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Rural and Urban Settlements

Settlements are one of the most important needs for human beings after food. They construct houses to protect themselves....

Settlements are one of the most important needs for human beings after food. They construct houses to protect themselves from various natural phenomena or other artificial problems. It helps them to enjoy the social life. “It is a most essential step to enjoy, this social life.

What is a Settlement Hierarchy?

People create a settlement hierarchy by ranking settlements in a region or country based on either population or the type and range of services they provide.

  • Smaller settlements tend to provide only low order services such as a post office and newsagents.
  • Whereas, larger settlements have more high order services such as leisure centres and chain stores.
  • As a result of this the larger the settlement, the greater the range of services and therefore the market area or sphere of influence. 
Settlement hierarchy

Rural settlement

The village is an example of a rural settlement. The definition and Criteria of Rural areas generally vary from country to country. But, mostly the following are Nature [ characteristics] of the rural settlement: 

  • The majority of the rural population engages in agriculture, animal husbandry, mining, forestry, fishing activities, and other primary activities.
  • The occupations of rural settlements are directly link to the land.
  • The size of population is small in rural settlements.
  • Rural settlements generally have low population densities.
  • The area of rural settlement is usually small.
  • Rural settlements lack basic infrastructure such as sewage, roads, high communication networks, etc.
  • The per capita income of rural settlements is generally low.
  • Rural settlements have extensive land use and an open landscape.
Factors Affecting the Location of Rural Settlements
  • Land: People choose to settle near fertile lands suitable for agriculture.
  • Upland:People chose upland areas that were not prone to flooding to prevent damage to houses and loss of life.
  • Defense: People built villages on defensive hills and islands during times of political instability, war, and the hostility of neighboring groups.
  • Planned Settlements: Governments construct planned settlements, providing shelter, water, and other infrastructure on acquired lands, which villagers do not spontaneously choose. The scheme of villagization in Ethiopia and the canal colonies in Indira Gandhi canal command area in India are some of good examples.
  • Water Supply
    • As water bodies such as rivers, lakes, and springs provide easy access to water, rural settlements are usually located near them.
    • Most water based ‘wet point’ settlements have many advantages such as water for drinking, cooking and washing.
    • Rivers and lakes can be uses to irrigate farm land.
    • Using navigable rivers and lakes, people can catch fish from water bodies for their diet and facilitate transportation.
Patterns of Rural Settlement
  1. Linear pattern: In such settlement’s houses are located along a road, railway line, river, canal edge of a valley or along a levee.
  2. 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.
  1. Circular pattern: Villages develop in a circular pattern around lakes and tanks, and sometimes the village planners keep the central part open for keeping animals to protect them from wild animals.
  2. Star like pattern: Where several roads converge, star shaped settlements develop by the houses built along the roads.
  3. T-shaped, Y-shaped, Cross-shaped or cruciform settlements: T-shaped settlements develop at tri-junctions of the roads. Y-shaped settlements emerge when the third road is formed by the convergence of two other roads, and houses are constructed along these roads. Cruciform settlements develop on the cross-roads and houses extend in all the four direction.
  4. Double village: These settlements extend on both sides of a river where there is a bridge or a ferry.
Problems of Rural Settlement

Rural settlements in under-developed countries are poorly equipped with infrastructure and are huge in number.

  • Water Supply: People living in villages, specifically in arid and mountainous areas have to travel many miles on foot to fetch drinking water. Water-borne diseases such as jaundice and cholera are common diseases in rural areas.
  • Drought: South Asian countries often face drought conditions in their areas. Due to the absence of irrigation, crop patterns get affected.
  • Sanitation: The absence of facilities like garbage disposal and toilets causes health-related problems in such areas
  • House: The houses made up of thatch, wood, and mud, remain susceptible to damage during floods and heavy rains.
  • It also required proper maintenance every year.
  • Roads: Lack of facilities like modern communication networks and unmetalled roads causes problems such as during the rainy season, the settlements pose serious difficulties in providing emerging services.
  • Health and Education: Inadequate educational and health infrastructure for; large rural populations is a big issue in under-developed countries.

Urban settlements

The definition of urban settlement varies from country to country, however, the following are the main characteristics of urban settlements:

  • Most of the urban population is involves in non-primary activities like manufacturing and the service sector.
  • Urban settlements usually have a high population density, usually more than 400 people per square kilometer.
  • Notified by the Government as an urban settlement.
    • Classification of Urban Settlements
  1. On Basis Of Age
  2. On Basis Of Population
  3. On Basis Of Functions
  4. On Basis of Forms
Types of Urban Settlements

 Types of the settlement are determined by the extent of the built-up area and inter-house distance. In India settlements are broadly classified into two major categories rural settlements and urban settlements.

2. Rural settlements in India can be broadly classified as clustered, agglomerated or nucleated, semi-clustered or fragmented, helmeted and dispersed or isolated.

3. Clustered settlements are generally found in fertile alluvial plains and in the North-Eastern states.

4. Semi-clustered settlements are found mainly in Ganga-Yamuna doabs, Khadar plains, etc.

5. Dispersed settlement or isolated settlement pattern in India appears in the remote jungles or on small hills with farms or pasture on the slopes.

6. Census of India 2011, defines the urban areas as statutory towns and Census towns.Statutory towns are all places with a municipality, corporation, and cantonment board or notified the town area committee, etc.

Challenges in Urbanization

Rural and Urban Settlements,Rural and Urban Settlements,Rural and Urban Settlements

Read Also :Population Growth in India

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