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7 Of The Most Extreme Cities On Earth


Thousands of years ago, the first human settlement that resembled today's cities was established. It was called Uruk, and it was built by the Sumerians, a civilization long since gone. Since then, thousands of cities have developed all over the world, offering a safe home for generations of humans.

Today, there are 4,416 cities with a population over 150,000. Many of these cities are similar and, at risk of sounding pompous, pretty unremarkable. But these 7 cities you're about to read about really are something else. They're each extreme for different reasons.

1. Aleppo, Syria. Aleppo has been in the news lately at a focal point of conflict in Syria. It was established in 6000 BCE, making it the oldest still-inhabited city on Earth. Even though it carries the weight of 8,000 years of existence, Aleppo today is impoverished and war-torn. Through the ages, it has been a part of numerous empires. It's been conquered, liberated, and conquered again. At varying times, it was ruled by Egyptians, Assyrians, Persians, Macedonians, and many others. Judging by its history, Aleppo will recover from today's conflicts given time and aid.

2. Seoul, South Korea. Not all extreme cities are extreme for negative reasons. The opposite is the case for Seoul, the capital city of South Korea. What makes Seoul so extreme is how happy its citizens are. Seoul is the happiest city in the world when using Arcadis's method to measure. The population reports contentment with income and employment, generally good health, low crime, affordable cost of living, few prejudices, and admirable rates of higher education.

3. Tokyo, Japan. Tokyo is known for its enormous population, and that's what lands it on our list. Tokyo, Japan is believed to be the most populous city in the world. This distinction is hotly contested, however, as cities like Jakarta, Indonesia and Delhi, India are also densely populated, but record-keeping isn't as accurate. But as of 2016, Tokyo's population was believed to be nearly 38 million people, making it the most populous.

4. New York City, United States. Despite the fact that New York City is confined to a seemingly limited area, it's on our list of extremes because it is geographically the largest city. The New York metro area is a staggering 8,683 square kilometers, making it 1,700 square kilometers bigger than Tokyo. But one day soon, it could be surpassed by other developing cities. New York's growth is expected to stall in coming years.

5. Monaco Monaco is a unique city. Although it's enveloped by France, Monaco is a sovereign city-state. But that's not what lands it on this list. Monaco is the world's healthiest city. Spending time on the treadmill certainly helps, but it's Monaco's investment in a healthy environment that makes it the world's healthiest city. The government has rigorously promoted environmentally friendly policy, which drives down pollution-related illnesses. The population is also rather wealthy, enabling citizens to receive top-notch medical care.

6. Monrovia, Liberia

For 23 years, Liberia was torn apart by a bloody, brutal civil war. The war ended 14 years ago, but the nation has yet to fully recover. Because of that conflict, Monrovia, the capital of Liberia, holds the distinction of being the most impoverished. There is little public transport, access to electricity is spotty at best, and only a third of the city has flushing toilets.

Without access to modern amenities or proper medical care, the city was an effective breeding ground for the ebola virus, which reached epidemic status in 2014 and 2015. The city of 4.3 million people had only 50 doctors. The epidemic would kill nearly 5,000 people before being largely eradicated.

7. Caracas, Venezuela

Finishing up this list is Caracas, Venezuela. As of 2017, the World Atlas reported that Caracas had the highest rate of homicide per capita, with 119.87 murders per 100,000 citizens. That equals a rate of about 2,500 murders each year. Only four cities on Earth top a 1% homicide rate. With the nation becoming less and less table, addressing the violent crime in Caracas has become more difficult.

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