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Functions of settlements - Differences between urban and rural settlement.

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  • Essay length: 625 words
  • Submitted: 18/09/2003
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AS and A Level Population & Settlement

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Functions of Settlements

As early settlements grew in size, each one tended to develop a specific function or Functions. The function of a town relates to its economic and social development and refers to its main activities. There are problems in defining and determining a town's main function and often, due to a lack of data such as employment and/or income Figures, subjective decisions have to be made. As settlements are very diverse, it helps to try to group together those with a similar function. Over the years, numerous attempts have been made to classify settlements based on function, but these tended to refer to places in industrialized countries and are no longer applicable to post-industrial societies.

Further problems arose when the growth of some settlements was based upon an activity which no longer exists, or where the original function has changed over time. Functions may also differ between continents - i.e. there is also a difference over space. Finally it should be realized that today, and especially in the more developed countries, towns and cities are multifunctional - even if one or two functions tend to be predominant.

Differences between urban and

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