A direct-controlled municipality is the highest level classification for cities used by unitary state, with status equal to that of the provinces in the respective countries. A direct-controlled municipality is similar to, but not the same as, a Federal district, a common designation in various countries for a municipality that is not part of any state, and which usually hosts some governmental functions. Usually direct-controlled municipality are under central governments control with limited power.
Many countries have adopted this system with some different variations. Geographically and culturally, many of the municipalities are enclaves in the middle of provinces. Some occur in strategic positions in between provinces.
| Cambodia||Kep, Pailin, Phnom Penh, Sihanoukville|
| China (PRC)||Beijing, Chongqing, Shanghai, Tianjin||Direct-administered municipalities of China|
| Kazakhstan||Almaty, Astana, Baikonur|
| North Korea||Pyongyang, Nampho, Rason||Special cities of North Korea|
| South Korea||Seoul, Busan, Daegu, Incheon, Gwangju, Daejeon, Ulsan, Sejong||Special cities of South Korea|
| Kyrgyzstan||Bishkek, Osh|
| Moldova||Chişinău, Bălţi, Bender|
| Philippines||Highly urbanized cities: Manila, Angeles, Bacolod, Baguio, Butuan, Cagayan de Oro, Caloocan, Cebu City, Davao City, General Santos, Iligan, Iloilo City, Lapu-Lapu, Las Piñas, Lucena, Makati, Malabon, Mandaluyong, Mandaue, Marikina, Muntinlupa, Navotas, Olongapo, Parañaque, Pasay, Pasig, Puerto Princesa, Quezon City, San Juan, Tacloban, Taguig, Valenzuela, Zamboanga City; |
Independent component cities: Cotabato City, Dagupan, Naga, Ormoc, Santiago
Independent municipality: Pateros
|Cities of the Philippines § Independent cities|
| Taiwan (ROC)||Taipei, Kaohsiung, New Taipei, Taichung, Tainan, Taoyuan||Special municipality (Taiwan)|
| Ukraine||Kiev, Sevastopol (disputed)|
| Vietnam||Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Hai Phong, Da Nang, Can Tho||Municipalities of Vietnam|