Question: What do you understand by the term human settlement? How did settlements emerge?
Answer: Human settlements refer to the locations where people build their homes. Around these settlements human communities develop. A community is a group of people living in a particular area and bound by a common culture or religion. Depending on the nature of the environment and the needs of the people, settlements of different types evolved. Settlements can be temporary or permanent.
Question: What kind of patterns do settlements form? Discuss in detail.
Answer: Based on the patterns the settlements form, we can classify them as circular, linear, parallel, radical etc.
Circular settlements: Settlements built around ponds or reservoirs are called circular settlements. People here utilise the water from the pond for their regular domestic and irrigational needs.
Linear settlements: Settlements built along a road or along a railway track are called linear settlements. If settlements are found on both sides of the track or roads they are called parallel settlements.
Radial settlements: Settlements which emerge and radiate from a central point and form a radial or star-shaped pattern are called radial settlements. These settlements are found in cities and trading towns where the roads converge at the business centre from different parts.
Question: Write a short note on the different kinds of urban settlements.
Answer: Around 5000 years ago, as civilisations grew in river valleys around the world, urban settlements, or towns and cities, started developing.
- Generally people in urban settlements are engaged in secondary (processing or manufacturing) and tertiary (services) activities.
- Cities have better infrastructure, like transport and communication systems, and provide better medical facilities, educational institutions and banking than are available in rural areas.
- Urban settlements are usually much larger than rural settlements in area and population size.
- The average income of people who live in urban area is generally higher than that of people living in rural area. Urban areas also have higher volumes of trade.
Urban settlements can be classified on the basis of their main function:
- Mining town or quarrying towns: Towns where surface or underground mining is the most important function. For example: Hutti (gold) and Dhanbad (coal) in India.
- Industrial towns: Towns where processing or manufacturing is the major activity. For example: Chicago, Essen, Jamshedpur, Bhilai etc.
- Transport towns: Towns that manufacture automobiles, junctions where rail routes or roadways meet and those transit facilities for change in the mode of transport are called transport towns. For example: Berlin, Chennai, Detroit etc.
- Commercial towns: Towns where extensive marketing of finished products, services and capital take place. For example: London, Mumbai, New York etc.
- Administrative towns: Towns from which the governments of a state or nation functions. National capitals, federal state capitals or provincial capitals can be considered examples. London, New Delhi, Chandigarh, Paris, Gandhinagar etc. are examples.
- Defence towns: Towns that function as a base for the armed forces are called defence towns. They are also called Garrison towns. Mhow and Jalandhar in India, Portsmouth and Plymouth in the UK are some examples.
- Cultural and educational towns: They are known for education, religion and culture. Pittsburgh, Oxford and Cambridge are educational towns. Jerusalem, Rome, Mecca and Madurai are some examples of religious towns. Agra, Hyderabad and Lucknow are examples of cultural towns.