Social considerations have a greater impact on the pattern of development. Location of settlements basically depends upon four factors-:
1. Land Form– these are basically categorized into plain areas and hilly areas.
(a) Plain Areas: These areas basically characterized by the moderate temperature and ease of construction. So the population of plain areas is more than the areas on the high altitudes and cultivation is also easier. So most of the settlements are located here.
(b) Hilly Areas: It is basically divided into three parts i.e. Hills, Plateaus and Mountains and are characterized by the change the temperature and slope of the land.
2. Water– Humans have tendency to reside near places where ground water table is high. So most of the settlements are located near the oceans, rivers etc. such as Indus Valley Civilization. The basic water cycle is that the water evaporates from sea to air and comes to land through rains and again continues. Based upon the concept, rain water harvesting is done by minimizing the paved surface (to increase the ground water table).
3. Vegetation and Soil– Most of the settlements where soil if fertile and suitable for cultivation and soil bearing capacity is high and major factor for construction.
4. Climate– It deals with three aspects; temperature, pressure and humidity.
(a) Temperature: Sun rays falls obliquely on the poles and at right angles to the equator. So temperature is comparatively low. Hence, population near poles is lesser as compared to other areas as human have tendency to reside near warmer areas. Temperature decreases with height, so pollution also decreases.
(b) Pressure: Pressure is inversely proportional to the temperature which means as temperature gets higher, pressure decreases and vice versa. Humans have tendency to reside in areas where average wind speed is 25 miles/hr. and they are reluctant to live in the areas where wind speed is from 50 miles/hr. to 100 miles/hr. (hurricane areas).
(c) Humidity: It is basically presence of water vapors in atmosphere. As water evaporates from sea to the air in form of water vapors and it combines with the atmospheric gases and gets precipitated in form of rain. Humans are reluctant to live in areas where rainfall and snow-fall is high.
All these climatic factors affects the environment and in turn the human beings. So, directly or indirectly affects the location of the settlement.
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