Settlements are areas where people build homes to live. The location where people construct buildings or develop a settlement is called a site. The initial settlements were usually around river valleys which gradually expanded to form civilizations.
Settlements can be either temporary or permanent. The settlements which are occupied for a short period are called temporary settlements while the permanent settlements are those which are occupied for a long period of time. However, people who rear livestock are always moving in search of new grazing ground as per the season. This seasonal movement is called transhumance.
Settlements can be further classified as, rural and urban settlements. The village settlements are known as rural settlements while the towns and cities have urban settlements.
Rural settlements can be further classified into five types i.e. Compact settlements, Scattered settlements, Circular settlements, Radial settlements and Linear settlements. In a compact settlement, the houses are built very close to each other and around a central point like a market. This settlement is also known as a nucleated settlement.
In scattered settlements, the houses are built far from each other. This settlement is usually found in hilly or forested areas. Circular settlements are generally found in areas where the livelihood of people is dependent on a water body. The houses are built around the water body giving the settlement a circular shape.
Radial settlements are those where streets develop in every direction around a common point and give it a star-like appearance. A settlement where the houses are built along a transport route is called as linear settlement.
Houses in rural areas are built according to the type of environment they live in. Areas where the rain water gets collected, houses are built on raised platforms, to protect the house from getting damaged from the accumulated water. This type of house is called a slit house.
Urban settlements can be classified in six types i.e. Administrative cities, Defence cities, Cultural cities, Mining cities, Religious cities and Market cities. Administrative cities are those where the administrative activities related to a particular region or country are conducted. Defence cities are cities where military activities take place.
Urban settlements which are famous for culture, art and education are called cultural cities. Settlements which develop around areas where mineral deposits are found eventually form the mining cities.
Religious cities as the name says are famous for religious activities while market cities are those where the economy revolves around the exchange, distribution and collection of goods and services.