settlement hierarchy


  • This is how far people will travel to use the services in the settlement: if people travel further the town becomes more important and ranks higher in the settlement hierarchy.

  • Extreme density: more than one billion residents[edit] See also: Global village • Ecumenopolis – a theoretical construction invented in 1967 by the Greek city planner Constantinos
    Apostolou Doxiadis, in which the entire surface area of Earth is taken up by human settlements,[10] or at least, that those are linked so that to create urban areas so big that they can shape an urban continuum through thousands of kilometers
    which cannot be considered as a gigalopolis.

  • A collection of the most widely accepted units of measuring a settlement’s size is as follows:[3][4] Isolated Dwelling, Hamlet, Village, Small Town, Large Town, City, Conurbation[5]
    Problems with concept of a settlement hierarchy[edit] Using the title of a settlement can be misleading in the absence of any widely accepted definition.

  • The term is used a number of times in the guidance for preparing evidence for planning decisions; a settlement hierarchy starts with an isolated dwelling, then hamlet, then
    village, town, city then a conurbation.

  • The number of inhabitants is less important: thus a city such as Kaiserslautern (100,000 people) can be a highly specialized city, because it is a centre for the surrounding
    rural area.

  • [8] Example of a settlement hierarchy In this example, a roadhouse is at the lowest level while the ecumenopolis is at the top with the greatest number of residents:[9] This
    is only an example, and in other contexts, the population criteria for each category of settlement might be different.

  • Lower medium density: 100,000 to 250,000 residents[edit] At this density, there is ready access to less specialized services but residents may need to travel to a larger city
    in some circumstances.

  • At this number, settlements are too small or scattered to be considered “urban”, and services within these settlements (if any) are generally limited to bare essentials: e.g.,
    church, grocery store, post office, etc.

  • Minuscule density: Less than 1,000[edit] See also: Rural area Less than one thousand residents.

  • Throughout most of human history, very few settlements could support a population greater than 150 people.

  • Density may be sufficient to support local commercial areas which may include a “Main Street” or a shopping mall.

  • Low density: 1,000 to 100,000 residents[edit] See also: Residential community Less than one hundred thousand residents.

  • Rather than define the hierarchy by population, an alternative way to construct the hierarchy is based on the services that are available within each settlement.

  • Upper medium density: quarter million to one million residents[edit] See also: Urban area At this density, there is ready access to more specialized advanced services (e.g.

  • • Regiopolis or City – a large city with a large population and many services.

  • These are political plans to achieve goals such as equivalent living standards in rural and urban areas in all of Germany, east and west.

  • [10] High density: more than one million residents[edit] See also: Metropolitan area At this density, the settlement’s population, spheres of influence, and gross domestic
    product tends to exceed that of most countries with lesser density.

  • In some parts of the United States, the distinction between town and city is a matter of a decision by local government to incorporate.

  • • Conurbation or Global city – an extremely large city consists of a group of metropolises, containing between three and ten million residents.

  • • Town: Towns are generally larger than villages and smaller than cities, though the criteria to distinguish between them vary considerably in different parts of the world.

  • A social band are the simplest level of foraging societies with generally a maximum size of 30 to 50 people; consisting of a small kin group, no larger than an extended family
    or clan.

  • • Town • Satellite town or Locality – a small mixed-use town or residential area, existing as a separate residential community within commuting distance of a city.

  • In addition, there is no agreement as to the number of levels in the hierarchy or what they should be called.


Works Cited

[‘1. “Geography, Year 8: Unit 9 Shopping – past, present and future”. Archived from the original on 26 December 2005.
2. ^ B. K. Roberts, Village plans in County Durham, (Medieval Archaeology, Volume XVI, 1972)
3. ^ Tarrant, J. R. (April 1968).
“A Note concerning the Definition of Groups of Settlements for a Central Place Hierarchy”. Economic Geography. 44 (2): 144–151. doi:10.2307/143311. ISSN 0013-0095. JSTOR 143311.
4. ^ “Hierarchy of Settlements | Geography Revision”. Retrieved 14
June 2023.
5. ^ “Settlement Hierarchy: Definition & Categories”. Retrieved 19 June 2023.
6. ^ Michael Aston, Interpreting the Landscape (Routledge, reprinted 1998, page 44)
7. ^ Andrew Reynolds, Later Anglo-Saxon England (Tempus,
paperback edition 2002, page 81)
8. ^ Della Hooke, The Landscape of Anglo-Saxon England (Leicester University Press, reprinted 2001, page 52)
9. ^ Doxiadis, Konstantinos Ekistics 1968
10. ^ Jump up to:a b Stamenovic, Pavle; Predic, Dunja & Eres,
Davor (2015). “Transparency of Scale: Geographical Information Program (Google Earth) and the View from Beyond”. In Vaništa Lazarević, Eva; Vukmirović, Milena; Krstić-Furundžić, Aleksandra & Đukić, Aleksandra (eds.). Keeping Up with Technologies to
Improve Places. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing. p. 44. ISBN 978-1-4438-7739-8. Archived from the original on 6 November 2021. Retrieved 21 May 2020.
11. ^ Gribbin, Caitlyn (31 August 2019). “I spent the night in Australia’s
smallest town. Here’s what I saw”. ABC News. Archived from the original on 7 September 2021. Retrieved 6 November 2021.
12. ^ “EERA planning map” (PDF). East of England Regional Assembly. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2 December 2007.