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London

March 13, 2015, 03:02, views: 415

London is the capital and most populous city of England and the United Kingdom. Standing on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its founding by the Romans, who named it Londinium. London’s ancient core, the City of London, largely retains its 1.12-square-mile (2.9 km2) mediaeval boundaries and in 2011 had a resident population of 7,375, making it the smallest city in England. Since at least the 19th century, the term London has also referred to the metropolis developed around this core. The bulk of this conurbation forms the Greater London administrative area (coterminous with the London region),[note 1] governed by the Mayor of London and the London Assembly.[note 2]

London is a leading global city, with strengths in the arts, commerce, education, entertainment, fashion, finance, healthcare, media, professional services, research and development, tourism, and transport all contributing to its prominence. It is one of the world’s leading financial centres and has the fifth-or sixth-largest metropolitan area GDP in the world depending on measurement.[note 3] London is a world cultural capital. It is the world’s most-visited city as measured by international arrivals and has the world’s largest city airport system measured by passenger traffic. London’s 43 universities form the largest concentration of higher education institutes in Europe. In 2012, London became the first city to host the modern Summer Olympic Games three times.

London has a diverse range of peoples and cultures, and more than 300 languages are spoken within Greater London. The region had an official population of 8,416,535 in 2013, the largest of any municipality in the European Union, and accounting for 12.5% of the UK population. London’s urban area is the second most populous in the EU, after Paris, with 9,787,426 inhabitants according to the 2011 census. The city’s metropolitan area is the third most populous in Europe after Moscow and Istanbul, with 13,614,409 inhabitants,[note 4] while the Greater London Authority puts the population of London metropolitan region at 21 million. London was the world’s most populous city from around 1831 to 1925.

London contains four World Heritage Sites: the Tower of London; Kew Gardens; the site comprising the Palace of Westminster, Westminster Abbey, and St Margaret’s Church; and the historic settlement of Greenwich (in which the Royal Observatory, Greenwich marks the Prime Meridian, 0° longitude, and GMT). Other famous landmarks include Buckingham Palace, the London Eye, Piccadilly Circus, St Paul’s Cathedral, Tower Bridge, Trafalgar Square, and The Shard. London is home to numerous museums, galleries, libraries, sporting events and other cultural institutions, including the British Museum, National Gallery, Tate Modern, British Library and 40 West End theatres. The London Underground is the oldest underground railway network in the world.

Lights of London

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Local government

Main articles: Local government in London, History of local government in London and List of heads of London government

The administration of London is formed of two tiers—a city-wide, strategic tier and a local tier. City-wide administration is coordinated by the Greater London Authority (GLA), while local administration is carried out by 33 smaller authorities. The GLA consists of two elected components; the Mayor of London, who has executive powers, and the London Assembly, which scrutinises the mayor’s decisions and can accept or reject the mayor’s budget proposals each year. The headquarters of the GLA is City Hall, Southwark; the mayor is Boris Johnson. The mayor’s statutory planning strategy is published as the London Plan, which was most recently revised in 2011. The local authorities are the councils of the 32 London boroughs and the City of London Corporation. They are responsible for most local services, such as local planning, schools, social services, local roads and refuse collection. Certain functions, such as waste management, are provided through joint arrangements. In 2009–2010 the combined revenue expenditure by London councils and the GLA amounted to just over £22 billion (£14.7 billion for the boroughs and £7.4 billion for the GLA).

Policing in Greater London, with the exception of the City of London, is provided by the Metropolitan Police Force, overseen by the Mayor through the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC). The City of London has its own police force – the City of London Police. The British Transport Police are responsible for police services on National Rail and London Underground services.

The London Fire Brigade is the statutory fire and rescue service for Greater London. It is run by the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority and is the third largest fire service in the world. National Health Service ambulance services are provided by the London Ambulance Service (LAS) NHS Trust, the largest free-at-the-point-of-use emergency ambulance service in the world. The London Air Ambulance charity operates in conjunction with the LAS where required. Her Majesty’s Coastguard and the Royal National Lifeboat Institution operate on the River Thames, which is under the jurisdiction of the Port of London Authority from Teddington Lock to the sea.

London today

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Scope

Satellite view of inner London

Greater London is the top-level administrative subdivision covering London.[note 5] The small, ancient City of London at its core once contained the whole settlement, but as the urban area grew the City Corporation resisted attempts to amalgamate it with its suburbs, causing “London” to be defined in a number ways for different purposes. Forty per cent of Greater London is covered by the London post town, within which ‘LONDON’ forms part of postal addresses.

The London telephone area code (020) covers a larger area, similar in size to Greater London, although some outer districts are omitted and some places just outside are included. The Greater London boundary has been aligned to the M25 motorway in places.

Outward urban expansion is now prevented by the Metropolitan Green Belt,[100] although the built-up area extends beyond the boundary in places, resulting in a separately defined Greater London Urban Area. Beyond this is the vast London commuter belt.[101] Greater London is split for some purposes into Inner London and Outer London.[102] The city is split by the River Thames into North and South, with an informal central London area in its interior. The coordinates of the nominal centre of London, traditionally considered to be the original Eleanor Cross at Charing Cross near the junction of Trafalgar Square and Whitehall, are approximately 51°30′26″N 00°07′39″W.[103]

Tower Bridge

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Status

Within London, both the City of London and the City of Westminster have city status and both the City of London and the remainder of Greater London are the ceremonial counties.[104] The area of Greater London has incorporated areas that were once part of the historic counties of Middlesex, Kent, Surrey, Essex and Hertfordshire.[105] London’s status as the capital of England, and later the United Kingdom, has never been granted or confirmed officially—by statute or in written form.[note 6]

Its position was formed through constitutional convention, making its status as de facto capital a part of the UK’s unwritten constitution. The capital of England was moved to London from Winchester as the Palace of Westminster developed in the 12th and 13th centuries to become the permanent location of the royal court, and thus the political capital of the nation.[109] More recently, Greater London has been defined as a region of England and in this context is known as London.

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Darcy Taylor say

2015-03-15 01:49

I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do. –Leonardo da Vinci

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Ferris Harris say

2015-03-15 02:22

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Jasper Walker say

2015-03-15 01:40

If the wind will not serve, take to the oars. –Latin Proverb

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Jonathan Hall say

2015-03-15 01:32

The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be. –Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Logan Campbell say

2015-03-15 01:27

Winning isn’t everything, but wanting to win is. –Vince Lombardi

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Gabriel Thompson say

2015-03-15 01:18

Every strike brings me closer to the next home run. –Babe Ruth

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Flynn Edwards say

2015-03-15 01:12

Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve. –Napoleon Hill

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Gabriel Thompson say

2015-03-15 01:20

Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve.

Flynn Edwards, 2015-03-15 01:12

It's really great

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Gabriel Thompson say

2015-03-15 01:19

Definiteness of purpose is the starting point of all achievement. –W. Clement Stone

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Flynn Edwards say

2015-03-15 01:12

Life is about making an impact, not making an income. –Kevin Kruse

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Dmitry Richerson

Registered on March 13, 2015
(3 years 1 months 10 days )

19 posts / 8 comments2 friends

Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared. - Buddha

Darcy Taylor, March 18, 2015, 10:23

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference. –Robert Frost

Stephen Smith, March 16, 2015, 10:12

Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared. - Buddha

Dmitry Richerson, April 5, 2015, 1:41

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