Not a small city by US/EU reckoning. There are 30+ cities in China with populations more than 2.7M in the urban area. That is an order of magnitude more than the US. The children in China grow up with a concept of scale that overshadows what we intuitively grasp in the US and EU (and most of the rest of the world, for that matter).
Comparing the "urban area" numbers is a bit misleading because the structure of cities is so different in different places (even in the US, where for example Chicago officially annexed various suburbs over time while Boston did not).
If you look at the metro area numbers, Shijiazhuang is 26th in China according to your first link, with about 4M in its metro area (assuming "Built-Up area" is the metro area, of course; it's hard to tell from this Wikipedia page). Tehre are 12 more cities with 3M+ in the built-up area.
More interesting would be to just flat-out compare list positions. #26 on the list of US cities by actual city population is Baltimore. On the urban area list it's San Antonio. Neither one is what one would consider small (nor large, of course).
Good points, thanks for the feedback. Apart from raw population number comparisons here, I personally find the "urban" metric more interesting because that represents the population groupings already in densely-configured spaces. With density comes greater efficiencies across a broad spectrum of measures (energy, face-to-face interactions, waste management, etc.) and those efficiencies, prudently managed, hold out the future promise of unlocking compounding economic advantages. There are of course downsides to dense populations (pollution management, real estate speculation, etc.), as well.
OK, so maybe Cambridge is weird. But Somerville is right next to Cambridge and has a density of 7400/km^2. Oh, and for economic interaction purposes, Cambridge and Somerville are a lot closer to downtown Boston than many parts of Boston proper. Similar for Chelsea (6100/km^2). Everett (4700/km^2) and Malden (4500/km^2) are up there too.
Other Boston suburbs are a bit less dense: Brookline is at 3300/km^2, Watertown at 3000/km^2, Arlington at 3200/km^2. The interesting thing is to compare those to places like Chicago (4500/km^2) or Los Angeles (3100/km^2). Those are cities that annexed their suburbs, unlike Boston, so if you just compare the "city" population you're comparing apples to oranges. Comparing the population of the "densely zoned/settled area" would be useful, but no one seems to publish that. I assume it would be possible to get that information from census data, though...
Of course as long as we're talking about cities that annexed various surrounding stuff, Houston is at 1300/km^2 and so is Dallas. ;) Which just goes to show that comparing "city" stuff is hard, because cities are just so different from each other.
Yeah, I get zero stares in Shanghai or Hangzhou, but in nearby Shaoxing foreigners are few and far between enough that I get plenty of looks. People who haven't spent time in a "tier 1" city generally have not seen foreigners in the flesh.
During May Day or other Chinese holidays when out of town folk come into the city, you can get stares even in Shanghai. Last time I took my kids (mixed Chinese) to the World Expo, not only was almost everyone in the line staring, but many many people from the country side continually came up and wanted to take photos with them.
Yeah you're absolutely right. While I'm in protest, my father in another city talkin about provocateurs about us without knowing I'm part of it (btw not a provocateur). So there is two side of coin. About media blackout, there's no official claims but all media company are heavily in business with government so they can do it without any official requests. Which they did it because media during protests only broadcast cartoon movies and other stupid stuff.
Here is the biggest mobile network of Turkey Turkcell -> http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-981808
It started as a civilian resistance for excessive police force. Unique and special part of this movement was political distribution of people in it. Erdogan's party rule 3'rd times the government. At this point they changed from independent, democrat, liberal party to totaliter one. So people in the movement is consist of multiple former Akp (Erdogan's party) supporter, too. That's why it should be important for Erdogan. But instead he's arguing that most of them provoked by other forces so ignoring.
But now, 3'rd day of activity, it changed from civilian movement to anarchist, provokative anti-governmental and mostly illegal movements. That's why now people should calm down. Because initial point of movement succeed it's purpose. Park is safe (court decision), police is off the Taksim Square.
ps: i'm talkin as person who was in activity actually and hurted by police brutality. #direngeziparki