Settlement geography is a branch of human 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.”
A settlement is an existence of occupancy for shelter where people live. Settlement is man’s structural transformation towards application to his study of settlements is largely a product of the twentieth century. A settlement is man’s first step towards adaptation to his environment. Settlement designates an organised colony of human beings, together with their residences and other buildings (shops, hotels, banks etc.), the roads, streets which are used for travel. Settlements are located as advantageously as possible with respect to natural features such as water, fuel, food, protection and drainage and access to transportation and communication.
The primary aim of studying Settlement Geography is to acquaint with the spatial and structural characteristics of human settlements under varied environmental conditions.
The study of Settlement Geography studies follow these broad points
- Definition of Rural and Urban Settlement and their merits and demerits
- Settlement site and Structure-Internal Morphology and External form, Field Patterns, functions and house types
- spatial organization- size ,spacing and hierarchy of settlements, emergence and characteristics of urban settlements
- Settlement -environment relationship: Global and regional patterns, policies and programms
- Salient Features of Human Settlements
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