Settlement pattern refers to the shape of the settlement. The shapes of early settlements were influenced by the surrounding landscape. They were also shaped by other factors such as who owned the land and whether the land was good for building on or not. Some examples of settlement patterns include:

  • Linear settlements have the buildings constructed in lines, often next to a geographical feature like a river, lake shore, a river or, railway a road. 

  • Nucleated settlements are where the houses are grouped closely together, often around a central feature like a church, pub or village green. New settlements that are planned often have a nucleated pattern. 

nucleated settlement example |  nucleated settlement pattern

  • Dispersed settlements have the houses  spread out over a wide area. They are often the homes of farmers and can be found in rural areas. 

  • Planned settlements follow a definite shape like Renaissance cities in form of a star or Brasilia which has the shape of an airplane.



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