The pattern or shape of settlement refers to the arrangement of buildings in a settlement.
The main patterns of settlements include:
- Dispersed (scattered) settlement.
- Linear settlement.
- Nucleated or Dense settlement.
- Isolated settlement.
- DISPERSED (SCATTERED) SETTLEMENT
- The buildings are scattered or far from each other.
- It has few social amenities.
- It is a feature of rural settlement.
- They are mainly involved in primary activities like farming, lumbering, fishing, etc.
- Individual compounds are widely spaced from one another.
- Behind the buildings, there are family parcels of lands.
- Distinct boundaries separate one family land from another.
- The farms are intensively tilled.
- There is quiet life style as there is little opportunity for gathering.
Reasons or need for Dispersed Settlement
- The quest for a quiet environment.
- Distinctiveness of family land.
- Reduction in the level of conflict.
- The need to have enough land.
- LINEAR SETTLEMENT
- The buildings are located along the routes e.g. roads, railways or rivers in a linear form.
- Where two or more routes e.g. roads, railways meet, a sub linear settlement called nodal settlement is formed.
- When a settlement is formed as a result of the meeting of two rivers such settlement is referred to as a confluence settlement e.g. Lokoja (Nigeria), Khartoum (Sudan), etc.
- It could be several kilometres in length.
- Gardens are located behind houses.
- Farmlands are also located behind gardens.
Reasons or need for Linear Settlement
- There is the need to be near to transport network.
- For easy accessibility to other areas.
- The need to transport farm produce to markets.
- Reduction in transport cost due to nearness to road, rail, etc.
- NUCLEATED OR DENSE SETTLEMENT
- The buildings are very close to each other or they are concentrated in a small area.
- It has many social amenities.
- It is a feature of urban settlement.
- People are mainly involved in secondary and tertiary activities like manufacturing, construction, etc.
- There is an obvious centre called a nucleus.
- The area is well connected with roads.
- Farmlands are located outside the settlement.
- The level of interaction between the inhabitants is very high.
Reasons or need for Nucleated Settlement
- There is the need to maintain social ties.
- There is easy development of infrastructure and social amenities e.g. light and water.
- The need for defense.
- There is easy communication.
- There is commercial development.
- There is highly developed organization with well-defined leadership structure.
- ISOLATED SETTLEMENT
- It consists of a single house or few houses.
- The houses are very far from one another.
- Farmlands are very large.
- The level of interaction is very low.
- The area is poorly connected with roads.
Reasons or need for Isolated Settlement
- Availability of vast agricultural lands.
- Absence of social collision.
- There is a special pattern of agricultural development e.g. plantation agriculture.
- Presence of wealthy landlords.