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WikiProject Cities (Rated C-class)
WikiProject iconThis article is within the scope of WikiProject Cities, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of cities, towns and various other settlements on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
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Edinburgh was already a fort named Din Eidin before it became Edinburgh by the Angles, so that part isn't correct — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:23, 24 July 2018 (UTC)


In England and Wales (if not all over the UK) isn't the actual difference bretween a village and town determined by whether or not there is a town charter? This would explain why villages can be larger than towns as mentioned in the article. Dainamo 18:54, 31 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Under "Germany": The term "Oberzentrum" is something I never heard before, and I grew up in Germany!


I propose that this article become a disambiguation page. There are many different types of towns--too many to cover in this one article. For example, in Illinois, there is a type of municipality called an incorporated town; however, within the same state there are also unincorporated civil townships, which are sometimes also simply called towns. There are many other types of towns in other states and counties. Squideshi 17:20, 12 April 2006 (UTC)

  • Strongly oppose - the content you would write to disambiguate would form the summary of the different types of town articles and might as well be the text of this article. No issue with a separate article on say incorproated towns that already exists and hyperlinks to it, or even a statement to see main article but a dab page would be innappropriate. Feel free to edit and tidy but not to turn into a dab page.--A Y Arktos\talk 19:42, 12 April 2006 (UTC)

Russian Gorod[edit]

It is not mentioned in the article but it is necessary to know that the modern Russian Lenguage (even in the past) doesn't fill the difference between city and town. Both types of urban areas in Russian are called like gorod (Rus: Город). Only some very small towns in Russia and some other CIS and Slaic countries are called as the "Settlement of the Uran type" (Rus: "Посёлок городского типа" ПГТ (PGT)). The main difference between the Urban and Rural areas in Russia is not the population quantity but the dominate kind of employment (in Agreculture or in service and Industry).

Anyhow if the regular population of the area is 5000 - 10000 persons and more with the dominate non-agricultural employment such a place could be noted as a "gorod". Both Moscow with more than 10 000 000 population and Pavlovsk, Voronezh Region (for example) with 15 000 people only are gorods in Russian.

Dr. Alexey Silakov, 25.10.06, 11.09 Moscow Tyme

  • Small towns in Russia (less than 20 000 inh.) are called posyolok.--Peruanec (talk) 02:38, 21 September 2011 (UTC)
    • Except that the entities which are called that are not towns/goroda unless you mean it in a very generic (and non-encyclopedic) way, and that the 20,000 threshold is obsolete (the actual threshold is federal subject-specific and varies).—Ëzhiki (Igels Hérissonovich Ïzhakoff-Amursky) • (yo?); September 21, 2011; 12:50 (UTC)

Towns in the United States[edit]

The article currently includes the following:

Towns, especially the so-called small towns, are usually classified in the United States as rural areas, versus the big or small cities as the urban areas. Many of these small-towns could be farming communities with comparatively small population; such a place would definitely be called a village in Great Britain or India (where a town is usually an urban area).

Says who? That is certainly not the definition that the Census Bureau uses. As to what "such a place would definitely be called" in Great Britain or India, I can't say for certain, but I can say that if it's so definite, a citation wouldn't hurt. Doctor Whom 19:50, 31 January 2007 (UTC)

Meaning of Borough[edit]

Bit strange that the meaning of Borough is the opposite of related languages (Dutch, German, see [Burg]). Can sb with access to English etymological sources check this? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:41, 28 January 2008 (UTC)

If there was any distinction between toun (fortified municipality) and burgh (unfortified municipality) as claimed by some[who?], compared to The word borough derives from the Old English word burh, meaning a fortified settlement. Other English derivatives of burh include bury and brough. There are obvious cognates in other Indo-European languages. For example; burgh in Scots and Middle English; burg in German and Old English,[1] borg in Scandinavian languages; parcus in Latin and pyrgos in Greek.. Think the fellow have read something vice vers.  — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:33, 23 August 2013 (UTC) 


An anonymous editor is removing a number of interwiki links and is arguing that they do not belong because, a) those are the links to the articles equivalent to "city" and not "town", and b) the interwiki bots get confused when a target is linked from more than one page of the same project. I would like to get a third opinion, please. My arguments for having these links are as follows:

  • shoddily programmed and easily confusable bots should not be a reason to deprive our readers from links to more or less equivalent articles on other projects.
  • WP:ILL explicitly states that the interlanguage links should be between "nearly equivalent or exactly equivalent pages in another Wikipedia language" (emphasis mine). The concepts of "city" and "town" undoubtedly fall under the "nearly equivalent" definition; plus, unlike in English in many languages they are not expressed by two separate words but by just one.—Ëzhiki (Igels Hérissonovich Ïzhakoff-Amursky) • (yo?); 19:30, July 6, 2009 (UTC)
I think that the spirit of WP:ILL is to provide interwiki links to nearly equivalent pages only when exactly equivalent pages do not exist. That said, the most nearly equivalent page available should always be used. Nearly is kinda vague, but its inherent implication is that the page cannot be merely somewhat sorta equivalent or barely equivalent, only nearly (or exactly) equivalent. I think these judgements need to be made on an individual basis. I find it difficult to believe that some article in each language doesn't exist that could be used to refer to townscape instead of cityscape, so if a bot is putting "city" articles here it is probably inappropriate. --JBC3 (talk) 22:17, 6 July 2009 (UTC)
I, of course, cannot vouch for the languages I don't know, but in Russian, at least, both "city" and "town" are translated as "город", and both translations are equally correct. No good reason exists to link to "город" from "city" but not from "town" (same is true the other way around). Clearly, that's a problem where liberal application of WP:ILL makes sense?—Ëzhiki (Igels Hérissonovich Ïzhakoff-Amursky) • (yo?); 00:23, July 7, 2009 (UTC)


I wanted to start a discussion before changing the section. First of all what's written here is wrong. In the Netherlands there's no difference between 'town' and 'village' which both translate as 'dorp' while there clearly is a difference between 'town' and 'city', the latter being translated as 'stad'.

'Steden' (plural of 'stad'), English: cities, are those places that once have received city rights, while 'dorpen' are those place that have 'dorpsstatus' (they're officially registered as villages). Smaller places are called 'buurtschappen' (neigbourhoods) or 'gehuchten' (hamlets), depending on their status. In English 'town' had a certain (legal) definition based on facilities, while it is nowadays used to describe anything between a village and a city. In Dutch there's a word to describe bigger villages which did not have city rights, 'vlek', literally 'spot'.

In modern times, however, the importance of city rights has disappeared and the definition of 'stad' watered and became only to include big cities (steden), but also big villages(dorpen). The term 'vlek' has become unnecessary and is not used anymore. The application of the words 'stad' and 'dorp' has become completely random and subjective and is dependent whether someone would consider a place big enough to call it a city or call it a village instead. Besides that the definition is not only limited to size, but to a lot of other things as well (e.g. the presence of waterways in the city centre, the presence of medieval urban architecture, the presence of modern urban architecture instead, etc.). Because of a lack of these three things I myself sometimes find it very hard to consider the city I currently live in to be a city, even though it has city rights and a population of 150k. On the contrary I consider a village with no city rights and a population of 5,5k to be city like because of the presence of 2 of those things.

In the province of Friesland the 'city-village distinction' is still very important and the city of Stavoren is considered to be a city, even though it has less than 1k inhabitants. The word 'flekke' is still used to describe big places without city rights. The second biggest place in Frisia, Drachten, is not a city (stêd), but a 'flekke'.

Simply stating that 'city' and 'town' mean the same in Dutch is wrong, but stating that town and city aren't the same is also incorrect as this doesn't take modern developments into account. --SK-luuut (talk) 20:50, 8 August 2009 (UTC)

This article makes no mention of the Southern Netherlands aka Belgium at all. The early development of towns in the Southern Netherlands is of great interest to students of the Middle Ages. The ability of the towns of the Southern Netherlands to win wrestle rights from their feudal masters eventually led to the redefining of the relationship between the three estates and the emergence of early modern societies in Northern Europe. Furthermore calling these places cities erases any historical awareness of their development from the language (but see below under town - city). Everybody got to be somewhere! (talk) 22:09, 14 January 2013 (UTC)

It is simply not true that The Hague never got its city rights. However late, it did occur in 1806; city rights were granted by Lodewijk Napoleon. Sources: [1]; [2]; — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:05, 15 November 2016 (UTC)

Town and City[edit]

English is not my mother tongue, so can somebody please advise? The articles Town and City both explain that they are large settlements with unclear definitions. Both articles contain long lists of how these definitions vary between countries. Most of the content is overlaping. The pages Wikipedia:Vital articles and m:List of articles every Wikipedia should have both list City, neither list Town. Some 90+ languages of Wikipedia have an article with an interwiki link to City. Some 26 languages have articles with interwiki links to Town. But in early July 2009 a bunch of interwiki links were added to the Town article, creating a massive "interwiki conflict" that disables interwiki bots to update these links. Apparently a minor edit war ensued in the first week of July 2009. Should more languages establish two separate articles, each corresponding to one of the two English articles? Can the difference between the two concepts be made any clearer? Or should the two English articles be merged into one? --LA2 (talk) 22:13, 18 August 2009 (UTC)

As an older native speaker of British English, I find the distinctions between and the definitions given for town and city in this article astoundingly vague and annoyingly incorrect. Properly speaking in the UK a city was a town that had a cathedral. Cities could be big like Manchester, or small like Lichfield or Bangor. Unfortunately the slackness of usage prevalent in the US has hopelessly undermined popular usage and every urban centre with more than two shopping precincts now styles itself as a city. See also above under the Netherlands. Everybody got to be somewhere! (talk) 21:59, 14 January 2013 (UTC)


{{editsemiprotected}} There has been much vandalism by IP users. A few regestiered users also vandalised this page. —Preceding unsigned comment added by DailyWikiHelp (talkcontribs) 05:59, 11 March 2010

This is not a request to edit the article; moving to WP:RPP.  Chzz  ►  06:23, 11 March 2010 (UTC)
I have copied your request to here.  Chzz  ►  06:34, 11 March 2010 (UTC)

IP Vandalism[edit]

Hmmmm...this looks suspicious to me. All the IP vandalism comes from SingNet IPs. Why is it so?--Big Bosses (talk) 11:36, 30 April 2010 (UTC)

Edit request from Titateun, 10 June 2010[edit]


A wrong spelling of the Dutch town 'The Hague' should be changed. As you have read 'The Hage' is wrong, and 'The Hague' is correct So please replace 'The Hage' to 'The Hague' due misspelling

Titateun (talk) 15:49, 10 June 2010 (UTC)

 Done fetch·comms 15:57, 10 June 2010 (UTC)


What are the population margins for a town? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Biglulu (talkcontribs) 00:32, 27 June 2010 (UTC)


I can`t edit the page, so I ask some help. Please fix one sentence-note. Miestelis (town) is ussually called smaller cities, despite they official status. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Profcard (talkcontribs) 18:04, 24 July 2010 (UTC)


Germany has one word 'Stadt', which is then modified by the attachment of prefixes to indicate the size of the population. English has two words for the simple reason that one is of Germanic origin and the other non-Germanic. The word 'difference' probably means 'distinction', and a distinction is made by both German and English but in different ways. 'Megastadt' is equivalent to 'megacity' and is an imprecise way of describing cities with population upwards to 10 million. Pamour (talk) 11:17, 22 December 2012 (UTC)

The terms coined in 1887 are not widely used any more. Today the word Stadt is used for towns and cities, with a population of ca. 5,000. There is no limit, even Peking is a Stadt. Großstadt is used for cities with more than 100,000. Kleinstadt is a small town, but there are no clear population limits. Kleinstadt refers to the character of a Stadt more than to the population. In an area with a low population density, a Kleinstadt can have a population of 1,500 (example Neuerburg. The average size of a Kleinstadt is about 10,000. In an area with a high population density, a Kleinstadt can have a population of more than 50,000, example Dorsten.
There are several places in Germany call Stadt that have a population less than 1,000. That is for historical reasons. Quite often, the population was higher years ago, but the town is out of the way and lost importance over the years. Example Kaub [[1]]
The terms Landstadt, Mittelstadt and Millionenstadt are a little obsolete and not used very often.
--2A02:8109:9C80:23DC:A05B:946:C84A:CD50 (talk) 14:40, 28 January 2019 (UTC)

The above comment about human habitations in Germany is...[edit]

completely wrong!

In the German language - my second language - some of the words trace back to Medieval times, and some of them are new "loanwords", mostly from English because of the many, many soldiers, airmen, and sailors from America, Britain, and Canada who lived and worked in West Germany for decades**.

"Stadt" is a German word from Medieval times or earlier. Stadt orginally mean a "fortified town" or the fortified parts at the middles of larger habitations - surrounded by unfortified areas. During the Middle Ages (and earlier), the inhabitants of Germany, Austria, northern Switzerland, East Prussia (no longer existing, since it belongs to Poland and Russia now), West Prussia (no longer existing because most of it went to Poland in 1945-46), Luxembourg, etc., had to be prepared for attacks from their close neighbors AND from the Roman legions, the Vikings from what is now Denmark-Norway-Sweden, the Franks from what is now Northern France - like Charlemagne's men, the Niederlanders from what is now Holland and Belgiun, and then the Russian Empire after that one got it together and overran the Ukraine, Latvia, Lithuania, and a large part of Poland.

The Russians, the Austro-Hungarians, and the Prussians teamed together several times in taking "bites" out of Poland from the east, the south, and the west. Finally, they all trumped up one more war against Poland, and they gobbled up the rest of Poland in three final bites. Poland disappeared, and Poland did not reemerge until 1919, when the victorious Allies of World War I breathed life into it again: and also into Czechoslovakia, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Finland, and large parts of Hungary, Romania, etc. The Russian Empire was collapsing under the pressure of having surrendered to the German Empire in 1917 AND the Bolshevik Revolution lead by Vladimir Lenin. This took until about 1923. The Austro-Hungarian Empire, the German Empire, and the Ottoman Empire (Turkey, etc.) all collapsed when they lost WW I in November 1918 and in the Versailles Peace Treaty that followed in 1919. All of these four monarchies disappeared soon. 1. The Ottonan Empire lost nearly all of its land in Europe, PLUS Palestine (Israel in the future), Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Iraq, and whatever it had in Egypt and Cyprus. In Europe, the new country of Turkey kept only its present toehold around Constantinople (Istanbul, as it was renamed). Next, the Turks did a really smart thing: they stayed all the way OUT of WW II except for a few months in 1945, just like Argentina, Chile, and Paraguay did. Bolivia declared war on Nazi Germany in 1943, but it did not do anything. The only South American country that sent any troops or airmen overseas during WW II was Brazil. About 900 Brazilians died in the War. The Brazilian Navy was VERY valuable in fighting the Nazi U-boats in the South Atlantic. Brazilian troops and aviators went over to Italy to fight against thew Nazi Germans there during 1944-45. This was the ONLY time that any Brazilians have gone overseas to fight in a war. (Why can't we be like that? Fight against the real NASTIES like Hitler and Tojo, but leave the others alone?) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:23, 14 June 2013 (UTC)

Contuinued about German cities, town, villages, etc.[edit]

About the aftermath of WW I: 2. In the treaty of Versailles, the French, the British, and the Canadians, with a little help from President Wilson (who was often ignored) tried to set up "buffer zones" between the major powers. Austria-Hungary was dismembered, and from its remains came some or all of the buffer countries of Poland, Czecholovakia, Hungary (much smaller), and Yugoslavia, plus an addition to Romania, plus a new country in Moldova in between Romania and Russia. 3. The Russian Empire/Soviet Union had to give up land for the buffer countries (which wanted their independence anyway) of Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, big chunks of Poland and Moldova, a bit of Czechoslovakia, and probably some of Bulgaria, too. However, Bulgaria and Greece got lots of land from the Ottoman Empire. 4. The German Empire had to give up a lot of land in Prussia to Lithuania and Poland, and also the provinces of Alsace and Lorriane back to France. Germany had taken these away from France after the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-71. Then in 1940, Nazi Germany took Alsace and Lorrane away from France again. Finally, in 1944-45, with the BIG help of the U.S. Army (namely Gen. Patton's 3rd Army), France got Alsace and Lorrain back permanently. France has had nuclear weapons since 1960, and H-bombs since 1966, so nobody should ever dare invade France again. France is also a member of NATO, though often a cranky member of it. What irked the Germans the most in 1919 and following that, and especially the nascent Nazi party, was that Germany had to give Poland a northern neck of land (the "Polish Corridor") to give Poland a major seaport on the Baltic Sea at or near Danzig. This divided Prussia into East Prussia and West Prussia, disconnected, and in the long run this really made 'em mad: Hitler, Hess, Goering, Goebbels, Himmler, Speer, Jodl, plus millions of Germans to vote them into power. 5. Italy was one of the victorious Allies of WW I, too, since it went to war with Austro-Hungary in 1915. Italy fought against the Austrians in the Alps and their foothills, and in the end, Italy got a lot of Austria land, too. 6. Serbia was in the wrong all along. WW I started in Sarajevo, Serbia, between Serbia and Austria-Hungary. Serbia allied itself with the Russian Empire, and the Serbs and the Russians both lost. a). At the end of WW I, Serbia lost its independence and it got wrapped in with the new country of Yugoslavia. b). In 1941, Nazi Germany invaded Yugoslavia mostly as the road to invade Greece. So Yugoslavia was dominated by the Nazis through the end of 1944, when the Stalinist Soviets came in to "liberate" the Yugoslavians. Ha! Serbia and Yugoslavia stayed under Soviet domination for many decades. Serbia was always on the wrong side! D.A.W. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:17, 15 June 2013 (UTC)

Finally, more German words for human habitations[edit]

Finally, more German words for human habitations: Review: "Stadt" can mean a fortified town, or just a town, or the "downtown" area of a larger city. In German, when we say: "Ich gehe morgen in die Stadt," they context can make some difference, but it usually means: "I am going downtown in the morning."

On the other hand: "Jeden Tag fahre ich mit mein Auto in die Stadt, ugh, ugh" this usually means: "Every day I drive my car to town, ugh, ugh."

Another good German word in this field is "Dorf", which is a village or even a "hamlet". We don't use "hamlet" very much in English, but the picture that I get is a cluster of huts surrounded by a bunch of rice paddies!

In the film ANIMAL HOUSE, they chose some of the characters' names very cleverly. Take "Dorfmann". In Germany, Austria, etc., someone who lives in a village or a hamlet is viewed as (usually) being pretty stupid. Of course, "Mann" is a man, so Ken Dorfmann was (supposedly) a stupid jerk who had lived in a hamlet his whole life - and maybe pulling rice from paddies all the time.

"Niedermeyer" is EVEN WORSE! In old times, a "Meyer" was a peasant farmer, working his small part of land over and over, and maybe in debt all the time, like a sharecropper. He is probably pretty dumb, too. The adjective "nieder" means "low", "down", and even "dirty". The word "nieder" has the same root as the word "Netherlands". So, a "Niedermeyer" is a low, down, dirty, peasant farmer, and probably a pretty dumb one, too. Let me remind you that I am describing is a piece of fiction, and a humorous one at that. Also, from the way that he acted, Niedermeyer deserved everything that he got, and Dorfmann came out smelling really good. Niedermeyer might as well have been named "Butthead" ! — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:51, 15 June 2013 (UTC)

Even more German words for human habitations[edit]

Even more German words for human habitations: We need to be careful about the actual names of German places. The suffix "burg" means "fortified town or city" - from the old days. Hence, there are these examples:

Augsburg, Brandenburg, Freiburg (free), Hamburg, Magdeburg, Regensburg**, Rotenburg (red), Rothenburg, Strassburg (in France, but close to the Rhine), Strasburg, Würzburg

    • Regensburg is a city that has practically the best collection of undamaged German architecture from before WW II. That is where I want to go visit. Also, Regensburg had a noted Messerschmidt fighter plant (producing ME-109s) on its outskirts. That plant was bombed by the USAAF in mid-1943, and then bombed and rembombed. The Americans must have done very well because they did not flatten Regensburg while they were at it.

On the other hand "berg" means "mountain" or "high hill". So, these names are for places that are located on or very near hilly or mountainous areas: Eisenberg (iron mountain), Gruenberg (green mountain), Heidelberg (very famous city on a mountain along the Rhine River), Königsberg** (in Bavaria), Kupferberg (copper mountain), Nuremberg (location of the famous war-crimes trials), Staufenberg - but the famous leader of the plot to kill Hitler in June 1944 was Claus von Stauffenberg, spelled with the "ff". Wittenberg - where Martin Luther started the Protestant Reformation by nailing his demands onto the churchhouse door.

    • This Königsberg is in Bavaria. The more famous Königsberg was in East Prussia, but it is on land that was taken over by the U.S.S.R. in 1945 and never given back. It is a famous seaport, and the Russians never wanted to give it up.

There was a famous math problem centuries ago, set in Königsberg, and the GREAT, GREAT Swiss mathematician Leonhard Euler was the one who finally solved it - in about the year 1750. With our methods now, it is an easy problem, but Euler had to INVENT most of those methods before he could "crack the nut". D.A.W. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:06, 15 June 2013 (UTC)


Landskrona in Scania, Sweden has a population of aroud 31.000 inhanitants. I want to use the terminilogy of Town, for this, my hometown. Since there never in history has existed anything other than "stad" (town or city) , "köping" (large village- but no longer in use) and "by" (village). While as neigbouring Helsingborg has 100.000 inhabitanst, in that case I would rather use "city". Am I correct , or possibly not ? Since Landskrona is located also in Europe, I prefer British style. Any helpful suggestions, would be very appriciated, thanks. Boeing720 (talk) 09:27, 15 August 2014 (UTC)

I wouldn't be overly impressed by British usage, when tiny places like Ely are officially cities and >200k places like Reading, Berkshire and Milton Keynes are still towns. (See city status in the United Kingdom). For what its worth, my opinion is that <10k is a village, <100k is a town and anything >100k is a city, but there is no rule on en.wp. --John Maynard Friedman (talk) 21:10, 15 August 2014 (UTC)

"Small towns"[edit]

Small town life has been a major theme in American literature, especially stories of rejection by young people leaving for the metropolis

What exactly do people mean when they talk about a "small town" in such context? (It was in an attempt to find an answer that I came to this article). From the various definitions in different states, it seems that in America, "town" (without any modifier) could describe what in the UK could be either a town, a village, or a city. Are these "small towns" that (judging by the literature and other media) people are always having to leave in order to find acceptance really (in UK terms) villages (or small villages)? And is this theme a realistic representation of small-town attitudes, or just an unfair media stereotype? Given that this is, as said, a major theme of American literature, I think the articles needs to discuss it in more detail (or link to somewhere that does). Iapetus (talk) 13:54, 14 November 2014 (UTC)

Hong Kong section does not fit with rest of article[edit]

The HK section is about towns and town planning specifically, and not generally, like the rest of the article (did not check all sections (tl:dr)).

I think it needs to be re-written to fit in with the purpose of the article. Jason Brown (talk) 14:01, 17 January 2017 (UTC)

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10th Amendment[edit]

This article now says:

Since the Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution largely leaves local-government organization to the individual U.S. states, the definition (if any) of "town" varies widely from state to state.

I fear this will mislead the reader into thinking that this is a right of states that was granted by the Tenth Amendment, rather than a right states had before the Tenth Amendment, which was merely saying the Constitution of the United States should not be construed as altering that already existing situation. Thus I think this should be rephrased, although I am not yet sure how. Michael Hardy (talk) 21:39, 11 June 2019 (UTC)

The issue isn’t simply that the states have that power, but also that Congress for the most part does not. Many people hold the inaccurate view that whatever a state legislature may do within its state, Congress may do nationwide. We should therefore have language explaining why, notwithstanding that widespread but inaccurate view, it’s mostly a state issue. Doctor Whom (talk) 20:05, 12 June 2019 (UTC)

Lead images[edit]

Among many other desperately needed improvements, the lead images here should be converted to a collage using {{multiple image}}. {{u|Sdkb}}talk 00:06, 15 July 2021 (UTC)

... and be made less Euro-centric and US-centric, please? See also discussion at city here: EMsmile (talk) 10:34, 26 September 2021 (UTC)