With the development of civilization human beings started living in groups. This was the emergence of human societies which offered an organized life.
Human beings needed to live together to have a family and to rear and develop children. They lived together for social security and social strength. Thus, human settlements were formed. As early human beings started cultivation, they needed to settle at certain place so as to perform agricultural activities, look after their crops; protect them from cattle, collect grains and to run a safe and secure life. They needed to live together to rear children and to develop them into complete human beings, and to get social strength to fight against various forces including wild animals.
In simpler term we can define settlement as any form of human habitation which ranges from a single dowelling to a large city. The word settlement has another connotation as well as this is a process of opening up and settling of a previously uninhabited area by the people.
In geography this process is known as occupancy. Therefore, we can say settlement is a process of grouping of people and acquiring of some territory to build houses as well as for their economic support.
Settlements can broadly be divided into two types – rural and urban. Some basic differences between rural and urban settlements are –
(i) Rural settlements have predominantly primary activities, whereas urban areas have domination of secondary and tertiary activities.
(ii) The rural areas have low density of population than urban. Neighbourhood- Mapping and Representation
Neighbourhood is a geographically localized community within an area, may it be a rural area, a town or a city, or sub-urban. Neighbourhood are considered as social communities in which face-to-face interaction among people take place. In general terms, neighbourhood may be defined as a specific geographic area having a set of social networks.
neighbourhoods are typically generated by social interaction among people living near one another. In this sense neighbourhoods are local social units larger than households not directly under the control of city or state officials.
In some pre-industrial urban traditions, basic municipal functions such as protection, social regulation of births and marriages, cleaning and upkeep are handled informally by neighbourhoods and not by urban governments.
In addition to social neighbourhoods, most ancient and historical cities also had administrative districts used by officials for taxation, record-keeping, and social control. Administrative districts are typically larger than neighbourhoods and their boundaries may cut across neighbourhood divisions. In some cases, however, administrative districts coincided with neighbourhoods, leading to a high level of regulation of social life by officials.
Neighbourhoods have several advantages as areas for policy analysis through mapping and representation, as well as an area for social action:
1. Most people in neighbourhood in urbanized area consider themselves as living in one.
2. Neighbourhoods are convenient, and always accessible, since a man is already in his neighbourhood when he walks out door.
3. Successful neighbourhood action frequently requires little specialized technical skill.
4. With neighbourhood action, compared to activity on larger scales, results are more likely to be visible and quickly forthcoming. The streets are cleaner; the crosswalk is painted; the trees are planted; the festival draws a crowd.
5. Visible and swift results are indicators of success.
6. Because neighbourhood action usually involves others, such actions create or strengthen connections and relationships with other neighbours, leading in turn to a variety of potentially positive effects.
In addition to the benefits detailed above, strong and cohesive neighbourhoods and communities are linked to decreases in crime, better outcomes for children, and improved physical and mental health. The social support that a strong neighbourhood may provide can serve as a buffer against various forms of adverse conditions.
Feature Image : UNESCO