City is a functional integration of its elements - residents, structures, means of transportation, installations and so on. Sociologists all over the world defines city in different ways. According to Mumford, an eminent sociologist, the concept of city escaped scholarly scrutiny, though city as a form of human settlement dates back to the beginning of civilization. There are different ways to define a city such as legal, statistical, density, occupation, sociological and economical.
Description of city on legal basis :-
A place is legally a city when the charter is passed by the higher authority, that is state government in India. Cities are not called cities because of the passing of charter. But it is passed when a place acquires the characteristics of city. The grant of charter is the recognition that the place has became city. These places are called as statutory towns. But this phenomenon is not uniform across the states.
Description of city on statistical basis :-
According to this basis, a place having a certain number of persons is called as a city. Mere having more than certain number of persons doesn't make the place city, but having common characteristics of other cities will make the place city. This metric is also not uniform across different countries.
Description of city on Density of Population basis :-
Generally, in villages density of population is very less. In cities, due to the concentration of jobs and industries, demand for housing is pretty high compared to villages. Hence the density of population is very high in cities. Taking this basis, many places are termed as cities.
Description of city on occupation basis :-
The main occupation in villages is agriculture. People started moving to cities due to the evolution of industries. Hence we classify cities on the basis of occupation. Cities are the areas where the occupation of majority is not agriculture and related activities.
Description of city on market basis :-
According to R.E.Dickinson, city is an institutional center, the seat of the institution of the society which it represents. It is a seat of religion, of culture and social contact, and of political and administrative organization. Secondly, it is a seat of production, agricultural and industrial, the latter being normally the more important. Thirdly, it is a seat of commerce and transport. Fourthly, city is a pleasurable seat of residence for rulers, the wealthy and the retired, where they can enjoy all the amenities of civilized life that the institutions of their society have to offer. Fifthly, it is the living place of the people who work in it.
India declares cities by combining specific characteristics, which are legal, population, occupation and density. A few cities are declared as cities, though they did not satisfy the conditions, but have distinct urban characteristics.