NCERT Textbook - Human Environment : Settlement, Transport and Communication Class 7 Notes | EduRev

Social Studies (SST) Class 7

Created by: Rohini Seth

Class 7 : NCERT Textbook - Human Environment : Settlement, Transport and Communication Class 7 Notes | EduRev

 Page 1


In Chapter 1 you have learnt that early human beings
depended entirely on nature for food, clothing and
shelter; but with time they learnt new skills to grow food,
build homes and develop better means of transport and
communication. In this way they modified the
environment where they lived.
Settlements are places where people build their
homes. Early human beings lived on trees and in caves.
When they started to grow crops it became necessary to
have a permanent home. The settlements grew near the
river valleys as water was available and land was fertile.
With the development of trade, commerce and
manufacturing, human settlements became larger.
Settlement flourished and civilizations developed near
river valleys. Do you recall the names of civilization that
grew along the banks of rivers Indus, Tigris, Nile and
Hwang-He.
Settlements can be
permanent or temporary.
Settlements which are
occupied for a short time
are called temporary
settlements. The people
living in deep forests, hot and
cold deserts and mountains
often dwell in such temporary
settlements. They practice
hunting, gathering, shifting
cultivation and transhumance.
However more and more
settlements today are
permanent settlements. In
these settlements, people
build homes to live in.
Fig. 7.1: Human Settlement
Do you know?
The place where a
building or a
settlement develops is
called its site.
The natural
conditions for
selection of an ideal
site are-
1. favourable climate
2. availability of
water
3. suitable land
4. fertile soil
© NCERT
not to be republished
Page 2


In Chapter 1 you have learnt that early human beings
depended entirely on nature for food, clothing and
shelter; but with time they learnt new skills to grow food,
build homes and develop better means of transport and
communication. In this way they modified the
environment where they lived.
Settlements are places where people build their
homes. Early human beings lived on trees and in caves.
When they started to grow crops it became necessary to
have a permanent home. The settlements grew near the
river valleys as water was available and land was fertile.
With the development of trade, commerce and
manufacturing, human settlements became larger.
Settlement flourished and civilizations developed near
river valleys. Do you recall the names of civilization that
grew along the banks of rivers Indus, Tigris, Nile and
Hwang-He.
Settlements can be
permanent or temporary.
Settlements which are
occupied for a short time
are called temporary
settlements. The people
living in deep forests, hot and
cold deserts and mountains
often dwell in such temporary
settlements. They practice
hunting, gathering, shifting
cultivation and transhumance.
However more and more
settlements today are
permanent settlements. In
these settlements, people
build homes to live in.
Fig. 7.1: Human Settlement
Do you know?
The place where a
building or a
settlement develops is
called its site.
The natural
conditions for
selection of an ideal
site are-
1. favourable climate
2. availability of
water
3. suitable land
4. fertile soil
© NCERT
not to be republished
48 OUR ENVIRONMENT
Glossary
Fig. 7.2: Compact Settlement
It was Mary’s birthday party. She and her friends
were waiting for Gurpreet to arrive so that Mary could
cut the cake. At last Gurpreet arrived- tired, coughing
and wheezing.  She explained that the traffic jam was
terrible. Mary’s mother Mrs.Thomas patted Gurpreet’s
back and sighed, “Oof! The pollution in our city!” Prasad
had recently come from his village. He asked, “Why do
we have such traffic jams and such pollution in the
cities?” “The number of vehicles is increasing day by
day due to the growing population in the cities”, Mary’s
father, Mr. Thomas replied. Mary asked, “Then why
are people coming to the cities?” Her mother replied,
“They come looking for jobs, better education and
medical facilities.” Mary further enquired, “If so many
people keep coming to cities, where will all the people
live?” Mr. Thomas said, “That is why you see so many
slums and squatter settlements where people stay in
congested and unhygienic conditions. Shortage of
power and water supply are common problems in the
cities”. Prasad said, “Our villages may not have big
cinema halls, well-equipped schools and good hospitals,
but we have lot of open spaces and fresh air to breathe
in. When my grandfather was sick we
had to rush him to the city hospital.”
From the above conversation we
can identify two different pictures of
settlements – the rural and the urban
settlements. The villages are rural
settlement where people are engaged
in activities like agriculture, fishing,
forestry, crafts work and trading etc.
Rural settlements can be compact or
scattered. A compact settlement is a
closely built area of dwellings,
wherever flat land is available
(Fig. 7.2). In a scattered settlement
dwellings are spaced over an
extensive area. This type of settlement
is mostly found in hilly tracts, thick
forests, and regions of extreme
climate (Fig. 7.3).
In rural areas, people build houses
to suit their environment. In regions
Transhumance: It is
a seasonal movement
of people. People who
rear animals move in
search of new
pastures according to
changes in seasons.
Fig. 7.3: Scattered Settlement
© NCERT
not to be republished
Page 3


In Chapter 1 you have learnt that early human beings
depended entirely on nature for food, clothing and
shelter; but with time they learnt new skills to grow food,
build homes and develop better means of transport and
communication. In this way they modified the
environment where they lived.
Settlements are places where people build their
homes. Early human beings lived on trees and in caves.
When they started to grow crops it became necessary to
have a permanent home. The settlements grew near the
river valleys as water was available and land was fertile.
With the development of trade, commerce and
manufacturing, human settlements became larger.
Settlement flourished and civilizations developed near
river valleys. Do you recall the names of civilization that
grew along the banks of rivers Indus, Tigris, Nile and
Hwang-He.
Settlements can be
permanent or temporary.
Settlements which are
occupied for a short time
are called temporary
settlements. The people
living in deep forests, hot and
cold deserts and mountains
often dwell in such temporary
settlements. They practice
hunting, gathering, shifting
cultivation and transhumance.
However more and more
settlements today are
permanent settlements. In
these settlements, people
build homes to live in.
Fig. 7.1: Human Settlement
Do you know?
The place where a
building or a
settlement develops is
called its site.
The natural
conditions for
selection of an ideal
site are-
1. favourable climate
2. availability of
water
3. suitable land
4. fertile soil
© NCERT
not to be republished
48 OUR ENVIRONMENT
Glossary
Fig. 7.2: Compact Settlement
It was Mary’s birthday party. She and her friends
were waiting for Gurpreet to arrive so that Mary could
cut the cake. At last Gurpreet arrived- tired, coughing
and wheezing.  She explained that the traffic jam was
terrible. Mary’s mother Mrs.Thomas patted Gurpreet’s
back and sighed, “Oof! The pollution in our city!” Prasad
had recently come from his village. He asked, “Why do
we have such traffic jams and such pollution in the
cities?” “The number of vehicles is increasing day by
day due to the growing population in the cities”, Mary’s
father, Mr. Thomas replied. Mary asked, “Then why
are people coming to the cities?” Her mother replied,
“They come looking for jobs, better education and
medical facilities.” Mary further enquired, “If so many
people keep coming to cities, where will all the people
live?” Mr. Thomas said, “That is why you see so many
slums and squatter settlements where people stay in
congested and unhygienic conditions. Shortage of
power and water supply are common problems in the
cities”. Prasad said, “Our villages may not have big
cinema halls, well-equipped schools and good hospitals,
but we have lot of open spaces and fresh air to breathe
in. When my grandfather was sick we
had to rush him to the city hospital.”
From the above conversation we
can identify two different pictures of
settlements – the rural and the urban
settlements. The villages are rural
settlement where people are engaged
in activities like agriculture, fishing,
forestry, crafts work and trading etc.
Rural settlements can be compact or
scattered. A compact settlement is a
closely built area of dwellings,
wherever flat land is available
(Fig. 7.2). In a scattered settlement
dwellings are spaced over an
extensive area. This type of settlement
is mostly found in hilly tracts, thick
forests, and regions of extreme
climate (Fig. 7.3).
In rural areas, people build houses
to suit their environment. In regions
Transhumance: It is
a seasonal movement
of people. People who
rear animals move in
search of new
pastures according to
changes in seasons.
Fig. 7.3: Scattered Settlement
© NCERT
not to be republished
HUMAN ENVIRONMENT – SETTLEMENT, TRANSPORT AND COMMUNICATION 49
Let’s do
of heavy rainfall, they have slanting
roofs. Places where water
accumulates in the rainy season the
houses are constructed on a raised
platform or stilts (Fig. 7.4).
Thick mud walled houses with
thatched roofs are very common in
areas of hot climate. Local materials
like stones, mud, clay, straw etc are
used to construct houses.
The towns are small and the cities
are larger urban settlements. In
urban areas the people are engaged in manufacturing,
trading, and services. Name some of the villages, towns
and cities of your state.
TRANSPORT
Transport is the means by which people and goods
move. In the early days it took a great deal of time, to
travel long distances. People had to walk and used
animals to carry their goods. Invention of the wheel
made transport easier. With the passage of time
different means of transport developed but even today
people use animals for transport (Fig. 7.5).
Where do you find
dwellings made of ice?
Who makes them and
what are they called?
Fig. 7.5: Horse cart as a mode of transportation
List the different
modes of transport
used by the students
of your class while
coming to school.
Fig. 7.4: Houses on Stilts
In our country donkeys, mules, bullocks and camels
are common. In the Andes Mountains of South
America, llamas are used, as are yaks in Tibet. The
early traders from other countries used to take several
months to reach India. They took either the sea route
or the land route. Aeroplanes have made travel faster.
Now it takes only 6-8 hours to travel from India to
Europe. Modern means of transport thus saves time
and energy.
© NCERT
not to be republished
Page 4


In Chapter 1 you have learnt that early human beings
depended entirely on nature for food, clothing and
shelter; but with time they learnt new skills to grow food,
build homes and develop better means of transport and
communication. In this way they modified the
environment where they lived.
Settlements are places where people build their
homes. Early human beings lived on trees and in caves.
When they started to grow crops it became necessary to
have a permanent home. The settlements grew near the
river valleys as water was available and land was fertile.
With the development of trade, commerce and
manufacturing, human settlements became larger.
Settlement flourished and civilizations developed near
river valleys. Do you recall the names of civilization that
grew along the banks of rivers Indus, Tigris, Nile and
Hwang-He.
Settlements can be
permanent or temporary.
Settlements which are
occupied for a short time
are called temporary
settlements. The people
living in deep forests, hot and
cold deserts and mountains
often dwell in such temporary
settlements. They practice
hunting, gathering, shifting
cultivation and transhumance.
However more and more
settlements today are
permanent settlements. In
these settlements, people
build homes to live in.
Fig. 7.1: Human Settlement
Do you know?
The place where a
building or a
settlement develops is
called its site.
The natural
conditions for
selection of an ideal
site are-
1. favourable climate
2. availability of
water
3. suitable land
4. fertile soil
© NCERT
not to be republished
48 OUR ENVIRONMENT
Glossary
Fig. 7.2: Compact Settlement
It was Mary’s birthday party. She and her friends
were waiting for Gurpreet to arrive so that Mary could
cut the cake. At last Gurpreet arrived- tired, coughing
and wheezing.  She explained that the traffic jam was
terrible. Mary’s mother Mrs.Thomas patted Gurpreet’s
back and sighed, “Oof! The pollution in our city!” Prasad
had recently come from his village. He asked, “Why do
we have such traffic jams and such pollution in the
cities?” “The number of vehicles is increasing day by
day due to the growing population in the cities”, Mary’s
father, Mr. Thomas replied. Mary asked, “Then why
are people coming to the cities?” Her mother replied,
“They come looking for jobs, better education and
medical facilities.” Mary further enquired, “If so many
people keep coming to cities, where will all the people
live?” Mr. Thomas said, “That is why you see so many
slums and squatter settlements where people stay in
congested and unhygienic conditions. Shortage of
power and water supply are common problems in the
cities”. Prasad said, “Our villages may not have big
cinema halls, well-equipped schools and good hospitals,
but we have lot of open spaces and fresh air to breathe
in. When my grandfather was sick we
had to rush him to the city hospital.”
From the above conversation we
can identify two different pictures of
settlements – the rural and the urban
settlements. The villages are rural
settlement where people are engaged
in activities like agriculture, fishing,
forestry, crafts work and trading etc.
Rural settlements can be compact or
scattered. A compact settlement is a
closely built area of dwellings,
wherever flat land is available
(Fig. 7.2). In a scattered settlement
dwellings are spaced over an
extensive area. This type of settlement
is mostly found in hilly tracts, thick
forests, and regions of extreme
climate (Fig. 7.3).
In rural areas, people build houses
to suit their environment. In regions
Transhumance: It is
a seasonal movement
of people. People who
rear animals move in
search of new
pastures according to
changes in seasons.
Fig. 7.3: Scattered Settlement
© NCERT
not to be republished
HUMAN ENVIRONMENT – SETTLEMENT, TRANSPORT AND COMMUNICATION 49
Let’s do
of heavy rainfall, they have slanting
roofs. Places where water
accumulates in the rainy season the
houses are constructed on a raised
platform or stilts (Fig. 7.4).
Thick mud walled houses with
thatched roofs are very common in
areas of hot climate. Local materials
like stones, mud, clay, straw etc are
used to construct houses.
The towns are small and the cities
are larger urban settlements. In
urban areas the people are engaged in manufacturing,
trading, and services. Name some of the villages, towns
and cities of your state.
TRANSPORT
Transport is the means by which people and goods
move. In the early days it took a great deal of time, to
travel long distances. People had to walk and used
animals to carry their goods. Invention of the wheel
made transport easier. With the passage of time
different means of transport developed but even today
people use animals for transport (Fig. 7.5).
Where do you find
dwellings made of ice?
Who makes them and
what are they called?
Fig. 7.5: Horse cart as a mode of transportation
List the different
modes of transport
used by the students
of your class while
coming to school.
Fig. 7.4: Houses on Stilts
In our country donkeys, mules, bullocks and camels
are common. In the Andes Mountains of South
America, llamas are used, as are yaks in Tibet. The
early traders from other countries used to take several
months to reach India. They took either the sea route
or the land route. Aeroplanes have made travel faster.
Now it takes only 6-8 hours to travel from India to
Europe. Modern means of transport thus saves time
and energy.
© NCERT
not to be republished
50 OUR ENVIRONMENT
 The four major means of transport are roadways,
railways, waterways and airways.
ROADWAYS
The most commonly used means of transport especially
for short distances are roads. They can be metalled
(pucca) and unmetalled (kutcha) (Fig. 7.6 and 7.7). The
plains have a dense network of roads. Roads have also
been build in terrains like deserts, forests and even high
mountains.  Manali-Leh highway in the Himlayan
Mountains is one of the highest roadways in the world.
Roads built underground are called subways/under
paths. Flyovers are built over raised structures.
Fig. 7.6: Metalled Road Fig. 7.7: Unmetalled Road
RAILWAYS
The railways carry heavy goods and
people over long distances quickly and
cheaply. The invention of the steam
engine and the Industrial Revolution
helped in speedy development of rail
transport. Diesel and electric engines
have largely replaced the steam
engines. In places super fast trains
have been introduced to make the
journey faster. The railway network
is well developed over the plain areas.
Advanced technological skills have
enabled laying of railway lines in
difficult mountain terrains also. But
these are much fewer in number. Indian railway network
is well developed. It is the largest in Asia.
Do you know?
There are several
National and State
highways in India. The
latest development in
India is the construction
of Express Ways. The
Golden Quadrilateral
connects Delhi,
Mumbai, Chennai and
Kolkata.
Do you know?
The train from Xining to Lhasa runs at
an altitude of 4,000m above sea level
and the highest point is 5,072 m
© NCERT
not to be republished
Page 5


In Chapter 1 you have learnt that early human beings
depended entirely on nature for food, clothing and
shelter; but with time they learnt new skills to grow food,
build homes and develop better means of transport and
communication. In this way they modified the
environment where they lived.
Settlements are places where people build their
homes. Early human beings lived on trees and in caves.
When they started to grow crops it became necessary to
have a permanent home. The settlements grew near the
river valleys as water was available and land was fertile.
With the development of trade, commerce and
manufacturing, human settlements became larger.
Settlement flourished and civilizations developed near
river valleys. Do you recall the names of civilization that
grew along the banks of rivers Indus, Tigris, Nile and
Hwang-He.
Settlements can be
permanent or temporary.
Settlements which are
occupied for a short time
are called temporary
settlements. The people
living in deep forests, hot and
cold deserts and mountains
often dwell in such temporary
settlements. They practice
hunting, gathering, shifting
cultivation and transhumance.
However more and more
settlements today are
permanent settlements. In
these settlements, people
build homes to live in.
Fig. 7.1: Human Settlement
Do you know?
The place where a
building or a
settlement develops is
called its site.
The natural
conditions for
selection of an ideal
site are-
1. favourable climate
2. availability of
water
3. suitable land
4. fertile soil
© NCERT
not to be republished
48 OUR ENVIRONMENT
Glossary
Fig. 7.2: Compact Settlement
It was Mary’s birthday party. She and her friends
were waiting for Gurpreet to arrive so that Mary could
cut the cake. At last Gurpreet arrived- tired, coughing
and wheezing.  She explained that the traffic jam was
terrible. Mary’s mother Mrs.Thomas patted Gurpreet’s
back and sighed, “Oof! The pollution in our city!” Prasad
had recently come from his village. He asked, “Why do
we have such traffic jams and such pollution in the
cities?” “The number of vehicles is increasing day by
day due to the growing population in the cities”, Mary’s
father, Mr. Thomas replied. Mary asked, “Then why
are people coming to the cities?” Her mother replied,
“They come looking for jobs, better education and
medical facilities.” Mary further enquired, “If so many
people keep coming to cities, where will all the people
live?” Mr. Thomas said, “That is why you see so many
slums and squatter settlements where people stay in
congested and unhygienic conditions. Shortage of
power and water supply are common problems in the
cities”. Prasad said, “Our villages may not have big
cinema halls, well-equipped schools and good hospitals,
but we have lot of open spaces and fresh air to breathe
in. When my grandfather was sick we
had to rush him to the city hospital.”
From the above conversation we
can identify two different pictures of
settlements – the rural and the urban
settlements. The villages are rural
settlement where people are engaged
in activities like agriculture, fishing,
forestry, crafts work and trading etc.
Rural settlements can be compact or
scattered. A compact settlement is a
closely built area of dwellings,
wherever flat land is available
(Fig. 7.2). In a scattered settlement
dwellings are spaced over an
extensive area. This type of settlement
is mostly found in hilly tracts, thick
forests, and regions of extreme
climate (Fig. 7.3).
In rural areas, people build houses
to suit their environment. In regions
Transhumance: It is
a seasonal movement
of people. People who
rear animals move in
search of new
pastures according to
changes in seasons.
Fig. 7.3: Scattered Settlement
© NCERT
not to be republished
HUMAN ENVIRONMENT – SETTLEMENT, TRANSPORT AND COMMUNICATION 49
Let’s do
of heavy rainfall, they have slanting
roofs. Places where water
accumulates in the rainy season the
houses are constructed on a raised
platform or stilts (Fig. 7.4).
Thick mud walled houses with
thatched roofs are very common in
areas of hot climate. Local materials
like stones, mud, clay, straw etc are
used to construct houses.
The towns are small and the cities
are larger urban settlements. In
urban areas the people are engaged in manufacturing,
trading, and services. Name some of the villages, towns
and cities of your state.
TRANSPORT
Transport is the means by which people and goods
move. In the early days it took a great deal of time, to
travel long distances. People had to walk and used
animals to carry their goods. Invention of the wheel
made transport easier. With the passage of time
different means of transport developed but even today
people use animals for transport (Fig. 7.5).
Where do you find
dwellings made of ice?
Who makes them and
what are they called?
Fig. 7.5: Horse cart as a mode of transportation
List the different
modes of transport
used by the students
of your class while
coming to school.
Fig. 7.4: Houses on Stilts
In our country donkeys, mules, bullocks and camels
are common. In the Andes Mountains of South
America, llamas are used, as are yaks in Tibet. The
early traders from other countries used to take several
months to reach India. They took either the sea route
or the land route. Aeroplanes have made travel faster.
Now it takes only 6-8 hours to travel from India to
Europe. Modern means of transport thus saves time
and energy.
© NCERT
not to be republished
50 OUR ENVIRONMENT
 The four major means of transport are roadways,
railways, waterways and airways.
ROADWAYS
The most commonly used means of transport especially
for short distances are roads. They can be metalled
(pucca) and unmetalled (kutcha) (Fig. 7.6 and 7.7). The
plains have a dense network of roads. Roads have also
been build in terrains like deserts, forests and even high
mountains.  Manali-Leh highway in the Himlayan
Mountains is one of the highest roadways in the world.
Roads built underground are called subways/under
paths. Flyovers are built over raised structures.
Fig. 7.6: Metalled Road Fig. 7.7: Unmetalled Road
RAILWAYS
The railways carry heavy goods and
people over long distances quickly and
cheaply. The invention of the steam
engine and the Industrial Revolution
helped in speedy development of rail
transport. Diesel and electric engines
have largely replaced the steam
engines. In places super fast trains
have been introduced to make the
journey faster. The railway network
is well developed over the plain areas.
Advanced technological skills have
enabled laying of railway lines in
difficult mountain terrains also. But
these are much fewer in number. Indian railway network
is well developed. It is the largest in Asia.
Do you know?
There are several
National and State
highways in India. The
latest development in
India is the construction
of Express Ways. The
Golden Quadrilateral
connects Delhi,
Mumbai, Chennai and
Kolkata.
Do you know?
The train from Xining to Lhasa runs at
an altitude of 4,000m above sea level
and the highest point is 5,072 m
© NCERT
not to be republished
HUMAN ENVIRONMENT – SETTLEMENT, TRANSPORT AND COMMUNICATION 51
Do you know?
WATERWAYS
You have already learnt that since early days waterways
were used for transportation. Waterways are the
cheapest for carrying heavy and bulky goods over long
distances. They are mainly of two types – inland
waterways and sea routes.
Navigable rivers and lakes are used as inland
waterways. Some of the important inland waterways are
the Ganga-Brahmaputra river system, the Great Lakes
in North America and the river Nile in Africa.
Sea routes and oceanic routes are mostly
used for transporting merchandise and
goods from one country to another. These
routes are connected with the ports. Some
of the important ports of the world are
Singapore and Mumbai in Asia, New York,
Los Angeles in North America, Rio de
Janerio in South America, Durban and
Cape Town in Africa, Sydney in Australia,
London and Rotterdam in Europe (Fig. 7.11).
Can you name some more ports of the world?
The Trans-Siberian Railway is the longest railway system
connecting St. Petersburg in Western Russia to Vladivostok on the
Pacific coast.
Trans – Siberian Railway
Fig. 7.8: Inland Waterways
© NCERT
not to be republished
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