Perhaps the most significant difference between urban life and country life is that existence in the city depends almost entirely upon money. Food is grown in the country but it has to be transported into the city where the city dwellers have to pay for it with money. How these city dwellers get the money is an extremely complex matter. Some manufacture things. Some provide services of all kinds. Some deal in the food brought in from the country via warehouses, wholesale dealerships, grocery stores, restaurants, and specialty shops of all kinds. A big city like New York attracts goods from all over the world--wines from France, California, Spain, and Germany, for example; coffee from Africa, South America, and Arabia. Everything that comes in is paid for with money. New York has to provide manufactured goods and services to obtain the money to pay for what the people consume. It is an extremely complicated and fascinating process. Many people in urban centers have to pay rent for their dwellings, which are often only units in buildings. The people who own the buildings use the money from rents to buy what they need or to build more buildings. Thousands of people earn money by dealing in money in one way or another. There is a constant flow of goods into cities and a constant flow of money out of the cities. Economists spend lifetimes studying these processes. But the bottom line is Money. People in urban areas tend to be preoccupied with getting and spending money--probably too much so, as Wordsworth says in one of his sonnets:
The world is too much with us; late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers;—
Little we see in Nature that is ours;
We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!
The word "urban" can be defined as
characterized by higher population density and vast human features in comparison to areas surrounding it.
Based on this definition, urban life varies greatly depending upon many factors that shape the urban area being described.
Urban life frequently includes dealing with the results of large numbers of people living close together. These results may include systems of public transportation and other services; opportunities for employment, entertainment and/or education; environmental pollution of various types; and a wide variety of types of housing for the people who live in the urban area. The lifestyle of people living in an urban area is frequently stereotyped as being more hectic or at a faster pace than that of residents living in a less populated center or in a rural setting.