Human Settlements (Part-B)
Human settlements means the totality of the human community — be it a city, town or village — with all the social, material, organisational, spiritual and cultural elements that sustain it. The fabric of human settlements consists of physical elements and services to which these elements provide the material support. Human settlements can be any cluster of dwellings of any type or size where human beings live.
Rural settlements are based on primary activities, whereas the urban settlements are based on secondary and tertiary activities. Types of settlement are determined by the extent of the built up area and the inter-house distance.
Rural settlement in India can broadly be put into four types:
Clustered or Nucleated Settlements
Semi-clustered or Fragmented Settlements
Hamleted Settlements and
Dispersed or Isolated Settlements
There can be several patterns of rural settlements. Some of them are:
Star Shaped Pattern
Fan Pattern and
Urban settlements are generally compact and larger in size than the rural settlements. Urban settlements in India have flourished since prehistoric times. During Indus valley civilisation, towns like Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro were in existence. A majority of the metropolitan and mega cities in India are urban agglomerations.
On the basis of dominant or specialised functions, Indian cities and towns can be broadly classified as follows:
Administrative Towns and Cities
Garrison Cantonment Towns
Religious and Cultural Towns