TOPIC #9

SETTLEMENT DYNAMICS

SETTLEMENT
A settlement is a place where people dwell on a more or less permanent basis
and is marked by various forms of shelter.

SITE; refers to the actual area on which a settlement is located, for example,
hill top, valley or island.

SITUATION; describes where a place is in relation to the surrounding physical
and human factors such as rivers, uplands and other neighboring settlements.

LOCATION OF SETTLEMENTS
Villages, towns and cities are all settlements. The original site of a settlement
was chosen because of certain location factors. These could include relief, soil,
water supply and resources.

FACTORS AFFECTING SITE AND LOCATION OF SETTLEMENTS
Settlements vary in size, function and morphology (pattern and & shape).
Settlements vary from one area to another and are affected by factors such as;
 Relief
 Soils
 Climate
 Economic factors
 Social interactions
 Available resources
 Political factors
 Social interactions
 E.t.c

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SETTLEMENT HIERACHY
CRITERIA FOR CLASSIFYING SETTLEMENTS
Settlements can be classified according to;
a. Population size
b. Function

a. POPULATION SIZE
There is a wide discrepancy of views over the minimum size of population
required to enable a settlement to be termed a town for example, a
population size of 2 000 would make up a town in France. In USA, a town has 2
900 inhabitants, Spain 10 000 and Japan 30 000.

b. FUNCTION
Function refers to the social or economic activity by which a settlement is best
known. Settlements change over time so there is an increase in the number of
activities as well as changes in the main activities.
In today’s world it is difficult to determine a town’s main activity or function.
Examples of functions may be;
 Administrative towns
 Manufacturing cities
 Market towns
 Route center towns
 Mining towns
 Resort and recreational towns

SETTLEMENT CLASSIFICATION THEORIES
1) PRIMACY DISTRIBUTION/PRIMATE
It is found where the largest city, often the capital, completely dominates a
country or region (in terms of population size, economic development and
wealth) in a case, the primate city will have a population size many times larger
than that of the second-largest city.

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2) BINARY DISTRIBUTION
It occurs where there are two very large cities at almost equal size within the
same country; one may be the capital and the other the chief port or major
Industrial center. Example of binary distribution include Madrid and Barcelona
in Spain.
It is suggested that a city begins to dominate a country it attracts people,
trade, industry and services at an increasingly rapid rate and at the expense of
rival cities.
This is more applicable to LEDCs

3) RANK SIZE RULE
It is a theoretical grouping of towns according to the size of the population and
then allocating a rank to each town.
The rank size rule was put forward by Zimpf (1949). It states that ‘the size of
settlements is inversely proportional to their ranks’.
The settlements are ranked in descending order of population size. The main
assumption is that the second largest city will have a population half that of
the largest city and the third largest city one third of the largest city.

The rule is expressed as;

??
??= where;
?
?? = the population of the city
?? = the population of the largest city
? =the rank size of the city

THE RANK LOG

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NEAREST NEIGHBOUR ANALYSIS
It is a statistical test to describe the settlement pattern.
This technique was devised by a botanist who wished to describe patterns of
plant distributions. It can be used to identify a tendency towards nucleation or
dispersion of settlements, e.t.c as well as plants.
This technique gives a precision that enables one region to be compared over a
period of time, however it is only a technique and therefore does not offer any
explanation of patterns.

THE NEAREST NEIGHBOUR FORMULA

?
?? = 2?√
?
Whereas;
?? = ?ℎ? ??????????? ?? ?ℎ? ????????????
? = ?ℎ? ??? ???????? ??????? ?ℎ? ??????? ????ℎ???? (??)
? = ?ℎ? ?????? ?? ?????? (???????????)?? ?ℎ? ????? ????
? = ?ℎ? ???? ????? ????? (??2 )

GROWTH POINTS
A growth point is a settlement which central and local government consider
has potential for development hence needs to be supported by further public
and private sector investment (Wekwete 1988). They are established with the
aim of elevating some business centres to them so as to curb/ reduce rural to
urban migration with work opportunities, services.

REASONS FOR ESTABLISHING GROWTH POINTS
 Stimulate industrial growth
 Employment opportunities
 Reduce rural to urban migration thereby reducing population pressure in
urban areas
 To provide rural people with a variety of goods and services
 To decentralize services from urban areas
 To promote infrastructure development

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