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Settlement Geography

  • By: Chris Mayda
  • In: Encyclopedia of Geography
  • Edited by: Barney Warf
  • Subject:General Geography, Earth & Environmental Science

Settlement geography was defined by Fred Kniffen and Henry Glassie as “the interpretable record of the historical events and cultural processes imprinted on the land” and by Kirk Stone as “the description and analysis of the distribution of buildings by which people attach themselves to the land.” Settlement not only has been studied independently but is also included as a component of human/cultural, historical, or population geography. The study of settlement geography historically has chiefly been anthropocentric and was concerned with rural buildings, especially dwellings that offer a snapshot of the cultural background, place, and time of construction.

More recently, the study of settlement has evolved into the interaction of humans with the physical and ecological world. This more holistic study is concerned with sustainability ...

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