In city planning, a central city is the largest or most important city or cities of a metropolitan area, of which the other smaller cities and towns of the metropolitan area are suburbs. A central city is usually the first settlement established in an urban region before the outlying districts came into existence, later in history. Central cities often form the regional downtowns of metro areas. The term is used mainly in US context, although since the 1970s it has also become relatively common in Canada and, to a lesser extent, Europe and Australia.[1]

Central city may also refer to:


United StatesEdit


Fictional placesEdit



See alsoEdit

  • Principal city, a similar term used by the United States Census Bureau


  1. ^ Caves, R. W. (2004). Encyclopedia of the City. Routledge. p. 72.