Settlement geography

Settlement geography is a branch of geography that investigates the earth's surface's part settled by humans. According to the United Nations' Vancouver Declaration on Human Settlements (1976), "human settlements means the totality of the human community – whether city, town or village – with all the social, material, organizational, spiritual and cultural elements that sustain it."

Rangierbahnhof Limmattal 071
The Swiss Limmat Valley, a periurban settlement structure.


Traditionally, it belongs to cultural geography and is divided into the geography of urban settlements (cities and towns) and rural settlements (e.g. villages and hamlets). Thereby, settlements are mostly seen as elements of the cultural landscape that developed over time. Apart from Australia, Europe and India, the term is actually rarely used in English-speaking geography. One of the last English books on settlement geography was published by Cambridge University Press in the 1990s. [1] However, it is a traditional and actual branch in many other countries (e.g., German Siedlungsgeographie, French Geographie de l'habitat, Italian Geografia insediativa, Polish Geografia osadnictwa).


Due to processes of urban sprawl such as counter urbanization,[2] peri-urbanisation or postsuburbanisation the existing dichotomy between the urban and the rural is losing importance, especially in industrialized countries and newly industrialized countries. This point of view is already represented by many planning strategies such as the unified settlement planning. Hence, an integrative geography of settlements that considers the urban and the rural settlements as a continuum[3] is regaining the importance lost during the 20th century. Further it is used in prehistoric,[4] historic[5] and present-focusing [6] [7] [8] geographic research.


Referring to Stone (1960), settlement geography is

the description and analysis of the distribution of buildings by which people attach themselves to the land. Further, that the geography of settling designate the action of erecting buildings in order to occupy an area temporarily or permanently. It should be understood that buildings are one tangible expression of man-land relationships and that specification of this focus assumes study may be at any scale from quite general to most specific; there is no restriction to large-scale study of individual building plans or architectural details. Buildings are simply one representation of the process of people living in an area they are a mappable division of the landscape to which attention needs direction.[9]

With respect to Stone's definition, Jordan (1966) emphasizes that settlement geography not exclusively investigates the distributions, but even more the structures, processes and interactions between settlements and its environment (such as soil, geomorphology, economy or society), which produce them.[10] More recently, however,

the study of settlement has evolved into the interaction of humans with the physical and ecological world. This more holistic study is concerned with sustainability and seeks to better understand the present landscape and plan the future.[11]

In sum, settlement geography describes and explains the settlements' location, substance, form and structure, as well as the functions and processes that produced them over time (Genesis, from Greek γέννησις, "origin, birth" or historical development). As an applied science, it projects future settlement development and contributes to the sustainable development of human-environmental systems.

See also


  1. ^ Hornby W.F. and M. Jones 1990: An Introduction to Settlement Geography. Cambridge, 151 pp.
  2. ^ Vartiainen, P. 1989: Counterurbanisation: a challenge for socio-theoretical geography. In: Journal of Rural Studies, Vol. 5, pp. 217–225 [1]
  3. ^ Rain, D. 2007: Towards settlement science: a research agenda for urban geography. In: GeoJournal, Vol. 69, pp. 1-8 [2]
  4. ^ Schuldenrein, J and G. Clark 2001: Prehistoric Landscapes and Settlement Geography along the Wadi Hasa, West-Central Jordan. In: Environmental Archaeology, Vol. 6, pp. 23-38 [3]
  5. ^ Beattie, J. 2008: Colonial Geographies of Settlement: Vegetation, Towns, Disease and Well-Being In Aotearoa/New Zealand, 1830s-1930s. In: Environment and History, Vol. 14, pp. 583-610 [4]
  6. ^ Harte, E. W. 2010: Settlement geography of African refugee communities in Southeast Queensland : an analysis of residential distribution and secondary migration. PhD Thesis, Queensland University of Technology, Queensland, 246 pp. [5]
  7. ^ Harte, E. W., Childs, Iraphne, Hastings, Peter 2009: Settlement Patterns of African Refugee Communities in Southeast Queensland In: Australian Geographer Vol 40, pp. 51-67 [6]
  8. ^ Longley, P, et al. 1992: Do green belts change the shape of urban areas? A preliminary analysis of the settlement geography of South East England. In: Regional Studies Vol 26, pp. 437-452 [7]
  9. ^ Stone, K.H. 1965: The Development of a Focus for the Geography of Settlement. In: Economic Geography, Vol. 41, No. 4, pp. 346-355
  10. ^ Jordan, T.G. 1966: On the nature of settlement geography. In: The Professional Geographer, Vol. 18, No. 1, pp. 26-28
  11. ^ Mayda, C. 1965: The Development of a Focus for the Geography of Settlement. In: Warf, B: Encyclopedia of Geography , SAGE. DOI 10.4135/9781412939591
Ballia district

Ballia district is one of the districts of Uttar Pradesh, India. Ballia district is a part of Azamgarh division situated in the east of Uttar Pradesh. The main economic activity is agriculture. Ballia City is the district headquarters and commercial market of this district. There are six tehsils in this district: Ballia, Bansdih, Rasra, Bairia, Sikandarpur and Belthara. Rasra is the second major commercial area of the district, having a government sugar mill and a cotton weaving industry. Though Ballia's core occupation is agriculture there are some additional small industries. Maniar is known for its bindi industry and is a major supplier.

Franks Tract State Recreation Area

Franks Tract State Recreation Area (SRA) is a state park unit of California, United States, featuring a flooded area in the Sacramento–San Joaquin River Delta. It is accessible only by water. Franks Tract, and a smaller adjoining submerged property called "Little Franks Tract", are situated between the False River and Bethel Island. The recreation area is used primarily for fishing and waterfowl hunting, because of its exposure to frequent strong winds and fluctuating water levels. In times of high water, the entire site can be submerged except for portions of the old levees. The 3,523-acre (1,426 ha) park was established in 1959. It is managed from nearby Brannan Island State Recreation Area, 6 miles (9.7 km) to the northwest.


Geography (from Greek: γεωγραφία, geographia, literally "earth description") is a field of science devoted to the study of the lands, features, inhabitants, and phenomena of the Earth and planets. The first person to use the word γεωγραφία was Eratosthenes (276–194 BC). Geography is an all-encompassing discipline that seeks an understanding of Earth and its human and natural complexities—not merely where objects are, but also how they have changed and come to be.

Geography is often defined in terms of two branches: human geography and physical geography. Human geography deals with the study of people and their communities, cultures, economies, and interactions with the environment by studying their relations with and across space and place. Physical geography deals with the study of processes and patterns in the natural environment like the atmosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere, and geosphere.

The four historical traditions in geographical research are: spatial analyses of natural and the human phenomena, area studies of places and regions, studies of human-land relationships, and the Earth sciences. Geography has been called "the world discipline" and "the bridge between the human and the physical sciences".


A Haufendorf is an enclosed village with irregular plots of land and farms of greatly differing scale, usually surrounded by a stockade fence (German: Ortsetter). They are typically found in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, whence the name. Haufendörfer (pl.) differ from most other types of village in that they are irregularly laid out. A large number of Haufendörfer emerged in connexion with the medieval open field system (Gewanneflur), where each farmer farmed strips of different fields and the location of these field strips continually changed. The district (Gemarkung) was divided into the village core (Dorfkern), field system (Ackerflur) and common pasture (Allmende).

A Haufendorf is sometimes also referred to as a "clustered village" or "irregularly nucleated village".

Human geography

Human geography or anthropogeography is the branch of geography that deals with the study of people and their communities,

cultures, economies, and interactions with the environment by studying their relations with and across space and place. Human geography attends to human patterns of social interaction, as well as spatial level interdependencies, and how they influence or affect the earth's environment. As an intellectual discipline, geography is divided into the sub-fields of physical geography and human geography, the latter concentrating upon the study of human activities, by the application of qualitative and quantitative research methods.

Human settlement

In geography, statistics and archaeology, a settlement, locality or populated place is a community in which people live. The complexity of a settlement can range from a small number of dwellings grouped together to the largest of cities with surrounding urbanized areas. Settlements may include hamlets, villages, towns and cities. A settlement may have known historical properties such as the date or era in which it was first settled, or first settled by particular people.

In the field of geospatial predictive modeling, settlements are "a city, town, village or other agglomeration of buildings where people live and work".A settlement conventionally includes its constructed facilities such as roads, enclosures, field systems, boundary banks and ditches, ponds, parks and woods, wind and water mills, manor houses, moats and churches.The oldest remains that have been found of constructed dwellings are remains of huts that were made of mud and branches around 17,000 BC at the Ohalo site (now underwater) near the edge of the Sea of Galilee. The Natufians built houses, also in the Levant, around 10,000 BC. Remains of settlements such as villages become much more common after the invention of agriculture.

Industrial suburb

An industrial suburb is a community, near a large city, with an industrial economy. These communities may be established as tax havens or as places where zoning promotes industry, or they may be industrial towns that become suburbs by urban sprawl of the nearby big city.

List of industrial regions

Industrial region or industrial area refers to a geographical region with extremely dense industry. It is usually heavily urbanized.


A metropolis () is a large city or conurbation which is a significant economic, political, and cultural center for a country or region, and an important hub for regional or international connections, commerce, and communications. The term is Ancient Greek (μητρόπολις) and means the "mother city" of a colony (in the ancient sense), that is, the city which sent out settlers. This was later generalized to a city regarded as a center of a specified activity, or any large, important city in a nation.

A big city belonging to a larger urban agglomeration, but which is not the core of that agglomeration, is not generally considered a metropolis but a part of it. The plural of the word is metropolises, although the Latin plural is metropoles, from the Greek metropoleis (μητρoπόλεις).

For urban centers outside metropolitan areas that generate a similar attraction at smaller scale for their region, the concept of the regiopolis ("regio" for short) was introduced by German academics in 2006.


Nufringen is a municipality ("Gemeinde") in the district of Böblingen in Baden-Württemberg in Germany.


The Reihendorf ("row village", plural: Reihendörfer) or Hufendorf ("oxgang village") is the name used of a particular form of linear settlement in German-speaking countries that is characterized by rows of houses situated along a linear object such as a riverbank, road, valley, or stream.


A Rundling is a form of circular village, mainly in Germany, typical of settlements in the Germanic-Slav contact zone in the Early Medieval period.

The Rundling was a relatively common village form used by the Slavs. It usually comprises a central, circular village green owned in common with individually owned farmsteads radiating out around it like the spokes of a wheel.The best examples are now only in a small area of Lower Saxony in Germany near to the town of Lüchow. 15 of these villages have been put forward as an ensemble for consideration as possible World Heritage Sites, and a decision is expected in the next few years.

At the City Hall Oslo on 11 June 2015 the Rundlingsverein were awarded the Grand Prix for the European Union Prize for Cultural Heritage/Europa Nostra Award 2015. This was in recognition of 46 years of voluntary work in preserving these ancient settlements.

Such villages were originally found across a strip of central Germany from Kiel to Bohemia (where they are variously referred to as a Rundling, Runddorf, Rundlingsdorf, Rundplatzdorf or Platzdorf), often indicated by village names ending in -itz, -ow and -thin. Virtually all such Rundlinge are now only to be found in the small area of Wendland.

Rural area

In general, a rural area or countryside is a geographic area that is located outside towns and cities. The Health Resources and Services Administration of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services defines the word rural as encompassing "...all population, housing, and territory not included within an urban area. Whatever is not urban is considered rural."Typical rural areas have a low population density and small settlements. Agricultural areas are commonly rural, as are other types of areas such as forest. Different countries have varying definitions of rural for statistical and administrative purposes.

Rural settlement

The definition of a rural settlement depends on the country. In some countries, a rural settlement is any settlement in the areas defined as rural by a governmental office, e.g., by the national census bureau. This may include even rural towns. In some others, rural settlements traditionally do not include towns.

Common types of rural settlements are villages, hamlets and farms.

Traditionally, rural settlements were associated with agriculture. In modern times other types of rural communities have been developed .

The settlement where the occupation of majority of people relate to the local natural resources are called rural settlement for example , (1) settlement of fisheries along a sea coast , (2) settlement of tribal people in the forest area and (3) settlement of farmers along the banks of rivers.


Settlement may refer to:

Human settlement, a community where people live

Settlement (structural), the distortion or disruption of parts of a building

Settlement (closing), the final step in executing a real estate transaction

Settlement (finance), where securities are delivered against payment of money

Settlement (litigation), a resolution between disputing parties about a legal case

Settlement (trust), a deed whereby property is given by a settlor into trust

Settlement archaeology

Settlement archaeology (German:Siedlungsarchäologie) is a branch of modern archaeology. It investigates former settlements and deserted areas, forms of housing and settlements, and the prehistoric settlement of entire regions. For this purpose, the forms, functions and developments of individual habitats and settlement systems are explored by means of archaeological surveys and excavation. Settlement archaeology has developed in close cooperation with settlement history and settlement geography. Settlement sequences of several centuries or millennia are explored in individual areas. Changes and consistent elements can be studied and compared with other researched settlements. Archaeological methods are used including archaeobotany and -zoology and spectroscopic phosphate analysis to resolve archaeological questions, mostly in the field of prehistory and early history.


A Thanda is a clustered human settlement or community of Lambadies or Banjaras, It is equal to a hamlet but smaller than a village, with a population of a few hundred. They are often located in rural areas (tribal areas) with jubdas (huts) as shelter.In the 1990s Thandas were normally temporary places of living because Lambadi people were transients. However, the people are now settling permanently and have fixed dwellings. Further, the dwellings of a Thandas are fairly close to one another, not scattered broadly over the landscape, as a dispersed settlement.

The Country and the City

The Country and the City is a book of cultural analysis by Raymond Williams which was first published in 1973.


The Waldhufendorf ("forest village"; plural: -dörfer) is a form of rural settlement established in areas of forest clearing with the farms arranged in a series along a road or stream, like beads on a chain. It is typical of the forests of central Germany and is a type of Reihendorf, in which each farmstead usually has two wide strips of land adjacent to the farmhouse.

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