CAPE 2009 UNIT ONE #3 Monday, March 07, 2011 a) There is a positive relationship between the population size of settlements and the number of functions they perform. b) Describe THREE factors which may influence the location of rural settlements. [6 marks] A rural settlement is usually defined as a smaller settlement or village. Rural settlements maybe influenced by factors such as water supply, relief and flood avoidance. The first factor influencing the location of rural settlement is water supply. A nearby,guaranteed supply was essential as water is needed daily throughout the year and is heavy tocarry any distance. In regions where rainfall is limited or unreliable, people settled where thewater table was near to the surface allowing shallow wells to be dug, e.g. a desert oasis.Suchsites are known as water-seeking sites. Secondly, relief is another major factor influencing the location of rural settlement. Flat, low-lying land such as the North German Plain was easier to build on than steeper, higher groundsuch as the Alps. This is because slopes are sometimes unstable, especially if they bear theweight of buildings. Thirdly, flood avoidance alsoinfluences the location of rural settlements. Settlements may bebuilt on river terraces which are above the flood level and in some cases, avoid the diseasesassociated with stagnant water. Such sites are known as water-avoiding sites. c) Account for the trend observed in urban population in more economically developed countries (MEDCs) and less economically developed countries (LEDCs) from 1950 and projected to 2020. Include appropriate causes in your response. [20 marks] Urbanization is defined as the process by which an increasing proportion of the totalpopulation, usually that of a country, lives in towns and cities. Prior to the 1980’s urbanpopulation in the MEDCs exceeded that of the LEDCs. However, from the 1980’s onwards,there have been steady increases in urban population in the LEDCs. From the data given, urbanpopulation in MEDCs has stagnated from 1980 onwards and into the projected figure in 2010and 2020. Here the figure hovers around 1 billion people in urban areas whereas in LEDCs, thefigure has tripled by the projected year 2020. Natural increase and rural to urban migration aresignificant factors accounting for the rapid increase in urban population from 1980-2010 and theprojected 2020 in LEDCs. By extension, the stagnant urban population in MEDCs was mainlydue to counter-urbanisation.
CAPE 2009 UNIT ONE #3 Monday, March 07, 2011 The natural increase is fuelled by improvements in medical care, better sanitation, andimproved food supplies, all of which reduce the death rates and cause population to grow. Byrelating this to the demographic transition model, it is stated that in Stage 2 of the model, naturalincrease is steady especially in the developing countries of Kenya and Sri Lanka. The fall indeath rates is a direct result from, improved sanitation and water supply, improved transport tomove food and doctors. Also, improvements in food production (as stated by Esther Boserup)both quantity and quality may have led to natural increase in the developing world from 1980onwards to the projected 2020. In addition to this, rural to urban migration can be a major factor leading to the rapid increasein the urban population from 1980’s up to 2010 and the projected 2020. Large scale migrationfrom rural areas in many low income countries are causing cities to grow. In many developingcountries, it is rural poverty that drives people from rural areas into the city in search ofemployment, food, shelter and education. In Africa, many people are “pushed” out of the ruralareas by factors such as poverty, environmental degradation, political persecution and foodinsecurity. They can also be “pulled” into the urban areas because of the opportunities availablesuch as education, employment and better infrastructure in the city. Even though in manyAfrican countries the urban areas offer fewer jobs to the youth, they are often attracted there bythe amenities of urban life. In many Third World countries, farm mechanization is reducing theneed for hired manual labour. At the same time, with the feminization of agriculture taking place,it leaves males free to look for alternative employment in the city. Finally, the general stagnant urban population from 1980 onwards into the projected 2020can be a direct result from counter-urbanisation. Counter-urbanisation is the term used todescribe the movement of people out of urban areas. This may arise because of increasingpressures in the urban areas which may comprise; traffic congestion, street crime, environmentaland health problems. By extension, the increased affluence of persons in MEDCs living in urbanareas enables them to move out of the urban settlement and into suburbs and rural areas. Byextension, housing developers, estate agents and car manufacturers all encourage outwardmovement because of the profit that can be gained. In MEDCs, people patronize thesebusinessmen as of the increased affluence of these people. In retrospect, urban population in LEDCs increases exponentially as compared to that inMEDCs where the urban population remains generally stagnant. The reasons for urbanpopulation growth in developing countries are due to lack of affluence whereas in higher incomecountries, where affluence is higher, urban population remains stationary.