Human Settlement – 01
In simpler term we can define settlement as any form of human habitation which ranges from a single dwelling to large city. The word settlement has another connotation as well as this is a process of opening up and settling of a previously uninhabited area by the people. In geography this process is also known as occupancy. Therefore, we can say settlement is a process of grouping of people and acquiring of some territory to build houses as well as for their economic support. Settlements can broadly be divided into two types – rural and urban.
- The major difference between rural and urban areas is their function.
- Rural areas have large population engaged in primary activities, whereas urban areas have large population engaged in secondary and tertiary activities.
- Generally the rural areas have low density of population than urban.
Type and pattern: Type refers to a category of things having some common features whereas pattern refers to a regular form or order in which a series of things occur. As far as type of rural settlements is concerned, it implies the degree of dispersion of the dwellings. Types of Rural Settlements
- Compact/clustered/nucleated settlement
- Semi-compact/Semi-clustered/fragmented settlement
- Hamleted settlement
- Dispersed settlement.
- Compact Settlements: Mostly found in fertile regions, these settlements have closely built up houses. Therefore in such settlements all the dwellings are concentrated in one central sites and these inhabited area is distinct and separated from the farms and pastures. Maximum settlements of our country come under this category. These settlements are distributed over the entire northern Indo-Ganga plain (from Punjab in the north-west to West Bengal in the east), Orissa coast, basins of Mahanadi in Chhattisgarh, coastal areas of Andhra Pradesh, Cauvery delta of Tamil Nadu, Maidaus of Karnataka, lower Assam and Tripura, in the valleys of Siwaliks etc.
- Linear Pattern: These settlements found along main roads, railways, rivers, etc. on these main streets run parallel to the road. Flood plains, rivers and areas near sea coast generally follow this pattern. E.g: Ganga flood plains
- Rectangular Pattern: This is a very common type which develops around the rectangular shape of agricultural fields as it is common to find a system of land measurement based on square units. Village paths and cart tracks also confirm to the rectangular field patterns and run through the village in north-south and east-west directions. Accessibility to farms and fields and connectivity to other settlements lead to rectangular shape of settlements. The settlements of coastal Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh and either side of Aravali hills, etc.may be cited for examples.
- Cross Shaped Pattern: In the areas where two routes cross each other at right angles. Here settlements are built in all four directions.
- Circular Pattern: These settlements are characterized by
- Semi- Compact Settlement: As the name suggests, the dwellings or houses are not well-knitted. Such settlements are characterized by a small but compact nucleus around which hamlets are dispersed. It covers more area than the compact settlements. These settlements are found both in plains and plateaus depending upon the environmental conditions prevailing in that area. Such settlements are situated along streams in Manipur Mandla and Balaghat districts of Madhya Pradesh, and Rajgarh district of Chhattisgarh. Different tribal groups inhabit such settlements in the Chhota Nagpur region. In Nagaland, such settlements may be in the form of blushing villages. Like compact settlements, semi-compact settlements may also have different patterns.