Factors that contributed to the origin and development of cities.

Essay by rickyrey May 2006

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In many forms of settlements the status of the cities have been determined by factors and various other influences; these are known as urban form determinants. There are three different sources of determinants. Firstly, are the geographical 'natural world' determinants. These include the climate, topography and the availability of construction materials. The second are known as 'man made' determinants which are comprised of many things such as economic, political, religious, defence. Thirdly are 'location' determinants, which make up organic growth settlements and planned urban settlements (Morris[1], 1994)

As discussed,'Natural world' determinants are made up of topography, climate and construction materials. These determinants were attributes to the location of a settlement. They played a part in the shaping of all historic urban form, both organic growth and planned settlements. These mainly contributed to the origin of cities. (Morris[1], 1994).

The topography is the description or representation on a map of the surface features of any area, including land forms and other objects, and aspects of natural origin (Readers Digest, 1964).

The settlements are determined by the terrain on which people settle. Morris (1,1994) describes the different types of terrain such as hilltop, seaside, river side and prairie areas. It is extremely difficult to build a settlement on land with a gradient (such as a hillside) and so land should be flat wherever possible, this is because of mud slides and steep slopes. This should not be confused, as it often is, with low-lying land: indeed the top of a high hill or plateau may also be flat. However, it is possible to build a settlement on a gradient, though this is considerably more time consuming and expensive. This tends to be done only where there is limited space (Dilley, Earle, Euston-Brown, Keats, Ravenscroft, 2001). This explains why early...