A nucleated settlement pattern is a situation when all the houses in a settlement are built very close together, often around a central village green or church.
This type of settlement is often found in rural areas and is characterized by a compact and clustered layout. Examples of nucleated settlements include villages, towns, and small cities. It can be contrasted to dispersed settlement pattern where the development is spread out over a larger area.
There are several reasons why a nucleated settlement pattern may occur:
- Natural resources: The presence of natural resources such as water, arable land, and minerals can lead to the formation of settlements around those resources.
- Defense and security: In ancient times, settlements were often established in a nucleated pattern for defensive purposes, as it was easier to defend a central area than a dispersed one.
- Transportation and communication: Nucleated settlements can form around transportation hubs such as roads, rails and waterways, as well as communication centers like post offices and telegraph stations.
- Economic activities: Settlements can form around economic activities such as agriculture, industry, and trade, which tend to concentrate people and resources in a central area.
- Social and cultural factors: Settlements can form around religious or cultural centers, or around the homes of important leaders or community leaders.