2.7 Settlement
Engineered environments are the scene of human want-satisfaction. The notion has already been introduced that human wants include aspirations toward such things as food, clothing, and shelter. Of these wants, those for clothing and food can be satisfied "on the spot" anywhere if certain goods are present; that is, their consumption is not restricted to any particular sort of place, though their production may be. Shelter, however, is provided by more or less durable and substantial facilities. Shelter, particularly residence, therefore, tends to exercise control over the localization of consumption. In all but the most primitive societies some kind of enduring fixed or portable settlement occurs, and consumption is, to a large extent, localized.
The location of settlements responds to a variety of influences. Within the respective territory of any group, settlements are placed as advantageously as possible with respect to natural features. They seek properly drained land, protected spots, positions commanding good communications, and sources of water and fuel not far from the fields or other working places. The house of the Brazilian subsistence homesteader sits amid his crop fields or near them. The Baltic fisherman's house is near his boathouse at the shore. Millions of Asians live on artificial mounds amid the flat and inundated ricefields. 
Settlements may be classified into rural (and suburban) and urban ones. Urban settlements, whatever their size, are economically integrated and internally specialized. They may be agglomerated, like towns and cities, or dispersed, like outposts at particular sites of production. It is clear, then, that the American farm which is highly specialized and integrated into the larger economy, and which produces entirely for the market rather than for home consumption, is properly part of a greatly extended urban rather than a rural settlement. This is true with respect to the function of the farm as well as to the style of life of its inhabitants. Life in the suburban countryside, as many of us know, is already rather more bucolic than life on many commercial farms.
Since urban places are differentiated as to the basic functions in which they specialize, it is useful to classify settlements according to the kind of productive installations with which they are associated, and in which some large portion of their population is employed. We can recognize 1) settlements around natural resource sites (e.g., mining camps and towns, lumber towns, fishing ports, fur- trading posts). Other settlements are characterized by notable industries, and can be called 2) manufacturing towns or cities. Places in which wharves, docks, warehouses, railroad yards, and other transport facilities are concentrated.