Urban Settlement Patterns

Urban Settlement Patterns
Urban settlement patterns consist of three basic shapes, which are compact (nucleated), linear and crosscut patterns. These patterns help in distinguishing one urban centre arrangement structure from others. The Compact (Nucleated) Pattern: It is an urban settlement arrangement where the urban structural pattern is rounded or squared in shape, and its structural components are clustered or close together with definite motorable roads and many footpaths. The motor roads and footpaths in an urban centre are commonly linked with different structural components or compositions, but every urban centre has its definite boundaries. The compact or nucleated settlement pattern (in places like Ibadan, Lagos and Kano in Nigeria for example,) generates urban slums that usually snowball to insecurity, poverty, unemployment, criminality, over- population, poor waste management etc, which are inimical to urban vibrancy. Sometimes, the locations and functions of urban centres determine their compact or nucleated nature. For example, areas with good deposits of mineral resources usually have several transport routes built around them, and they are also commercial centres. Also some places are nucleated because they function as tourism and industrial centres.
The Linear Settlement Pattern: This is an urban settlement arrangement where the structural components or compositions are arranged in linear formats, either in straight or curved forms. It may follow a straight line of movement like roads, rivers and relief features. It could also be a coastal region or area situated on a ridge or waterside. A linear urban settlement pattern can hardly be found following the railway line system except where it is nearer to the urban centre’s railway stations.
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2 A linear urban settlement pattern
 The Cross-cut Pattern: This is neither compact nor linear in nature, but consists of both settlement patterns. Its structural compositions or components are interlocked and cross-cut along the roads or water ways. It is an urban centre or a region where two or more road line movements are cross-cut by another. It could also be a landlocked urban area at times.
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A Cross-cut Settlement Parttern An urban settlement pattern in terms of size may be a town, city, conurbation or megalopolis. The towns are usually made up of thousands to millions of people, with various levels of population density. In Nigeria for example, an urban settlement is a region that has over 10,000 people as its populace. Settlements that are regarded as cities comprise two or more towns, which are also known as megatowns, or large towns. Conurbation consist of more cities, which can also be called megacities. The megalopolis comprises more conurbations that are joined together, examples are Tokyo in Japan, Cairo in Egypt and Ibadan in Nigeria.  

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