Every city in Runescape feels small. What population could possibly live in Varrock? 100? How about Falador? 50?
It's unfortunate but it's an area where corners are cut, destroying realism and immersion for the sake of simplifying our interaction with the city and also simplifying the server storage required, not to mention the development time to create 'realistic' environments.
That's one area I've been more impressed when I played World of Warcraft, their cities feel larger and more lived in.
Though they also do suffer from this too. Just less.
Crandor, despite the supposed lore, exists as a stepping stone during the Dragon Slayer quest and as a small resource haven. That's its primary purpose.
Would be cool to see a 'realism-focused' map of Gielinor which redrew everything with more appropriate scale. Could be a cool fan project.
Ian Ionsaid: According to the lore, Crandor was once an important thriving island nation.
To quote the Wiki: "It had developed its own school of magic and possessed one of the largest libraries in the world"
And to quote Duke Horacio, "Crandor was an important city-state. Politically, it was as important as Falador or Varrock and its ships traded with every port."
Yet when you actually go to Crandor, it's pretty tiny! How could it have supported such a large and important settlement?
The above poster is correct that some liberties need to be taken for game design purposes. But it's also possible that the island of Crandor used to be larger and some portions of it were reclaimed by the sea.
I find it interesting that the Duke says that politically it was as important as the other cities. Maybe this implies that in terms of actual size and population it wasn't as significant but made up for it in other ways?"The greatest endeavors are achieved because of their selfless intent"