Why Cities Are Where They Are
Articles, Blog

Why Cities Are Where They Are

August 27, 2019

This is a Wendover Productions video made
possible by Squarespace. Make your next move with a beautiful website
from Squarespace. The Cumberland valley is home to six towns
lying between Hagerstown, Maryland and Harrisburg, Pennsylvania— Greencastle, Chambersburg,
Shippensburg, Newville, Carlisle, and Mecanicsburg. What’s exceptional about these small Pennsylvania
towns is that they’re each almost exactly 10 miles from each other. The distances deviate by no more than a mile
from this rule. This isn’t a coincidence and this isn’t
planned. Drawing equal sized radii around each town
shows you their spheres of influence. Assuming each town has the exact same shops
and services, rational people will just go to whichever town is closest to buy or sell
goods. Towns ten miles apart mean that nobody has
to travel more than five miles to reach a town. Each one of these towns was founded before
the formation of the United States, so that means that, of course, nobody had cars and
pretty much everybody walked everywhere. 10 miles, or 5 miles each way, is about the
distance a person can comfortably walk in a day with enough time to buy or sell goods
at a central market. Back in this era before cars, a 5 mile radius
was essentially the largest possible commuter zone to small agricultural towns and therefore
having towns ten miles apart was the most efficient possible use of rural land. When you get a chance, take a look at map
of a rural area that existed before cars. You’ll see that the distance between medium-sized
towns is almost always somewhere between about 10 to 15 miles. Because the Cumberland valley is a valley,
towns really could only develop in a line, but in most cases towns develop in all directions. This is what the ten mile rule looks like
going out in all directions. Each of these points is a town and the hexagon
around it is the area from which people will go to the town. In the real world, each of these towns probably
has a small grocery store, a pharmacy, a bank, and maybe a restaurant. Since everybody uses these services, there
doesn’t have to be many people in a towns sphere of influence in order to sustain these
shops. But where do you put something more specialized,
like a mechanic. People only need to go the mechanic every
once in a while so you need more people to sustain one mechanics shop than one grocery
store. Well, some of these small towns develop into
larger towns with more people that can support more specialized shops and services. Putting these larger towns with more specialized
shops closer together would be unsustainable since there wouldn’t be enough people going
to those shops but putting them farther apart would be inefficient since there’s land
that people would not go to a city from. This happens once or twice more until you
have cities. These cities have the largest spheres of influence
and the most specialized shops. You of course still have grocery stores and
pharmacies in cities, but you also have things like luxury car dealerships, brain surgery
centers, and airports. The city’s sphere of influence is enormous
because people will travel hundreds of miles to buy an expensive car or get brain surgery
or fly from an airport. Think about it within a city. How far would you walk to buy a latte. Probably only a few blocks and that’s why
you see Starbucks or other coffee shops on almost every block. Since almost everyone buys coffee, you only
need a few blocks of people to sustain one coffee shop. But how far would you walk to buy a MacBook? Probably quite far since its a infrequent
and substantial purchase. That’s why Apple stores are rather rare
even in cities. You need an enormous amount of people to sustain
one Apple store and we can actually figure out roughly how many. In Connecticut, the Trumbull Apple Store is
about 20 miles away from the New Haven store to the north-east and the Stamford store to
the south-west. In the 10 mile radius around the Trumbull
Apple Store there are about half a million inhabitants which tells us that you need about
half a million people to sustain one Apple store. We can compare that to the Starbucks’ of
lower Manhattan which are spread out at an average distance of about 600 feet. Drawing a 300 foot radius around one Starbucks
in lower Manhattan covers around 6,000 people which means that one Starbucks needs 6,000
people to sustain it. Of course both Connecticut and New York are
places with higher than average incomes which means less people are needed to sustain one
Starbucks or Apple Store. The numbers would be very different in, say,
rural Kansas, but since each store generally only builds in areas with higher-than-average
incomes this gives a good sense of how many people Apple and Starbucks looks for in an
area before opening up a store. So, our model shows where cities should be,
but its not like this in reality. This is the most efficient spread of cities
if you’re assuming that the cities are on a perfectly flat plane with no geographic
features, no social influences, no variability of income, equal distribution of resources—essentially
assuming the world is one homogeneous place… which its not. In reality, of course, our world has an enormous
effect on where and why cities develop. To start out, let’s cut this down to one
city on a flat, featureless plane for simplicity. What affects the location of cities more than
anything is water. If we put an ocean on one side of our isotropic
plane, our city will almost certainly locate near it. Oceans have always been and still are what
connects the world. There’s no other means of transport that
can move such enormous amounts of cargo for so little. Any city needs to be economically efficient
to grow and it will cost more to bring goods to a city that’s 1000 miles inland than
one right by the ocean. Just look at Europe. 6 of the 10 largest European cities are within
100 miles of the coast. But oceans aren’t the only bodies of water
to affect cities. Rivers are just as or perhaps even more influential. Milan, the 19th largest European city, is
the largest to not be either directly on the ocean or on a river, and even then its only
15 miles from a river and 75 miles from the ocean. Until the last century or so, cities could
not survive without direct water access. If you need more proof, 14 of the 15 largest
cities in the world are within a few dozen miles of the ocean. Perhaps the most obvious attractor for cities
is resources, so going back to our isotropic plane, putting natural resources anywhere
on this map will draw cities near it. Cities that existed before the last century
or so generally sprung up right near the resources, much like Pittsburgh, since they acted as
manufacturing and transportation hubs for those resources, but more recently new resource
dependent cities don’t need to be as close to the resources themselves. New transportation technologies can bring
the resources from their source. Just look at Dubai. Of course the UAE has enormous oil deposits,
but they’re much closer to Abu Dhabi and the South-West than Dubai. In 1900, Dubai had 10,000 residents, less
than half that of Carlisle, Pennsylvania—one of the farming towns we talked about at the
beginning. That only grew to 40,000 by 1960, but today
its known worldwide and has more than 2.5 million residents. It was able to grow at this enormous rate—even
faster than Abu Dhabi—since it cemented itself as the economic and administrative
hub for the oil industries of the region. Another geographic feature that we can add
to the plane is mountains. Now, mountains don’t always have a uniform
affect on cities. Mexico City, Bogota, and Addis Ababa are all
enormous cities at elevations above 7,000 feet. Mountains do make transport and trade difficult,
but they also provide protection. Many ancient cities grew in these locations
since they were easy to protect, which left more time to focus on growing the city, but
mountains can also hinder development. For quite a while, the United States could
not develop west of the Appalachian mountains. They just served as an enormous barrier. In 1800, the average center of population
for the entire United States was here even though the US had sovereignty over this entire
area. Of course technology eventually conquered
this barrier and moved the mean population center all the way out to Missouri today,
but if the Appalachian mountains didn’t exist American history and geography would
be completely different. We would have seen urban development much
earlier in the mid-west. But mountains can have another effect. You see, coal, silver, gold, and other mineral
deposits are all often located in mountainous regions, and, just like Dubai, cities can
develop in less hospitable and easy places due to resources. The economic advantage of exploiting the resources
overpowers the economic disadvantage of being in an inhospitable location. Denver, Colorado grew 650% between 1870 and
1880 with the opening of a railroad branch connecting with the transcontinental railroad. It served as an access point to transportation
to the gold miners in the rockies. So mountains can either push cities away or
bring them nearer—it really just depends on the circumstance. Let’s exchange our isotropic plane for a
world map. Where should cities be on here? Well, our world’s cities are not necessarily
all in the most geographically efficient locations. While there is a certain level of natural
selection that grows the efficiently placed cities and shrinks the inefficiently placed
cities, humans are not always able to put cities in the most efficient locations. Let’s put up the 224 cities in the world
with a population over 2 million. You can immediately see some patterns. Putting up the equator, you can see a clear
divide. Only 32 of these cities lie in the southern
hemisphere. One might think this is because there is so
much more land in the northern hemisphere, but that’s not entirely true. You see, the southern hemisphere still has
32% of the world’s land, but only has 14% of the world’s large cities. There’s clearly a higher density of cities
in the northern hemisphere. You can pretty much trace this all back to
Europe and Asia. The first large civilizations and empires
were on these two continents even though the human race likely originated in Africa. There’s hundreds of different theories on
why civilizations succeeded in some places and failed in others, but one of the more
plausible and interesting theories is that Europe and Asia succeeded because they’re
wide instead of tall. The very shape of the continents may have
changed the course of human history. You see, when a continent is wide, you have
a ton of land with roughly the same climate. Climate tends to change when you go north
and south rather than east and west as a nature of how the earth rotates around the sun. Much of the success of early civilizations
had to do with the domestication of plants and animals and the corresponding technology. When expanding horizontally, the climate is
similar enough that an empire can use the same successful plants and animals, while
expanding vertically requires the domestication of new plants and animals. If a civilization started in central-america,
for example, there would be very little land on the continent with a similar climate and
their expansion would be severely limited. In Europe and Asia, on the other hand, theres
thousands upon thousands and miles of similar climate that can be reached just by traveling
east or west. There’s evidence to back this up. Just look at the maps of the four largest
early empires—the Qing Dynasty, the Abbasid Caliphate, the Umayyad Caliphate, and the
Mongol empire. They were all in Eurasia and they all expanded
horizontally. When some of the more modern empires expanded,
they had the technology to do so overseas. The three major modern empires were the British,
Spanish, and French empires—each of which came from relatively similar climates. A major reason why America was able to succeed
is because all the agriculture from Europe worked there. Climatically, Europe and America are nearly
identical. The majority of developed colonized countries
are in the northern hemisphere just because they were closest to Europe, but formerly
British countries like South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand are all highly developed and
in the Southern Hemisphere. Their success over more northern countries
in the southern hemisphere can also be partially attributed to their greater climate similarity
to Europe. Let’s ask one more question. If our world only had one city, where would
it logically be? Well if you take the location of every person
in the world and average it out, you come to south-central Asia. That means that this general region is the
optimum place to live on the planet, but where more specifically should our world city go. Well, this region is already in the Northern
Hemisphere and in Eurasia, so we’ve already covered those two criteria. We want a place within a hundred of so miles
of the ocean, on a navigable river, near mountains with rich mineral deposits—the single best
place for a city on earth just might be… Dhaka, Bangladesh. Every geographic model and theory says that
there is no better place on earth to put a city than here. There’s evidence to back this up: Dhaka
is between the 4th and 18th largest metropolitan area on earth depending on how you define
metropolitan area, and Bangladesh is the sixth densest country on earth—there are 161 million
people living in an area about the size of England. History has affected geography enough that
the largest and most advanced civilizations are not all in South-Central Asia, but if
we started all over again, did humanity a second time, every geographic model says that
this region could be the origin and central point of human civilization. I hope you enjoyed this Wendover Productions
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  • Reply Fighting Monkey June 7, 2019 at 6:12 am

    In India doesn't the street melt in massive heat waves?

  • Reply shahnaz mirza June 8, 2019 at 10:38 am

    Unfortunately because of floods, cyclones and earthquakes, Dhaka is maybe not the best place.

  • Reply Enrique Valdez June 8, 2019 at 11:28 pm

    mainly… because of fresh water…

  • Reply Comrade Ike June 9, 2019 at 2:10 pm

    Dude you've essentially explained what could literally be Ideal City Laws, all these factors take effect unless as you stated, we take into account geography, culture, and economics! Great video Wendover! Until now I always wondered why cities were placed where they are.

  • Reply Noah Malm June 12, 2019 at 6:49 pm

    6:15 he says 14 of the 15 largest cities are near oceans but there is only 13 shown

  • Reply rakib hasan June 12, 2019 at 10:58 pm

    our capital …..!!!!

  • Reply Neelaksha Malik June 14, 2019 at 2:32 pm

    But bangladesh experiences so many natural disasters

  • Reply alex esteves June 14, 2019 at 6:47 pm

    11:40 sorry Portugal and Netherlands

  • Reply Bob Charley June 14, 2019 at 10:23 pm

    Outer Space is every which way. Couldn’t it be the other way around from space? Like, upside down?

  • Reply Alex Frymark June 16, 2019 at 7:21 am

    Why should Dhaka's location be the best spot for a city when it's so poor as wealth comes partly from geography?

  • Reply SurrealJC Games June 16, 2019 at 11:00 am

    awesome. I have noticed before that towns were a specific distance apart. Southern ontario is well developed.

  • Reply ELITE SNIPER June 16, 2019 at 4:27 pm

    Not every body drinks Starbucks and not everybody uses apple products. Why would I pay 999 dollars for a iPhone x when I can buy a pixel 3a for 299? The pixel has the same or equal features. And why not jus5 brew coffee at home instead of paying $6.00 for the same thing at Starbucks. Both of these this things are overrated.

  • Reply Phoenixfire June 18, 2019 at 4:32 am

    No shit I live in Mechanicsburg!!!! We have jubilee day Thursday just so y’all have proof. This is sorta true, we talked about it in social studies. None of the pics are any of the cities lmao

  • Reply Kriechbaum June 18, 2019 at 11:42 am

    I can sense some Jared Diamond in that. The geographical argument has been substantially weakened by Acemoglu and Robinson. Russia is wide, but not too successful. Most countries are actually "wide". Africa has a lot of countries that are way larger than anything in Europe, so these tend to be in a very similar climate for the most part. Yet they failed. South America has very fertile land and all the animals you need, they did not do too well over the course of history compared to north america. It is well thought out institutions that make countries capable of building strong economies. A well led society will thrive in most parts of the world while the geographical circumstances can vary widely.

  • Reply ONEIL311 June 18, 2019 at 3:37 pm

    Dude a mechanic is a bad example!!!… I would say a computer repair shop or a clothing store as someone who lives in an area Plagued by unemployed and jobs scarcity because of my local area. A car mechanic is the last that closes down or have lays off people it’s usually shops that sell ununique items or a extremely specialized good that shuts down first. A car mechanic no matter what the economy is like has business. As someone that has work and lived by a car mechanic they are always busy because of the way the economy work. There are two factors that will never shut down in a small town and that car mechanics and gas stations because people need them to function. People will drive to their grocery store but a mechanic is always close by because a lot of people walk to it especially in poor areas where people only have at least one car because of distance. I work for a private investigator now and I travel all over pa and the surrounding states and my boss makes me google the nearest car mechanic shop in every town I go to so I never get super stuck. It’s like I basic building block of a town that’s not a hamlet.

  • Reply Daniel Ma June 19, 2019 at 3:03 pm

    Idk y he took the average, hr should've just looked at the places with the biggest cities. If you take the average of where everyone lives in the US you would end up somewhere in the Midwest and that's definitely not the best place to have a city.

  • Reply Octavian7771 June 20, 2019 at 1:06 am

    If transport of goods negates the need to build cities around production centers, the areas of comfort are the prime consideration. Los Angeles climate allows for continuous 24/7 worker productivity.

  • Reply Naser Ehsaan June 20, 2019 at 5:47 pm

    First time I am happy for my home city Dhaka

  • Reply Semyon K June 20, 2019 at 6:07 pm

    When you go horizontally – climate changes a lot (depends on how far you are from oceans)

  • Reply SageSJ50 June 21, 2019 at 5:04 am

    u would put the mechanic in mechanicsburg duh

  • Reply Jimy Piha June 22, 2019 at 8:59 pm

    Bangladesh isn’t exactly a success story.
    Perhaps one day.

  • Reply Happy YT June 23, 2019 at 7:14 pm


  • Reply Downie 1337 June 24, 2019 at 5:00 pm

    WP: "Just look at the maps of the 4 largest early empires"

    Roman Empire: "aM I a JOkE tOo YoU?!?"

  • Reply blue fairy June 24, 2019 at 7:45 pm

    I am from Dhaka Bangladesh 🇧🇩😍 Yes it's true….our country has an amazing history… BENGAL was rich from ancient times….🇧🇩😍

  • Reply blue fairy June 24, 2019 at 7:48 pm

    So, you are saying everyone should live in my city Dhaka? 🇧🇩😏

  • Reply blue fairy June 24, 2019 at 8:19 pm

    It's sad that Europeans are commenting bad about BANGLADESH and particularly Dhaka but they don't know thier own Cities were built by Stolen resources of Dhaka and Bangladesh… Grow up!!! Every country has good time and bad time…. Dhaka used to be one of the richest place in planet earth for centuries…then Europeans came and that was an end for this historic City….It is rising again….

  • Reply blue fairy June 24, 2019 at 8:23 pm

    Guys stop!! I Live in Dhaka!! Comments are crazy… There is no flood and earthquake here…. The last flood in Dhaka happened in 1998… Earthquakes are very rare… Some of you are even commenting about Tsunami!!! Really??? It's 400km away from Coasts….shut up plz!!! We have 22 million residents in Dhaka and we are living peacefully..

  • Reply Augustus Wayne June 26, 2019 at 2:05 am

    Why are most modern civilizations in the Northern Hemisphere ???

  • Reply Jorge Miguel Milano June 30, 2019 at 6:17 am


  • Reply Charlie K June 30, 2019 at 5:10 pm

    The most desirable site for a single world city would be in Bangladesh?
    Why is Bangladesh a basket case then?

  • Reply Saad Ali July 2, 2019 at 10:04 am

    please make a video on geography of Pakistan

  • Reply Jaap Coding July 5, 2019 at 6:19 pm

    if everyone lived in the same city you don't need to rivers or sea's bc you don't need to transport long distances

  • Reply Colin Johnson July 7, 2019 at 11:43 pm

    “You seee” always means it’s about to be a big point.

    You seeee

  • Reply NoobOnYoutube July 9, 2019 at 5:16 am

    Ayyyy bangali boys

  • Reply Matthew Bodman July 12, 2019 at 6:52 pm

    Half of this video: Why do Pennsylvanian cities exist?

  • Reply ツNight July 13, 2019 at 6:44 pm

    where my norwalks at?

  • Reply HarryWessex July 13, 2019 at 7:58 pm

    Mechanicsburg, seems like a good place for a Mechanic to setup in.

  • Reply Max Feldesman July 14, 2019 at 1:34 am

    It looks like settlers of catan

  • Reply sara k July 14, 2019 at 1:29 pm

    dhaka is a toilet

  • Reply KennSun 123 July 14, 2019 at 4:27 pm

    Theres no cars so what about put a mechanic

  • Reply Adiyat Nashrah July 15, 2019 at 12:57 pm

    I was born and brought up in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Sadly, my ancestors were unable to use this geographical advantage.

  • Reply Adam Malsagov July 15, 2019 at 3:41 pm

    South africa is developped?

  • Reply RaginPlayer July 16, 2019 at 9:13 pm


  • Reply Usama Khizar July 20, 2019 at 5:13 am

    you forgot to mention ottomon empire who ruled over 1.8 million km square of land

  • Reply suabuela July 20, 2019 at 5:55 am

    Great video

  • Reply Adam Mc Garrity July 20, 2019 at 11:13 pm

    2:13 Where do you put a mechanic? In Mecanicsburg of course!

  • Reply Ram Naidu July 21, 2019 at 7:24 am


  • Reply Tawana Raulston July 21, 2019 at 8:03 pm

    So that's why traffic in Dallas Sucks! lol

  • Reply Rob Schmitt July 21, 2019 at 9:12 pm

    Look at the German Ruhrgebiet. Horrible. Small town became big cities with 400-1100k people.

    But Berlin about 130mi from the coast.

  • Reply John McMahon July 21, 2019 at 9:59 pm


  • Reply Kenneth Dokus July 22, 2019 at 1:00 am

    BS with why Africa can't get it's shit together because it's long not wide. But somehow South America grows a ton of different plants. When you see the same pattern over and over maybe it's the people that can't get their shit together.Its always someone or something that's holding them back

  • Reply Travels of fastjet July 23, 2019 at 4:54 am

    Lynn Camp hollers and coal…

  • Reply Zachary Eslick July 23, 2019 at 1:10 pm

    Bruh you left Brisbane off the map with cities of a population 2 million or higher.

  • Reply Alex Bradley July 25, 2019 at 7:25 pm

    I got youtube red to avoid ads. Now it's literally just TV anyway with all the sponsorship bs. Can not stand autoplay anymore with the long beginning and end segments. Guess I'm gonna ditch youtube red and subscribe to one of those documentary sites…

  • Reply Raufar Mostafa Avro July 25, 2019 at 8:00 pm

    Living in Dhaka forever, duh. 😎

  • Reply Daniel Thompson July 27, 2019 at 12:54 am

    Settling within two hex tiles of a mountain also means that you can increase your science output by 50% if you build an observatory.

  • Reply The Uncertain Sharma July 28, 2019 at 6:29 am

    when you realize that the video ends on India and he did not use as a clickbait. 🙂 :p

  • Reply Petehog 4 July 29, 2019 at 3:02 am

    Looks like settlers of Catan to me

  • Reply Alex Mallen July 29, 2019 at 3:41 am

    How did you compute the average location of everybody on Earth? Because in reality that either depends on the projection youre using or is in the center of the Earth. Also why is average location a good indicator of a nearly qualitative idea (the characteristics of a good city)?

  • Reply johngojohngo July 29, 2019 at 7:22 pm


  • Reply Clément Charlebois July 30, 2019 at 10:50 am

    This video totally avoids the reality of the people.

    Europe and the West is great because of Europeans.

    Check South Africa, Australia, Rhodesia or New Zealand if you disagree.

  • Reply naasheed i50 August 1, 2019 at 5:50 am

    Great video..from Dhaka,Bangladesh

  • Reply Vector Galore August 1, 2019 at 8:37 am

    I was shocked at the end! I’m living here in Dhaka and it seems like most residents have no choice but to live here because of jobs and education. But, proper planning and order can make the city a great place to live. There must be some good reasons why this city was chosen as capital 5 times during last 400 years by different empires.

  • Reply Losh August 1, 2019 at 9:22 pm

    The perfect location about to be flooded by the ocean.

  • Reply D Jo August 3, 2019 at 4:38 pm

    Central Place Theory

  • Reply Joel Heldreth August 5, 2019 at 6:07 pm

    Make a video on why Dallas and Phoenix exist. It makes no geographical sense for those cities to be the population centers they are

  • Reply Double4Filth August 6, 2019 at 1:30 pm

    I put a city in my dick

  • Reply Thomas Hiura Gradient: Rapper August 7, 2019 at 4:25 am

    This was a fantastic video.

  • Reply diggi juri August 8, 2019 at 8:58 am

    Qing dynasty is not really an 'early empire'. I mean we're talking modern period (I know that this is an europanized historical term) here. Something like the Roman empire would surely have been the better choice to bring that point across

  • Reply Praveen Kumar August 8, 2019 at 2:00 pm

    Now I know why Bangladesh has so much of population density

  • Reply Guilherme Ferreira August 9, 2019 at 1:07 pm

    3:36 dumb people*

  • Reply AnHeC August 9, 2019 at 2:44 pm

    I was with you until you got into bullshit about agriculture. It's a shit argument that doesn't surviver the most basic thinking.

  • Reply JB the Stoner August 10, 2019 at 6:20 am

    This all goes out the window west of the Mississippi

  • Reply Aureliano Laurenzi August 10, 2019 at 12:20 pm

    I study geography. and when I did my exam about urban spaces I realized that I haven't studied sufficiently. So when the professor asked me" tell me why cities are where they are" this video came to mind and literally saved me . thank you wendover productions

  • Reply olivia williams August 10, 2019 at 4:23 pm

    13:30 you offended every single welsh person, we do not like to be included with England 😂🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿

  • Reply naota3k August 11, 2019 at 7:19 am

    3:41 oh hello I live in SW Connecticut.

  • Reply Marty Keenan August 11, 2019 at 4:30 pm

    I just started watching your videos and love them. Keep up the great work.

  • Reply Chris costa August 12, 2019 at 3:48 am

    Bangladesh is drowning

  • Reply Izzy O'Neil August 12, 2019 at 4:39 am

    trumbull gang 🤟🤟🤟

  • Reply Brian Brittain August 12, 2019 at 5:59 pm

    Pretty cool video man, few nitpicks- Those old European Major Cities are inland to protect from the constant neighboring- invaders, conquerors, etc, etc & were like a 'fortified last bastion of hope' for the cultures.
    The Great Lakes were 'a way around' those Appalachian mountains & that's why there's a lot of Cities surrounding the areas & that War of 1812.
    Look at a Gleasons AE Map it easily answers your Southern hemisphere Cities issue.
    & India probably is the cradle of civilization over Africa. Ancient Megalithic Structures seem to say so too.

  • Reply FedoraGFX August 13, 2019 at 1:57 am

    connecticut gang where you at?

  • Reply Colleen Osenton August 14, 2019 at 4:48 am

    Watch Lazerbeam for some tips

  • Reply Zebmie August 14, 2019 at 9:37 am

    Title: exists
    Thumbnail o C e A n

  • Reply Jerry Zhang August 14, 2019 at 2:23 pm

    Dhaka has a lot of natural disasters tho…

  • Reply JWS August 15, 2019 at 3:10 am

    I live in Carlisle PA (one of the towns mentioned in this video) and I was watching this video in the Taco Bell parking lot. When you said "Where do you go for something more specialized, like a mechanic?" I realized I was right across the street from JiffyLube. Craziest coincidence I've ever had.

  • Reply Bubble Gum August 15, 2019 at 4:48 pm


  • Reply lygophile August 15, 2019 at 8:17 pm

    10:17 i think it has more to do with the amount of rivers and seas. all succesful societies have an abundence of rivers and/or nearby seas. especially peninsulas.

  • Reply m h August 16, 2019 at 8:21 am

    Good God! People used to walk 10 miles a day?

  • Reply Clorox Bleach August 16, 2019 at 10:13 pm

    I love the trolling in the comments

  • Reply Seb August 18, 2019 at 4:53 am

    Is online shopping changing the shape of cities in the future?

  • Reply Ron Miel August 20, 2019 at 3:33 pm

    Mountains, Rivers and ocean access. This fits to Greenlands entire coast.

  • Reply Taser the fox August 21, 2019 at 7:41 am

    And furry town settlers flock to Pittsburg because you know, anthrocon…

  • Reply dario D August 22, 2019 at 10:50 am

    and how much is that in human readable format? eg: kilometres

  • Reply Harish Panikar August 22, 2019 at 3:38 pm

    Thank god world don't have a single city because no one wants that should be in Bangladesh.

  • Reply elizabeth green August 24, 2019 at 4:43 pm

    I don't think the Europeans had it easy with all the climatic variation in America. But they had the Puritan work ethic!

  • Reply Mac Angus August 25, 2019 at 10:59 am

    10:07 New Zealand doesn't like being cut off this map! 🙁

  • Reply LordPadfoot August 26, 2019 at 1:37 am

    Milan is not close to any ocean, but a sea.

  • Reply Sam Cooper August 26, 2019 at 4:02 am

    So are you going to give credit to Jared Diamond for a chunk of this video content?? Or do I have to flag?

  • Reply Miłosz Mikrut August 26, 2019 at 4:55 pm

    9:36 Katowice (that point in Poland) does not have two million inhabitants.

  • Reply Molag Bal August 27, 2019 at 3:02 am

    Great so once the earth unifies we're not going to have loos to poo in?

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