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Settlement patterns

Settlement Patterns illustration: in the foreground, buildings line the banks of an estuary as an example of linear settlement. A few miles inland, we see a dense grouping of buildings in a town perhaps, representing a nucleated settlement. In the foothills further back from the town, a few buildings dotted about depict dispersed settlement. And a lone dwelling half-way up a mountain in the distance is an example of an isolated settlement.

I like these common settlement patterns — look out for them.

  • Nucleated settlements, or clustered settlements, gather around one or more central hubs like a church or a square.
  • Linear settlements form alongside roads or landscape features like waterways or shoreline.
  • Dispersed settlements are common in agricultural areas where houses or farmsteads are spread out but form a loose settlement area.
  • Isolated settlements are the loners in the most magical and isolated wilderness by themselves.

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