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The concept of the city is used in urban research and also in general German usage in larger cities to denote the city ​​center . This is very unfortunate, however, because it is used completely differently in English and also in three different variants. It is unmistakable, however, to call the city center the “center”. This is again or is still being practiced in some German cities. The term is internationally widespread and is also understood by foreign guests who do not speak German.

City: Name for

  • a big city
  • a historic city with a bishopric and cathedral (and thus also for a smaller city)
  • a city with royal charter and ceremonial privileges.

City (dt.): Derives from a process that already took place in London in the 18th century , during which a banking and insurance system developed in the " City of London " and other inner city functions are increasingly developing in other parts of the city as a result have concentrated (government in " City of Westminster "). The English expression downtown experienced a similar expansion of meaning, originally referring to the southern part of Manhattan , but then becoming a synonym for "inner city, city center".

In German it is primarily a functional term. It is the centrally located sub-area of ​​a large city with a spatial concentration of high-ranking central functions of the tertiary and quaternary sectors , the locations of which are related to one another in many ways, i. H. Form so-called location and function communities.

  • are generally spatially structured and thus make up so-called functional quarters.
  • are characterized by differentiated development dynamics
  • Decline in the resident population since the beginning of the modern city building process
  • The daytime population predominates over the nighttime population
  • low share of the manufacturing industry
  • high job density
  • high land and rental prices
  • special physiognomic features (shop windows, density of buildings, representative value)

In urban research, the term Central Business District (CBD) is more appropriately used as a synonym for the city as a business center.


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