on the island.
The construction of the monastery started in 1101. Population was expanded by infusions of Byzantine immigrants fleeing the Fall of Constantinople in 1453, Cretan immigrants fleeing the fall of Candia in 1669; the island was controlled by the Ottoman Empire for many years, but it enjoyed certain privileges related to tax-free trade by the monastery as certified by Ottoman imperial documents held in the Library. Ottoman rule in Patmos was interrupted by Venetian occupation during Candian War between 1659 and 1669 Russian occupation during Orlov Revolt between 1770 and 1774 and during Greek War of Independence. In 1912, in connection with the Italo-Turkish War, the Italians occupied all the islands of the Dodecanese, including Patmos; the Italians remained there until 1943. Around 1930, Elijah Muhammad of the Nation of Islam initiated the claim that, while residing on Patmos 6,600 years ago, an evil scientist named Yakub initiated the creation of the white race through a process of selective breeding.
In 1945, the Germans left and the island of Patmos remained autonomous until 1948, together with the rest of the Dodecanese Islands, it joined the independent Greece. In 1999, the island's historic center Chora, along with the Monastery of Saint John the Theologian and the Cave of the Apocalypse, were declared World Heritage Sites by UNESCO; the monastery was founded by Saint Christodulos. Patmos is home to the Patmian School, a notable Greek seminary. In September 2008, the municipality of Patmos refused landing to a group of undocumented refugees from Afghanistan and Iraq. On the weekend of September 19, 2008, about 134 refugees were rescued at sea; the refugees were taken to the nearest municipality, for processing and care. The administration refused, they were sent to the island of Leros where they were processed and given humanitarian aid. Local authorities justified their action by contrasting it to alleged practices elsewhere in the EU: "Malta sinks their boats and Italy lets them drown", local leaders claimed.
Forbes magazine, in 2009, named Patmos "Europe's most idyllic place to live", writing that "Patmos ha
Waldo is a town in Columbia County, United States. The population was 1,372 at the 2010 census. Waldo celebrated its 120th year as a city in 2007; the small community was once a booming rail city on the Cotton Belt train route. The city has a rail museum with various displays showing its rail history; the city began to wane in population in the 1950s. Waldo was once home to the Waldo High School Bulldogs basketball teams; these teams made playoffs and on numerous occasions won the state championship. The legacy of Waldo School will carry on in the community despite its closing in 2005; the Waldo Water Tower, completed in 1936 by the Pittsburgh-Des Moines Steel Co. is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Waldo is located in northwestern Columbia County at 33°21′07″N 93°17′40″W. By U. S. Route 371 it is 7 miles northwest of the county seat. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 2.3 square miles, all land. Waldo, located in South Arkansas near the northern Louisiana border, has a subtropical climate like that of the Bayou State and similar terrain.
The area is characterized by swamps. Most of the area in and about the city is covered with hardwood forests; as of the census of 2000, there were 1,594 people, 645 households, 425 families residing in the city. The population density was 720.4 people per square mile. There were 749 housing units at an average density of 338.5/sq mi. The racial makeup of the city was 39.77% White, 58.72% Black or African American, 0.38% Native American, 0.63% from other races, 0.50% from two or more races. 1.57% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. There were 645 households, of which 29.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 35.3% were married couples living together, 26.0% had a female householder with no husband present, 34.0% were non-families. 29.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.3% had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.47 and the average family size was 3.05. In the city, the population was spread out with 27.8% under the age of 18, 11.5% from 18 to 24, 24.0% from 25 to 44, 21.9% from 45 to 64, 14.8% who were 65 years of age or older.
The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females, there were 81.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 74.7 males. The median income for a household in the city was $20,353, the median income for a family was $24,306. Males had a median income of $25,300 versus $17,212 for females; the per capita income for the city was $11,170. About 30.6% of families and 34.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 49.2% of those under age 18 and 21.5% of those age 65 or over. U. S. Highway 371 Arkansas Highway 98 The Magnolia School District, including Magnolia High School, serves the community; the Waldo School District consolidated into the Magnolia district on July 1, 2006. The Waldo district operated Waldo High School. Mujahid Abdul-Karim, imam of Masjid Al Rasul mosque in Watts, Los Angeles, leader of the Imam Mahdi Movement Algie D. Brown, member of the Louisiana House of Representatives Chris DeFrance, professional football player Travis Jackson, baseball shortstop.
Book of Revelation
The Book of Revelation called the Revelation to John, the Apocalypse of John, The Revelation, or Revelation, the Revelation of Jesus Christ or the Apocalypse, is the final book of the New Testament, therefore the final book of the Christian Bible. It occupies a central place in Christian eschatology, its title is derived from the first word of the text, written in Koine Greek: apokalypsis, meaning "unveiling" or "revelation". The Book of Revelation is the only apocalyptic document in the New Testament canon; the author names himself in the text as "John", but his precise identity remains a point of academic debate. Second-century Christian writers such as Justin Martyr, Melito the bishop of Sardis, Clement of Alexandria and the author of the Muratorian fragment identify John the Apostle as the "John" of Revelation. Modern scholarship takes a different view, many consider that nothing can be known about the author except that he was a Christian prophet; some modern scholars characterise Revelation's author as a putative figure whom they call "John of Patmos".
The bulk of traditional sources date the book to the reign of the emperor Domitian, the evidence tends to confirm this. The book spans three literary genres: the epistolary, the apocalyptic, the prophetic, it begins with John, on the island of Patmos in the Aegean Sea, addressing a letter to the "Seven Churches of Asia". He describes a series of prophetic visions, including figures such as the Seven Headed Dragon, The Serpent and the Beast, culminating in the Second Coming of Jesus; the obscure and extravagant imagery has led to a wide variety of Christian interpretations: historicist interpretations see in Revelation a broad view of history. The name Revelation comes from the first word of the book in Koine Greek: ἀποκάλυψις, which means "unveiling" or "revelation"; the author names himself as "John", but modern scholars consider it unlikely that the author of Revelation wrote the Gospel of John. Pope Dionysius of Alexandria set out some of the evidence for this view as early as the second half of the third century, noting that the gospel and the epistles attributed to John, unlike Revelation, do not name their author, that the Greek of the gospel is stylistically correct and elegant while that of Revelation is neither.
Tradition ascribes the authorship to John the Apostle, but it seems unlikely that the apostle could have lived into the most time for the book's composition, the reign of Domitian, the author never states that he knew Jesus. All, known is that this John was a Jewish Christian prophet belonging to a group of such prophets, was accepted as such by the congregations to whom he addresses his letter, his precise identity remains unknown, modern scholarship refers to him as "John of Patmos". The book has been written about 95 AD; the date is suggested by clues in the visions pointing to the reign of the emperor Domitian. The beast with seven heads and the number 666 seem to allude directly to the emperor Nero, but this does not require that Revelation was written in the 60s, as there was a widespread belief in decades that Nero would return. Revelation is an apocalyptic prophecy with an epistolary introduction addressed to seven churches in the Roman province of Asia. "Apocalypse" means the revealing of divine mysteries.
The entire book constitutes the letter—the letters to the seven individual churches are introductions to the rest of the book, addressed to all seven. While the dominant genre is apocalyptic, the author sees himself as a Christian prophet: Revelation uses the word in various forms twenty-one times, more than any other New Testament book; the predominant view is that Revelation alludes to the Old Testament although it is difficult among scholars to agree on the exact number of allusions or the allusions themselves. Revelation quotes directly from the Old Testament, yet every verse alludes to or echoes older scriptures. Over half of the references stem from Daniel, Ezekiel and Isaiah, with Daniel providing the largest number in proportion to length and Ezekiel standing out as the most influential; because these references appear as allusions rather than as quotes, it is difficult to know whether the author used the Hebrew or the Greek version of the Hebrew scriptures, but he was often influenced by the Greek.
He frequently combines multiple references, again the allusional style makes it impossible to be certain to what extent he did so consciously. According to several studies including a review by Dr James Tabor and Dr J. Mass
Marriage called matrimony or wedlock, is a or ritually recognised union between spouses that establishes rights and obligations between those spouses, as well as between them and any resulting biological or adopted children and affinity. The definition of marriage varies around the world not only between cultures and between religions, but throughout the history of any given culture and religion, evolving to both expand and constrict in who and what is encompassed, but it is principally an institution in which interpersonal relationships sexual, are acknowledged or sanctioned. In some cultures, marriage is recommended or considered to be compulsory before pursuing any sexual activity; when defined broadly, marriage is considered a cultural universal. A marriage ceremony is known as a wedding. Individuals may marry for several reasons, including legal, libidinal, financial and religious purposes. Whom they marry may be influenced by gender determined rules of incest, prescriptive marriage rules, parental choice and individual desire.
In some areas of the world, arranged marriage, child marriage and sometimes forced marriage, may be practiced as a cultural tradition. Conversely, such practices may be outlawed and penalized in parts of the world out of concerns of the infringement of women's rights, or the infringement of children's rights, because of international law. Around the world in developed democracies, there has been a general trend towards ensuring equal rights within marriage for women and recognizing the marriages of interfaith and same-sex couples; these trends coincide with the broader human rights movement. Marriage can be recognized by a state, an organization, a religious authority, a tribal group, a local community, or peers, it is viewed as a contract. When a marriage is performed and carried out by a government institution in accordance with the marriage laws of the jurisdiction, without religious content, it is a civil marriage. Civil marriage recognizes and creates the rights and obligations intrinsic to matrimony before the state.
When a marriage is performed with religious content under the auspices of a religious institution it is a religious marriage. Religious marriage recognizes and creates the rights and obligations intrinsic to matrimony before that religion. Religious marriage is known variously as sacramental marriage in Catholicism, nikah in Islam, nissuin in Judaism, various other names in other faith traditions, each with their own constraints as to what constitutes, who can enter into, a valid religious marriage; some countries do not recognize locally performed religious marriage on its own, require a separate civil marriage for official purposes. Conversely, civil marriage does not exist in some countries governed by a religious legal system, such as Saudi Arabia, where marriages contracted abroad might not be recognized if they were contracted contrary to Saudi interpretations of Islamic religious law. In countries governed by a mixed secular-religious legal system, such as in Lebanon and Israel, locally performed civil marriage does not exist within the country, preventing interfaith and various other marriages contradicting religious laws from being entered into in the country, civil marriages performed abroad are recognized by the state if they conflict with religious laws.
The act of marriage creates normative or legal obligations between the individuals involved, any offspring they may produce or adopt. In terms of legal recognition, most sovereign states and other jurisdictions limit marriage to opposite-sex couples and a diminishing number of these permit polygyny, child marriages, forced marriages. In modern times, a growing number of countries developed democracies, have lifted bans on and have established legal recognition for the marriages of interfaith and same-sex couples; some cultures allow the dissolution of marriage through annulment. In some areas, child marriages and polygamy may occur in spite of national laws against the practice. Since the late twentieth century, major social changes in Western countries have led to changes in the demographics of marriage, with the age of first marriage increasing, fewer people marrying, more couples choosing to cohabit rather than marry. For example, the number of marriages in Europe decreased by 30% from 1975 to 2005.
In most cultures, married women had few rights of their own, being considered, along with the family's children, the property of the husband. In Europe, the United States, other places in the developed world, beginning in the late 19th century and lasting through the 21st century, marriage has undergone gradual legal changes, aimed at improving the rights of the wife; these changes included giving wives legal identities of their own, abolishing the right of husbands to physically discipline their wives, giving wives property rights, liberalizing divorce laws, providing wives with reproductive rights of their own, requiring a wife's consent when sexual relations occur. These changes have occurred in Western countries. In the 21st century, there continue to be controversies regarding the legal status of married women, legal acceptance of or leniency towards violence within marriage, traditional marriage customs such as dowry and bride price, for
United States Census Bureau
The United States Census Bureau is a principal agency of the U. S. Federal Statistical System, responsible for producing data about the American people and economy; the Census Bureau is part of the U. S. Department of Commerce and its director is appointed by the President of the United States; the Census Bureau's primary mission is conducting the U. S. Census every ten years, which allocates the seats of the U. S. House of Representatives to the states based on their population; the Bureau's various censuses and surveys help allocate over $400 billion in federal funds every year and it helps states, local communities, businesses make informed decisions. The information provided by the census informs decisions on where to build and maintain schools, transportation infrastructure, police and fire departments. In addition to the decennial census, the Census Bureau continually conducts dozens of other censuses and surveys, including the American Community Survey, the U. S. Economic Census, the Current Population Survey.
Furthermore and foreign trade indicators released by the federal government contain data produced by the Census Bureau. Article One of the United States Constitution directs the population be enumerated at least once every ten years and the resulting counts used to set the number of members from each state in the House of Representatives and, by extension, in the Electoral College; the Census Bureau now conducts a full population count every 10 years in years ending with a zero and uses the term "decennial" to describe the operation. Between censuses, the Census Bureau makes population projections. In addition, Census data directly affects how more than $400 billion per year in federal and state funding is allocated to communities for neighborhood improvements, public health, education and more; the Census Bureau is mandated with fulfilling these obligations: the collecting of statistics about the nation, its people, economy. The Census Bureau's legal authority is codified in Title 13 of the United States Code.
The Census Bureau conducts surveys on behalf of various federal government and local government agencies on topics such as employment, health, consumer expenditures, housing. Within the bureau, these are known as "demographic surveys" and are conducted perpetually between and during decennial population counts; the Census Bureau conducts economic surveys of manufacturing, retail and other establishments and of domestic governments. Between 1790 and 1840, the census was taken by marshals of the judicial districts; the Census Act of 1840 established a central office. Several acts followed that revised and authorized new censuses at the 10-year intervals. In 1902, the temporary Census Office was moved under the Department of Interior, in 1903 it was renamed the Census Bureau under the new Department of Commerce and Labor; the department was intended to consolidate overlapping statistical agencies, but Census Bureau officials were hindered by their subordinate role in the department. An act in 1920 changed the date and authorized manufacturing censuses every two years and agriculture censuses every 10 years.
In 1929, a bill was passed mandating the House of Representatives be reapportioned based on the results of the 1930 Census. In 1954, various acts were codified into Title 13 of the US Code. By law, the Census Bureau must count everyone and submit state population totals to the U. S. President by December 31 of any year ending in a zero. States within the Union receive the results in the spring of the following year; the United States Census Bureau defines four statistical regions, with nine divisions. The Census Bureau regions are "widely used...for data collection and analysis". The Census Bureau definition is pervasive. Regional divisions used by the United States Census Bureau: Region 1: Northeast Division 1: New England Division 2: Mid-Atlantic Region 2: Midwest Division 3: East North Central Division 4: West North Central Region 3: South Division 5: South Atlantic Division 6: East South Central Division 7: West South Central Region 4: West Division 8: Mountain Division 9: Pacific Many federal, state and tribal governments use census data to: Decide the location of new housing and public facilities, Examine the demographic characteristics of communities and the US, Plan transportation systems and roadways, Determine quotas and creation of police and fire precincts, Create localized areas for elections, utilities, etc.
Gathers population information every 10 years The United States Census Bureau is committed to confidentiality, guarantees non-disclosure of any addresses or personal information related to individuals or establishments. Title 13 of the U. S. Code establishes penalties for the disclosure of this information. All Census employees must sign an affidavit of non-disclosure prior to employment; the Bureau cannot share responses, addresses or personal information with anyone including United States or foreign government
A city is a large human settlement. Cities have extensive systems for housing, sanitation, land use, communication, their density facilitates interaction between people, government organizations and businesses, sometimes benefiting different parties in the process. City-dwellers have been a small proportion of humanity overall, but following two centuries of unprecedented and rapid urbanization half of the world population now lives in cities, which has had profound consequences for global sustainability. Present-day cities form the core of larger metropolitan areas and urban areas—creating numerous commuters traveling towards city centers for employment and edification. However, in a world of intensifying globalization, all cities are in different degree connected globally beyond these regions; the most populated city proper is Chongqing while the most populous metropolitan areas are the Greater Tokyo Area, the Shanghai area, Jabodetabek. The cities of Faiyum and Varanasi are among those laying claim to longest continual inhabitation.
A city is distinguished from other human settlements by its great size, but by its functions and its special symbolic status, which may be conferred by a central authority. The term can refer either to the physical streets and buildings of the city or to the collection of people who dwell there, can be used in a general sense to mean urban rather than rural territory. A variety of definitions, invoking population, population density, number of dwellings, economic function, infrastructure, are used in national censuses to classify populations as urban. Common population definitions for a city range between 1,500 and 50,000 people, with most U. S. states using a minimum between 5,000 inhabitants. However, some jurisdictions set no such minimums. In the United Kingdom, city status is awarded by the government and remains permanently, resulting in some small cities, such as Wells and St Davids. According to the "functional definition" a city is not distinguished by size alone, but by the role it plays within a larger political context.
Cities serve as administrative, commercial and cultural hubs for their larger surrounding areas. Examples of settlements called city which may not meet any of the traditional criteria to be named such include Broad Top City and City Dulas, Anglesey, a hamlet; the presence of a literate elite is sometimes included in the definition. A typical city has professional administrators and some form of taxation to support the government workers; the governments may be based on heredity, military power, work projects such as canal building, food distribution, land ownership, commerce, finance, or a combination of these. Societies that live in cities are called civilizations; the word city and the related civilization come, via Old French, from the Latin root civitas meaning citizenship or community member and coming to correspond with urbs, meaning city in a more physical sense. The Roman civitas was linked with the Greek "polis"—another common root appearing in English words such as metropolis. Urban geography deals both with their internal structure.
Town siting has varied through history according to natural, technological and military contexts. Access to water has long been a major factor in city placement and growth, 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. Urban areas as a rule cannot produce their own food and therefore must develop some relationship with a hinterland which sustains them. Only in special cases such as mining towns which play a vital role in long-distance trade, are cities disconnected from the countryside which feeds them. Thus, centrality within a productive region influences siting, as economic forces would in theory favor the creation of market places in optimal mutually reachable locations; the vast majority of cities have a central area containing buildings with special economic and religious significance. Archaeologists refer to this area by the Greek term temenos; these spaces reflect and amplify the city's centrality and importance to its wider sphere of influence.
Today cities have downtown, sometimes coincident with a central business district. Cities have public spaces where anyone can go; these include owned spaces open to the public as well as forms of public land such as public domain and the commons. Western philosophy since the time of the Greek agora has considered physical public space as the substrate of the symbolic public sphere. Public art adorns public spaces. Parks and other natural sites within cities provide residents with relief from the hardness and regularity of typical built environments. Urban structure follows one or more basic patterns: geomorphic, concentric and curvilinear. Physical environment constrains the form in which a city is built. If located on a mountainside, urban structure may rely on winding roads, it may be adapted to its means of subsistence. And it may be set up for optimal defense given the surrounding landscape. Beyond these "geomorphi