The role of a settlement aids in determining the economic and social growth of a location and might reveal its primary activity. A route center is a location where multiple significant highways or transportation lines intersect. A service center is a location that meets the primary requirements and provides services to the people who live in a certain region. A market center is a location where large quantities of different products are sold by many vendors at one time. An industrial park is a collection of buildings within a specific area intended for industrial use. A mall is a district full of shops and restaurants.
Geographers study settlements because they want to know more about their environment. They research how populations are distributed across the earth, what kinds of places get settled, and why they settle the way they do. Geographers also look at how societies change over time and how those changes affect the lives of individuals and groups.
Social scientists study settlements because they want to understand how people interact with each other and what influences these interactions. They study how communities form and grow, why some become abandoned, and what happens to the bodies of dead humans and animals.
Aristocrats study settlements because they are interested in finding new ways to control and exploit resources around them. They plan routes and explore land uses because they need to move goods and people from A to B as efficiently as possible. Aristocrats also design cities because it gives them something to do when they aren't enslaving or executing people.
Settlements serve as both a repository for the world's cultural legacy and a place of genesis for the spread of creative economic, social, and political trends. The study of settlement is the most fundamental of human geography because of these cultural roles.
Settlements also play an essential role in the modern economy. They provide convenient locations for business operations to sell their products and services, such as retail shops or offices. They can also be considered industrial centers since they often contain factories that produce items that are sold all over the world. Last, but not least, settlements often become popular destinations for tourists, which increases their income and quality of life.
The world's largest settlements
To date, six cities have crossed the threshold of more than 10 million people, and four of them are found in Asia: Tokyo, Shanghai, Delhi, and Beijing. By 2050, it is predicted that two of these Asian megacities will have populations larger than the current largest city in Europe (Moscow).
It is interesting to note that three of the top four largest cities in the world are metropolitan areas that were built from scratch within the last 100 years. The first city with a population larger than 5 million was New York City, which surpassed Chicago in 1890.
A settlement's major roles are as follows: a market town, where farmers may purchase and sell their goods and resources; and a mining town, where minerals and fuel can be harvested. In an industrial town, raw resources will be turned into produced goods. The development of settlements provides employment for farmers and workers in related industries.
Almost all towns have a central square with government buildings around it. This is usually called the "market place" or "town center". It is here that most trade is done - buyers going to market with products to sell and sellers coming to market with things they need. Traders often make their own arrangements with producers to buy quantities of certain items at reduced prices or even free of charge.
Settlements without a central square usually have several large streets running west-east and north-south which serve as market places. These streets may be named after important people such as "King Street" or "President Avenue", or perhaps just because they're the longest ("Avenue of Trees" etc).
One or more secondary roads connect the primary streets to neighboring communities or farms. These roads may be paved or not, but always have traffic lights at intersections so that everyone has time to stop before entering each other's property.
Finally, some settlements have public facilities such as parks or libraries instead of or in addition to markets and government offices.