This introductory section of Making Sense of Cities takes the form of a scoping exercise. First and foremost, this is a geographical survey of urbanisation and cities that, none the less, represents just one of several possible ways a geographer may approach the task. This text places the emphasis on urbanisation processes and how cities are spatially organised. However, after looking at ‘urbanisation patterns and processes’ and ‘urban systems and the growth of cities’ in the first two chapters, the remainder of the textbook is devoted to the geography of the city. Cities are among the most complex organisational and institutional forms created by human endeavour. A city is an arena for economic development, political action, social life, cultural enrichment and environmental stress.