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Site and Situation
• Terms used to describe
the location of a town or
The general position of a city
“ Birds eye” view of the city
Water source
More than the site itself; a
more “zoomed out” view
Physical Situation Factors
Landforms (mountains, plains, valleys, deserts, grasslands)
Climate (dry, wet, overall weather patterns, temperature)
Waterways (rivers, lakes, oceans, bays, harbours)
Natural resources (water, forests, arable land, minerals)
Human Situation Factors
Labour force (number of people available to work)
Market (levels of business: primary, secondary, tertiary)
Closeness (proximity) to other populated centres, or cities
• Physical features in the area where the city is located
• Exact spot of the city (using latitude and longitude, or
alphanumeric grid)
• Certain characteristics that influenced the creation and
settlement of the city; these can be divided into 4 general
categories (more than one is usually relevant to any site)
Harbour Sites
• Cities developed around water ways
• Naturally sheltered harbours
• Shelter boats from storms
• Provide space for docks
• Use for transportation
Natural Resources Sites
•Communities that develop where natural resources
are gathered or processed
•An example is towns developed around mines
•These towns developed and ensured railway
development across the country
Strategic Sites
• Cities and settlement have been developed for defence
• Provide protection as well as control over certain
• Elevated land looks over an important route or area
• Example: Quebec City grew around a citadel built upon a
Meeting Point Sites
•Some cities developed at meeting points of
popular transportation routes
•In the past crossroads were a popular location to
build towns upon.
•Many meeting points have occurred along
waterways (London, England and Mumbai, India)
Why do people live where they live?
• Natural Environment
Only 29% of the Earth’s surface is land, and of that only about 14% is good for
settlement. The rest is too rocky, too steep, too dry, too cold, or too
swampy to support a lot of people.
Places with good arable land (fertile soil which is good for crops) attract large
groups of people. Densely populated areas are often along river valleys, or
sources of water. Areas with unfavourable environments such as rugged
land, extreme climate, limited water and/or resources, or bad soil usually
have sparse populations.
Can you think of some examples of places with good environmental features,
and some that do not?
• Economic Development
A region’s level of economic development has a significant impact on its
population patterns. Countries in the world that have less developed
industry levels tend to have larger families, and so the population in such
countries increases quickly.
In more “developed” countries, people have access to education, health care,
and higher paying jobs. Because of this, families are smaller, and people
live in regions with sparse to moderate population density.
• History
The history of a region influences the number of people that live there. Areas
that were settled earliest may have larger populations. This is because
these settlement sites have existed for a longer period of time. Only in the
last 300 years or so have large numbers of people from other continents
moved to North and South America. This is a short period of time
compared to how long people have lived in Asia, Africa, and Europe, all of
which have higher population densities than the Americas.
Re-Cap Slide
Site and Situation
The “Big” View
The Exact Spot of the City
Natural Resources
Labour Force
Closeness to others
Harbour (near water)
Natural Resources
Meeting Point
People live where there are good resources, the main one being water.
Settlement is also affected by the economic development of an area, and it’s