geography settlement revision


settlement revision

Site and situation

Settlements are places where people live. Many settlements have things in common.

Site - this is the place where the settlement is located, eg on a hill or in a sheltered valley.

Situation - this describes where the settlement is in relation to other settlements and the features of the surrounding area, eg is the settlement surrounded by forest or is it next to a large city?


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early settlers

Early settlers often looked for certain features in an area to make life easier:

  • flat land, to make building easier and safer
  • local raw materials, eg wood and stone, to build homes
  • a local water supply for drinking, washing, cooking and transport
  • dry land, so that people could build on areas that don't flood
  • a defendable site, eg a hilltop or river bend, to protect from attackers
  • good farm land with fertile soils, so people could grow crops
  • shelter, eg to protect from bad weather
  • transport links, eg a ford or low crossing point of a river
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settlement types

hamlet-this is a very small group of homes unlikely to have other facilities

village-this is not much larger than a hamlet but will contain a few shops,post office, and a village hall possibly also with primary school and a doctors practice.they can vary in size from a few hundred to sevral thousand.

town- this may contain tens of thoudsands of people. towns have a range of functions such as a railay/train stations,shopping centres, secondary schools, and hospitals.

city- a city is an area with a large number of people. cities provide a very large range of functions including more specialised functions such as universities,hospitals, sports centres and stadiums! in the past cities were known to have the cathedrals but today the queen decides which places are cities based on the population and factor scale of that area.

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settlement patterns

CBD (Central Buisness District)- Contains functions such as shops,entertainment and offices these usually need to be attractive towards others to bring in enough customers and workers known as ' finacial district. 

 Inner city-The inner city tends to contain high-density 19th Century housing and wholesale manufacturing. Housing is usually linear, back to back and terraced. The streets form a gridiron pattern. This area tends to be run down unless housing has been redeveloped. cheap housing mostly low paid or poor people. 

 Inner suburb- is a term used for a variety of suburban communities that are generally located very close to the centre of a large city (the inner city and central business district). Their urban density is lower than the inner city or central business district but higher than that of the city's outer suburbs or exurbs.

The outer suburbs -of a city such as Belfast are often made up of newer estates with detached houses and bungalows. These areas often contain industrial estates and Housing Executive estates. In Belfast, examples would be the Four Winds or Saintfield Road.

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Urban change and regeneration

As towns and cities have grown, some areas have become run down. This is particularly true of some old inner-city areas. Governments have tried to improve conditions in these areas. Problems of old inner-city areas and the city centre include:overcrowding,poor-quality housing,traffic congestion,lack of open space,old industrial areas,competition from out of-town shopping centres,expensive land. This has encouraged some people and industries to move out of central areas and has contributed to urban sprawl. This can put pressure on greenfield sites on the edge of the city. Some people are concerned about losing green open spaces. 

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Urban change and regeneration

 Central areas of cities still remain very popular places to live for many reasons: good transport links, eg buses and train services,close to shops,good choice of cafes, pubs and restaurants,a variety of entertainment, eg cinema, parks and theatres,close-knit communities,more job opportunities,local schools,colleges and universities

There has been an increase in the number of people living in central parts of cities in recent years. This is called reurbanisation.

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Bristol docks in the past contained:warehouses and storage facilities,railway sidings,dry docks for shipbuilding and maintenance,areas closed off to the public

Bristol Harbourside today contains:expensive loft apartments and waterside housing,bars and restaurants,hotels,public squares and artwork,exhibition centres and museums,leisure functions, eg sailing and a caravan park.

During recent years the dockland area has undergone a big transformation. It is now known as Bristol Harbourside and contains many new functions. This is an example of regeneration.

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