NCERT Textbook - Human Settlements Humanities/Arts Notes | EduRev

Geography for UPSC (Civil Services) Prelims

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Humanities/Arts : NCERT Textbook - Human Settlements Humanities/Arts Notes | EduRev

 Page 1


Unit-IV
Chapter-10
Human Settlements
We all live in clusters of houses. You may call it
a village, a town or a city, all are examples of
human settlements. The study of human
settlements is basic to human geography
because the form of settlement in any particular
region reflects human relationship with the
environment. A human settlement is defined as
a place inhabited more or less permanently. The
houses may be designed or redesigned,
buildings may be altered, functions may change
but settlement continues in time and space.
There may be some settlements which are
temporary and are occupied for short periods,
may be a season.
CL CL CL CL CLASSIFICA ASSIFICA ASSIFICA ASSIFICA ASSIFICATION OF SETTLEMENTS TION OF SETTLEMENTS TION OF SETTLEMENTS TION OF SETTLEMENTS TION OF SETTLEMENTS
RURAL URB RURAL URB RURAL URB RURAL URB RURAL URBAN DICHO AN DICHO AN DICHO AN DICHO AN DICHOT T T T TOMY OMY OMY OMY OMY
It is widely accepted that settlements can be
differentiated in terms of rural and urban, but
there is no consensus on what exactly defines
a village or a town. Although population size is
an important criterion, it is not a universal
criterion since many villages in densely
populated countries of India and China have
population exceeding that of some towns of
Western Europe and United States.
At one time, people living in villages
pursued agriculture or other primary activities,
but presently in developed countries, large
sections of urban populations prefer to live in
villages even though they work in the city. The
basic difference between towns and villages is
that in towns the main occupation of the people
is related to secondary and tertiary sectors,
while in the villages most of the people are
engaged in primary occupations such as
agriculture, fishing, lumbering, mining, animal
husbandry, etc.
Sub Urbanisation
It is a new trend of people moving away from
congested urban areas to cleaner areas
outside the city in search of a better quality
of living. Important suburbs develop around
major cities and everyday thousands of
people commute from their homes in the
sub urbs to their work places in the city.
© NCERT
not to be republished
Page 2


Unit-IV
Chapter-10
Human Settlements
We all live in clusters of houses. You may call it
a village, a town or a city, all are examples of
human settlements. The study of human
settlements is basic to human geography
because the form of settlement in any particular
region reflects human relationship with the
environment. A human settlement is defined as
a place inhabited more or less permanently. The
houses may be designed or redesigned,
buildings may be altered, functions may change
but settlement continues in time and space.
There may be some settlements which are
temporary and are occupied for short periods,
may be a season.
CL CL CL CL CLASSIFICA ASSIFICA ASSIFICA ASSIFICA ASSIFICATION OF SETTLEMENTS TION OF SETTLEMENTS TION OF SETTLEMENTS TION OF SETTLEMENTS TION OF SETTLEMENTS
RURAL URB RURAL URB RURAL URB RURAL URB RURAL URBAN DICHO AN DICHO AN DICHO AN DICHO AN DICHOT T T T TOMY OMY OMY OMY OMY
It is widely accepted that settlements can be
differentiated in terms of rural and urban, but
there is no consensus on what exactly defines
a village or a town. Although population size is
an important criterion, it is not a universal
criterion since many villages in densely
populated countries of India and China have
population exceeding that of some towns of
Western Europe and United States.
At one time, people living in villages
pursued agriculture or other primary activities,
but presently in developed countries, large
sections of urban populations prefer to live in
villages even though they work in the city. The
basic difference between towns and villages is
that in towns the main occupation of the people
is related to secondary and tertiary sectors,
while in the villages most of the people are
engaged in primary occupations such as
agriculture, fishing, lumbering, mining, animal
husbandry, etc.
Sub Urbanisation
It is a new trend of people moving away from
congested urban areas to cleaner areas
outside the city in search of a better quality
of living. Important suburbs develop around
major cities and everyday thousands of
people commute from their homes in the
sub urbs to their work places in the city.
© NCERT
not to be republished
Fundamentals of Human Geography 92
Differentiations between rural and urban
on the basis of functions are more meaningful
even though there is no uniformity in the
hierarchy of the functions provided by rural and
urban settlements. Petrol pumps are considered
as a lower order function in the United States
while it is an urban function in India. Even
within a country, rating of functions may vary
according to the regional economy. Facilities
available in the villages of developed countries
may be considered rare in villages of developing
and less developed countries.
The census of India, 1991 defines urban
settlements as “All places which have
municipality, corporation, cantonment board
or notified town area committee and have a
minimum population of 5000 persons, at
least 75 per cent of male workers are
engaged in non-agricultural pursuits and a
density of population of at least 400 persons
per square kilometers are urban.
TYPES AND PA TYPES AND PA TYPES AND PA TYPES AND PA TYPES AND PATTERNS OF SETTLEMENTS TTERNS OF SETTLEMENTS TTERNS OF SETTLEMENTS TTERNS OF SETTLEMENTS TTERNS OF SETTLEMENTS
Settlements may also be classified by their
shape, patterns types. The major types
classified by shape are:
(i) Compact or Nucleated settlements:
These settlements are those in which
large number of houses are built very
close to each other. Such settlements
develop along river valleys and in fertile
plains. Communities are closely knit
and share common occupations.
(ii) Dispersed Settlements: In these
settlements, houses are spaced far
apart and often interspersed with fields.
A cultural feature such as a place of
worship or a market, binds the
settlement together.
Fig. 10.2: Dispersed Settlements
Rural Settlements
Rural settlements are most closely and directly
related to land. They are dominated by primary
activities such as agriculture, animal
husbandary, fishing etc. The settlements size
is relatively small. Some factors affecting the
location of rural settlements are :
Fig.10.1 : Compact Settlements
Fig. 10.3 : Siting near water
W ater Supply
Usually rural settlements are located near water
bodies such as rivers, lakes, and springs where
water can be easily obtained. Sometimes the
need for water drives people to settle in otherwise
disadvantaged sites such as islands
surrounded by swamps or low lying river
banks. Most water based ‘wet point’ settlements
have many advantages such as water for
© NCERT
not to be republished
Page 3


Unit-IV
Chapter-10
Human Settlements
We all live in clusters of houses. You may call it
a village, a town or a city, all are examples of
human settlements. The study of human
settlements is basic to human geography
because the form of settlement in any particular
region reflects human relationship with the
environment. A human settlement is defined as
a place inhabited more or less permanently. The
houses may be designed or redesigned,
buildings may be altered, functions may change
but settlement continues in time and space.
There may be some settlements which are
temporary and are occupied for short periods,
may be a season.
CL CL CL CL CLASSIFICA ASSIFICA ASSIFICA ASSIFICA ASSIFICATION OF SETTLEMENTS TION OF SETTLEMENTS TION OF SETTLEMENTS TION OF SETTLEMENTS TION OF SETTLEMENTS
RURAL URB RURAL URB RURAL URB RURAL URB RURAL URBAN DICHO AN DICHO AN DICHO AN DICHO AN DICHOT T T T TOMY OMY OMY OMY OMY
It is widely accepted that settlements can be
differentiated in terms of rural and urban, but
there is no consensus on what exactly defines
a village or a town. Although population size is
an important criterion, it is not a universal
criterion since many villages in densely
populated countries of India and China have
population exceeding that of some towns of
Western Europe and United States.
At one time, people living in villages
pursued agriculture or other primary activities,
but presently in developed countries, large
sections of urban populations prefer to live in
villages even though they work in the city. The
basic difference between towns and villages is
that in towns the main occupation of the people
is related to secondary and tertiary sectors,
while in the villages most of the people are
engaged in primary occupations such as
agriculture, fishing, lumbering, mining, animal
husbandry, etc.
Sub Urbanisation
It is a new trend of people moving away from
congested urban areas to cleaner areas
outside the city in search of a better quality
of living. Important suburbs develop around
major cities and everyday thousands of
people commute from their homes in the
sub urbs to their work places in the city.
© NCERT
not to be republished
Fundamentals of Human Geography 92
Differentiations between rural and urban
on the basis of functions are more meaningful
even though there is no uniformity in the
hierarchy of the functions provided by rural and
urban settlements. Petrol pumps are considered
as a lower order function in the United States
while it is an urban function in India. Even
within a country, rating of functions may vary
according to the regional economy. Facilities
available in the villages of developed countries
may be considered rare in villages of developing
and less developed countries.
The census of India, 1991 defines urban
settlements as “All places which have
municipality, corporation, cantonment board
or notified town area committee and have a
minimum population of 5000 persons, at
least 75 per cent of male workers are
engaged in non-agricultural pursuits and a
density of population of at least 400 persons
per square kilometers are urban.
TYPES AND PA TYPES AND PA TYPES AND PA TYPES AND PA TYPES AND PATTERNS OF SETTLEMENTS TTERNS OF SETTLEMENTS TTERNS OF SETTLEMENTS TTERNS OF SETTLEMENTS TTERNS OF SETTLEMENTS
Settlements may also be classified by their
shape, patterns types. The major types
classified by shape are:
(i) Compact or Nucleated settlements:
These settlements are those in which
large number of houses are built very
close to each other. Such settlements
develop along river valleys and in fertile
plains. Communities are closely knit
and share common occupations.
(ii) Dispersed Settlements: In these
settlements, houses are spaced far
apart and often interspersed with fields.
A cultural feature such as a place of
worship or a market, binds the
settlement together.
Fig. 10.2: Dispersed Settlements
Rural Settlements
Rural settlements are most closely and directly
related to land. They are dominated by primary
activities such as agriculture, animal
husbandary, fishing etc. The settlements size
is relatively small. Some factors affecting the
location of rural settlements are :
Fig.10.1 : Compact Settlements
Fig. 10.3 : Siting near water
W ater Supply
Usually rural settlements are located near water
bodies such as rivers, lakes, and springs where
water can be easily obtained. Sometimes the
need for water drives people to settle in otherwise
disadvantaged sites such as islands
surrounded by swamps or low lying river
banks. Most water based ‘wet point’ settlements
have many advantages such as water for
© NCERT
not to be republished
Human Settlements     93
drinking, cooking and washing. Rivers and
lakes can be used to irrigate farm land. Water
bodies also have fish which can be caught for
diet and navigable rivers and lakes can be used
for transportation.
Land
People choose to settle near fertile lands suitable
for agriculture. In Europe villages grew up near
rolling country avoiding swampy, low lying
land while people in south east Asia chose to
live near low lying river valleys and coastal
plains suited for wet rice cultivation. Early
settlers chose plain areas with fertile soils.
Upland
Upland which is not prone to flooding was
chosen to prevent damage to houses and loss
of life. Thus, in low lying river basins people
chose to settle on terraces and levees which are
“dry points”. In tropical countries people build
their houses on stilts near marshy lands to
protect themselves from flood, insects and
animal pests.
Building Material
The availability of building materials- wood,
stone near settlements is another advantage.
Early villages were built in forest clearings where
wood was plentiful.
Defence
During the times of political instability, war,
hostility of neighbouring groups villages were
built on defensive hills and islands. In Nigeria,
upstanding inselbergs formed good defensive
sites. In India most of the forts are located on
higher grounds or hills.
Planned Settlements
Sites that are not spontaneously chosen by
villagers themselves, planned settlements are
constructed by governments by providing
shelter, water and other infrastructures on
acquired lands. The  scheme of villagisation in
Ethiopia and the canal colonies in Indira
Gandhi canal  command area in India are some
good examples.
Rural Settlement Patterns
Patterns of rural settlements reflect the way the
houses are sited in relation to each other. The
site of the village, the surrounding topography
and terrain influence the shape and size of a
village.
Rural settlements may be classified on the
basis of a number of criteria:
(i) On the basis of setting: The main types
are plain villages, plateau villages,
coastal villages, forest villages and
desert villages.
(ii) On the basis of functions: There may
be farming villages, fishermen’s villages,
lumberjack villages, pastoral villages etc.
(iii) On the basis of forms or shapes of the
settlements: These may be a number
of geometrical forms and shapes such
as Linear, rectangular, circular star
like, T-shaped village, double village,
cross-shaped village etc.
(a) Linear pattern: In such settlements
houses are located along a road,
railway line, river, canal edge of a valley
or along a levee.
(b) Rectangular pattern: Such patterns of
rural settlements are found in plain
areas or wide inter montane valleys.
The roads are rectangular and cut each
other at right angles.
In loess areas of China, cave dwellings were
important and African Savanna’s building
materials were mud bricks and the Eskimos, in
polar regions, use ice blocks to construct igloos.
Fig. 10.4 : House on stilts
© NCERT
not to be republished
Page 4


Unit-IV
Chapter-10
Human Settlements
We all live in clusters of houses. You may call it
a village, a town or a city, all are examples of
human settlements. The study of human
settlements is basic to human geography
because the form of settlement in any particular
region reflects human relationship with the
environment. A human settlement is defined as
a place inhabited more or less permanently. The
houses may be designed or redesigned,
buildings may be altered, functions may change
but settlement continues in time and space.
There may be some settlements which are
temporary and are occupied for short periods,
may be a season.
CL CL CL CL CLASSIFICA ASSIFICA ASSIFICA ASSIFICA ASSIFICATION OF SETTLEMENTS TION OF SETTLEMENTS TION OF SETTLEMENTS TION OF SETTLEMENTS TION OF SETTLEMENTS
RURAL URB RURAL URB RURAL URB RURAL URB RURAL URBAN DICHO AN DICHO AN DICHO AN DICHO AN DICHOT T T T TOMY OMY OMY OMY OMY
It is widely accepted that settlements can be
differentiated in terms of rural and urban, but
there is no consensus on what exactly defines
a village or a town. Although population size is
an important criterion, it is not a universal
criterion since many villages in densely
populated countries of India and China have
population exceeding that of some towns of
Western Europe and United States.
At one time, people living in villages
pursued agriculture or other primary activities,
but presently in developed countries, large
sections of urban populations prefer to live in
villages even though they work in the city. The
basic difference between towns and villages is
that in towns the main occupation of the people
is related to secondary and tertiary sectors,
while in the villages most of the people are
engaged in primary occupations such as
agriculture, fishing, lumbering, mining, animal
husbandry, etc.
Sub Urbanisation
It is a new trend of people moving away from
congested urban areas to cleaner areas
outside the city in search of a better quality
of living. Important suburbs develop around
major cities and everyday thousands of
people commute from their homes in the
sub urbs to their work places in the city.
© NCERT
not to be republished
Fundamentals of Human Geography 92
Differentiations between rural and urban
on the basis of functions are more meaningful
even though there is no uniformity in the
hierarchy of the functions provided by rural and
urban settlements. Petrol pumps are considered
as a lower order function in the United States
while it is an urban function in India. Even
within a country, rating of functions may vary
according to the regional economy. Facilities
available in the villages of developed countries
may be considered rare in villages of developing
and less developed countries.
The census of India, 1991 defines urban
settlements as “All places which have
municipality, corporation, cantonment board
or notified town area committee and have a
minimum population of 5000 persons, at
least 75 per cent of male workers are
engaged in non-agricultural pursuits and a
density of population of at least 400 persons
per square kilometers are urban.
TYPES AND PA TYPES AND PA TYPES AND PA TYPES AND PA TYPES AND PATTERNS OF SETTLEMENTS TTERNS OF SETTLEMENTS TTERNS OF SETTLEMENTS TTERNS OF SETTLEMENTS TTERNS OF SETTLEMENTS
Settlements may also be classified by their
shape, patterns types. The major types
classified by shape are:
(i) Compact or Nucleated settlements:
These settlements are those in which
large number of houses are built very
close to each other. Such settlements
develop along river valleys and in fertile
plains. Communities are closely knit
and share common occupations.
(ii) Dispersed Settlements: In these
settlements, houses are spaced far
apart and often interspersed with fields.
A cultural feature such as a place of
worship or a market, binds the
settlement together.
Fig. 10.2: Dispersed Settlements
Rural Settlements
Rural settlements are most closely and directly
related to land. They are dominated by primary
activities such as agriculture, animal
husbandary, fishing etc. The settlements size
is relatively small. Some factors affecting the
location of rural settlements are :
Fig.10.1 : Compact Settlements
Fig. 10.3 : Siting near water
W ater Supply
Usually rural settlements are located near water
bodies such as rivers, lakes, and springs where
water can be easily obtained. Sometimes the
need for water drives people to settle in otherwise
disadvantaged sites such as islands
surrounded by swamps or low lying river
banks. Most water based ‘wet point’ settlements
have many advantages such as water for
© NCERT
not to be republished
Human Settlements     93
drinking, cooking and washing. Rivers and
lakes can be used to irrigate farm land. Water
bodies also have fish which can be caught for
diet and navigable rivers and lakes can be used
for transportation.
Land
People choose to settle near fertile lands suitable
for agriculture. In Europe villages grew up near
rolling country avoiding swampy, low lying
land while people in south east Asia chose to
live near low lying river valleys and coastal
plains suited for wet rice cultivation. Early
settlers chose plain areas with fertile soils.
Upland
Upland which is not prone to flooding was
chosen to prevent damage to houses and loss
of life. Thus, in low lying river basins people
chose to settle on terraces and levees which are
“dry points”. In tropical countries people build
their houses on stilts near marshy lands to
protect themselves from flood, insects and
animal pests.
Building Material
The availability of building materials- wood,
stone near settlements is another advantage.
Early villages were built in forest clearings where
wood was plentiful.
Defence
During the times of political instability, war,
hostility of neighbouring groups villages were
built on defensive hills and islands. In Nigeria,
upstanding inselbergs formed good defensive
sites. In India most of the forts are located on
higher grounds or hills.
Planned Settlements
Sites that are not spontaneously chosen by
villagers themselves, planned settlements are
constructed by governments by providing
shelter, water and other infrastructures on
acquired lands. The  scheme of villagisation in
Ethiopia and the canal colonies in Indira
Gandhi canal  command area in India are some
good examples.
Rural Settlement Patterns
Patterns of rural settlements reflect the way the
houses are sited in relation to each other. The
site of the village, the surrounding topography
and terrain influence the shape and size of a
village.
Rural settlements may be classified on the
basis of a number of criteria:
(i) On the basis of setting: The main types
are plain villages, plateau villages,
coastal villages, forest villages and
desert villages.
(ii) On the basis of functions: There may
be farming villages, fishermen’s villages,
lumberjack villages, pastoral villages etc.
(iii) On the basis of forms or shapes of the
settlements: These may be a number
of geometrical forms and shapes such
as Linear, rectangular, circular star
like, T-shaped village, double village,
cross-shaped village etc.
(a) Linear pattern: In such settlements
houses are located along a road,
railway line, river, canal edge of a valley
or along a levee.
(b) Rectangular pattern: Such patterns of
rural settlements are found in plain
areas or wide inter montane valleys.
The roads are rectangular and cut each
other at right angles.
In loess areas of China, cave dwellings were
important and African Savanna’s building
materials were mud bricks and the Eskimos, in
polar regions, use ice blocks to construct igloos.
Fig. 10.4 : House on stilts
© NCERT
not to be republished
Fundamentals of Human Geography 94
(c) Circular pattern: Circular villages
develop around lakes, tanks and
sometimes the village is planned in such
a way that the central part remains open
and is used for keeping the animals to
protect them from wild animals.
(d) Star like pattern: Where several roads
converge, star shaped settlements develop
by the houses built along the roads.
(e) T-shaped, Y-shaped, Cross-shaped or
cruciform settlements: T-shaped
settlements develop at tri-junctions of
the roads ( ) while -shaped
settlements emerge as the places where
two roads converge on the third one
and houses are built along these roads.
Cruciform settlements develop on the
cross-roads and houses extend in all
the four direction.
Fig.10.6 : Linear pattern settlement Fig.10.7 : Y shape settlement
Linear Pattern Cross-shape Pattern Star-like Pattern
T-Shape Pattern Circular Pattern Double Pattern
Railway
Bridge
Road
Temple
River
Village
Canal
Pond
Well
Tree
Fig. 10.5: Rural Settlement Patterns
© NCERT
not to be republished
Page 5


Unit-IV
Chapter-10
Human Settlements
We all live in clusters of houses. You may call it
a village, a town or a city, all are examples of
human settlements. The study of human
settlements is basic to human geography
because the form of settlement in any particular
region reflects human relationship with the
environment. A human settlement is defined as
a place inhabited more or less permanently. The
houses may be designed or redesigned,
buildings may be altered, functions may change
but settlement continues in time and space.
There may be some settlements which are
temporary and are occupied for short periods,
may be a season.
CL CL CL CL CLASSIFICA ASSIFICA ASSIFICA ASSIFICA ASSIFICATION OF SETTLEMENTS TION OF SETTLEMENTS TION OF SETTLEMENTS TION OF SETTLEMENTS TION OF SETTLEMENTS
RURAL URB RURAL URB RURAL URB RURAL URB RURAL URBAN DICHO AN DICHO AN DICHO AN DICHO AN DICHOT T T T TOMY OMY OMY OMY OMY
It is widely accepted that settlements can be
differentiated in terms of rural and urban, but
there is no consensus on what exactly defines
a village or a town. Although population size is
an important criterion, it is not a universal
criterion since many villages in densely
populated countries of India and China have
population exceeding that of some towns of
Western Europe and United States.
At one time, people living in villages
pursued agriculture or other primary activities,
but presently in developed countries, large
sections of urban populations prefer to live in
villages even though they work in the city. The
basic difference between towns and villages is
that in towns the main occupation of the people
is related to secondary and tertiary sectors,
while in the villages most of the people are
engaged in primary occupations such as
agriculture, fishing, lumbering, mining, animal
husbandry, etc.
Sub Urbanisation
It is a new trend of people moving away from
congested urban areas to cleaner areas
outside the city in search of a better quality
of living. Important suburbs develop around
major cities and everyday thousands of
people commute from their homes in the
sub urbs to their work places in the city.
© NCERT
not to be republished
Fundamentals of Human Geography 92
Differentiations between rural and urban
on the basis of functions are more meaningful
even though there is no uniformity in the
hierarchy of the functions provided by rural and
urban settlements. Petrol pumps are considered
as a lower order function in the United States
while it is an urban function in India. Even
within a country, rating of functions may vary
according to the regional economy. Facilities
available in the villages of developed countries
may be considered rare in villages of developing
and less developed countries.
The census of India, 1991 defines urban
settlements as “All places which have
municipality, corporation, cantonment board
or notified town area committee and have a
minimum population of 5000 persons, at
least 75 per cent of male workers are
engaged in non-agricultural pursuits and a
density of population of at least 400 persons
per square kilometers are urban.
TYPES AND PA TYPES AND PA TYPES AND PA TYPES AND PA TYPES AND PATTERNS OF SETTLEMENTS TTERNS OF SETTLEMENTS TTERNS OF SETTLEMENTS TTERNS OF SETTLEMENTS TTERNS OF SETTLEMENTS
Settlements may also be classified by their
shape, patterns types. The major types
classified by shape are:
(i) Compact or Nucleated settlements:
These settlements are those in which
large number of houses are built very
close to each other. Such settlements
develop along river valleys and in fertile
plains. Communities are closely knit
and share common occupations.
(ii) Dispersed Settlements: In these
settlements, houses are spaced far
apart and often interspersed with fields.
A cultural feature such as a place of
worship or a market, binds the
settlement together.
Fig. 10.2: Dispersed Settlements
Rural Settlements
Rural settlements are most closely and directly
related to land. They are dominated by primary
activities such as agriculture, animal
husbandary, fishing etc. The settlements size
is relatively small. Some factors affecting the
location of rural settlements are :
Fig.10.1 : Compact Settlements
Fig. 10.3 : Siting near water
W ater Supply
Usually rural settlements are located near water
bodies such as rivers, lakes, and springs where
water can be easily obtained. Sometimes the
need for water drives people to settle in otherwise
disadvantaged sites such as islands
surrounded by swamps or low lying river
banks. Most water based ‘wet point’ settlements
have many advantages such as water for
© NCERT
not to be republished
Human Settlements     93
drinking, cooking and washing. Rivers and
lakes can be used to irrigate farm land. Water
bodies also have fish which can be caught for
diet and navigable rivers and lakes can be used
for transportation.
Land
People choose to settle near fertile lands suitable
for agriculture. In Europe villages grew up near
rolling country avoiding swampy, low lying
land while people in south east Asia chose to
live near low lying river valleys and coastal
plains suited for wet rice cultivation. Early
settlers chose plain areas with fertile soils.
Upland
Upland which is not prone to flooding was
chosen to prevent damage to houses and loss
of life. Thus, in low lying river basins people
chose to settle on terraces and levees which are
“dry points”. In tropical countries people build
their houses on stilts near marshy lands to
protect themselves from flood, insects and
animal pests.
Building Material
The availability of building materials- wood,
stone near settlements is another advantage.
Early villages were built in forest clearings where
wood was plentiful.
Defence
During the times of political instability, war,
hostility of neighbouring groups villages were
built on defensive hills and islands. In Nigeria,
upstanding inselbergs formed good defensive
sites. In India most of the forts are located on
higher grounds or hills.
Planned Settlements
Sites that are not spontaneously chosen by
villagers themselves, planned settlements are
constructed by governments by providing
shelter, water and other infrastructures on
acquired lands. The  scheme of villagisation in
Ethiopia and the canal colonies in Indira
Gandhi canal  command area in India are some
good examples.
Rural Settlement Patterns
Patterns of rural settlements reflect the way the
houses are sited in relation to each other. The
site of the village, the surrounding topography
and terrain influence the shape and size of a
village.
Rural settlements may be classified on the
basis of a number of criteria:
(i) On the basis of setting: The main types
are plain villages, plateau villages,
coastal villages, forest villages and
desert villages.
(ii) On the basis of functions: There may
be farming villages, fishermen’s villages,
lumberjack villages, pastoral villages etc.
(iii) On the basis of forms or shapes of the
settlements: These may be a number
of geometrical forms and shapes such
as Linear, rectangular, circular star
like, T-shaped village, double village,
cross-shaped village etc.
(a) Linear pattern: In such settlements
houses are located along a road,
railway line, river, canal edge of a valley
or along a levee.
(b) Rectangular pattern: Such patterns of
rural settlements are found in plain
areas or wide inter montane valleys.
The roads are rectangular and cut each
other at right angles.
In loess areas of China, cave dwellings were
important and African Savanna’s building
materials were mud bricks and the Eskimos, in
polar regions, use ice blocks to construct igloos.
Fig. 10.4 : House on stilts
© NCERT
not to be republished
Fundamentals of Human Geography 94
(c) Circular pattern: Circular villages
develop around lakes, tanks and
sometimes the village is planned in such
a way that the central part remains open
and is used for keeping the animals to
protect them from wild animals.
(d) Star like pattern: Where several roads
converge, star shaped settlements develop
by the houses built along the roads.
(e) T-shaped, Y-shaped, Cross-shaped or
cruciform settlements: T-shaped
settlements develop at tri-junctions of
the roads ( ) while -shaped
settlements emerge as the places where
two roads converge on the third one
and houses are built along these roads.
Cruciform settlements develop on the
cross-roads and houses extend in all
the four direction.
Fig.10.6 : Linear pattern settlement Fig.10.7 : Y shape settlement
Linear Pattern Cross-shape Pattern Star-like Pattern
T-Shape Pattern Circular Pattern Double Pattern
Railway
Bridge
Road
Temple
River
Village
Canal
Pond
Well
Tree
Fig. 10.5: Rural Settlement Patterns
© NCERT
not to be republished
Human Settlements     95
(f) Double village: These settlements
extend on both sides of a river where
there is a bridge or a ferry.
Identify these patterns on any topographical sheet which
you have studied in Practical Work in Geography, Part
I (NCERT , 2006) in Class XI
Problems of Rural Settlements
Rural settlements in the developing countries
are large in number and poorly equipped with
infrastructure. They represent a great challenge
and opportunity for planners.
Supply of water to rural settlements in
developing countries is not adequate. People
in villages, particularly in mountainous and
arid areas have to walk long distances to fetch
drinking water. Water borne diseases such as
cholera and jaundice tend to be a common
problem. The countries of South Asia face
conditions of drought and flood very often. Crop
cultivation sequences, in the absence of
irrigation, also suffer.
The general absence of toilet and garbage
disposal facilities cause health related problems.
The design and use of building materials
of houses vary from one ecological region to
another. The houses made up of mud, wood
and thatch, remain susceptible to damage
during heavy rains and floods, and require
proper maintenance every year. Most house
designs are typically deficient in proper
ventilation. Besides, the design of a house
includes the animal shed along with its fodder-
store within it. This is purposely done to keep
the domestic animals and their food properly
protected from wild animals.
Unmetalled roads and lack of modern
communication network creates a unique
problem. During rainy season, the settlements
remain cut off and pose serious difficulties in
providing emergency services. It is also difficult
to provide adequate health and educational
infrastructure for their large rural population.
The problem is particularly serious where
proper villagisation has not taken place and
houses are scattered over a large area.
Urban Settlements
Rapid urban growth is a recent phenomenon.
Until recent times, few settlements reached the
population size of more than a few thousand
inhabitants. The first urban settlement to reach
a population of one million was the city of
London by around. A.D. 1810 By 1982
approximately 175 cities in the world had
crossed the one million population mark.
Presently 48 per cent of the world’s population
lives in urban settlements compared to only 3
per cent in the year 1800 (Table 10.1).
Classification of Urban Settlements
The definition of urban areas varies from one
country to another. Some of the common basis
of classification are size of population,
occupational structure and administrative
setup.
Population Size
It is an important criteria used by most countries
to define urban areas. The lower limit of the
population size for a settlement to be designated
as urban is 1,500 in Colombia, 2,000 in
Argentina and Portugal, 2,500 in U.S.A. and
Thailand, 5,000 in India and 30,000 in Japan.
Besides the size of population, density of 400
persons per sq km and share of non-agricultural
workers are taken into consideration in India.
Countries with low density of population may
choose a lower number as the cut-off figure
compared to densely populated countries. In
Denmark, Sweden and Finland, all places with
a population size of 250 persons are called
urban. The minimum population for a city is
Year Percentage
1800 3
1850 6
1900 14
1950 30
1982 37
2001 48
Table 10.1: Percentage of World’s Population Living
in Urban Areas
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not to be republished
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