Rural settlement patterns

Settlements are places where people live. Many settlements have things in common and so they can be put into groups to make it easier for us to study them. Rural settlements are all different but it is often possible to see common patterns in their layout.

In rural areas, settlements are often described as one of the following:

  • dispersed
  • nucleated
  • linear

These patterns can be identified on maps or using satellite images:

Arial shots of a dispersed, nucleated and linear settlements with os maps