Settlement Characteristics

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Settlement Characteristics

  1. 1. Settlement Characteristics & Describing Settlements
  2. 2. How can we describe settlements? Site describes the actual land upon which a settlement is built. Situation describes where a settlement is located in relation to other surrounding features such as other settlements, rivers and communications. Function The function of a settlement relates to its economic and social development and refers to its main activities. Shape Describes how the settlement is laid out. Its pattern. Population The size & type of people that live in a settlement. Area How large the area of a settlement is.
  3. 3. Site Factors Some sites had specific advantages that meant settlements developed in that place. These are called site factors.
  4. 4. Site Factors Where a river was shallow enough to be crossed (a ford) or narrow enough to easily build a bridge (e.g. Oxford). Where natural routes meet, such as several valleys (e.g. York) or at the confluence of two rivers (e.g. St Louis on the Mississippi). In especially wet areas, settlements were built on slightly raised land to avoid flooding or the unhealthy marshland (e.g. Ely in Cambridgeshire). bridging point dry-point nodal point
  5. 5. These settlements were built at a source of water in an otherwise dry area. For example, in lowland Britain, many settlements were built at springs at the foot of chalk escarpments, e.g. Kemsingat near the North Downs. In order to protect themselves from attack, settlements were built within a river meander, with the river giving protection on three sides, e.g. Shrewsbury, or on a hill with good views, e.g. Edinburgh. defensive wet-point Aspect & Shelter Settlements were built in sheltered areas such as valleys or in bays on coastal locations. Aspect was also an important consideration. Settlements would be more ideally located on south-facing slopes in the Northern Hemisphere
  6. 6. How can you identify site factors using maps? Clues: the name of the settlement, relief, rivers etc.
  7. 7. How important are physical site factors today? Technology means that many site factors are no longer very critical in influencing the site of a settlement. For example, water is piped, road networks allow the delivery of food supplies via supermarkets, and computers and the internet provide communication. Political , social or economic factors are usually more important.
  8. 8. Describing the situation of a settlement. <ul><li>This means where the settlement is in relation to other things. In your answer try to mention: </li></ul><ul><li>Main transport links </li></ul><ul><li>Other urban areas </li></ul><ul><li>Where it is within a country EG: South west. </li></ul><ul><li>Compass directions </li></ul><ul><li>Distances </li></ul>
  9. 9. The Situation of Cambridge <ul><li>Look at the maps of Cambridge. </li></ul><ul><li>Try to describe the situation. </li></ul>
  10. 10. How is the shape of a settlement classified? Dispersed: Dispersed settlements have buildings which are spread out, e.g. farmhouse in the middle of fields or a few houses in a mountainous area. They are dispersed because farmers need a lot of land for grazing and growing crops. Nucleated: Nucleated settlements have buildings which are close together. They often grew around a road junction or a river crossing. Linear: Linear settlements have a long and narrow shape. They often follow roadways, riverbanks, canals or narrow valleys where there is little room to grow outwards. Dispersed Linear Nucleated
  11. 11. The Function of Settlements
  12. 12. What is the function of a settlement? The function of a settlement relates to its economic and social development and refers to its main activities. settlement functions mining town route centre port manufacturing cultural/religious tourist resort residential administration commercial market town
  13. 13. Functions Every settlement has a residential function. Most settlements are multi-functional (have more than one function). In addition, most settlements have had a change in function from their original one. For example, Rhondda was originally a coal mining village but now has a tourist function (mining museum).
  14. 14. Guildford Study the next two slides showing photographs of Guildford and note the present day functions of this settlement. Is there any evidence of past functions?
  15. 15. The functions of Guildford
  16. 16. The functions of Guildford
  17. 17. What is a settlement hierarchy? It’s a way of ranking settlements in order of their size and importance
  18. 18. Isolated dwelling Hamlet Village Town City Conurbation Population 1-10 11-100 101-2000 2001 - 100 000 100 001 - 1 000 000 1 000 001 + Population, size and sphere of influence of settlement increases BUT Number of settlements decreases. The Settlement Hierarchy
  19. 19. Town Village Questions How many cities / larger towns / smaller towns / villages are there? Why are there no farms on the map? What pattern is starting to show? The Hierarchy in real life – on a map City
  20. 20. Sphere of Influence This is defined as the area served by a particular settlement. The size of this sphere of influence depends on the size and functions of a town and its surrounding settlement, the transport facilities available and the level of competition from a rival settlement. In general the larger the settlement the larger the sphere of influence. Think about London compared to Barnsley. Sphere of Influence is based upon two main principles :- Threshold Population – the minimum number of people needed to support a settlement or service. Range – the maximum distance that people are prepared to travel to obtain a particular service.

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