Classification of urban settlements

Classification of urban settlements on the basis of their functions 

A function of a city means the major activity of the settlement. Here `activity' is suggestive of main economic activity. In rural settlement, agriculture is the only economic activity. So no other function is expected there, but in urban settlement, many economic activities other than agriculture are possible. Classifications of urban settlements is based on their functions. 

(1) Administrative Centre : A city may have been known due to its administrative status. The state capitals are the examples. A centre is selected for administering a region, a district or a taluka, and such centre is called an Administrative centre. Main cities like Kolkata, London, Rome etc. are chief administrative head quarters. Chandigarh and Gandhinagar are both newly planned administrative cities. 

(2) Cantonment Centre : In medieval period, some capitals and a few other cities were well known for their defence activity. Main objective of such city is the permanent residence of the military forces and availability of related facilities. Khadakvasla near Pune and Dehra Dun cities fall under this category. Besides, Jodhpur is famous as a fort city and Kochi as a naval base. 

(3) Cultural Centre : Certain cities have become centres because of their cultural splendour and traditions. A religious place, historical building, music or any other fine arts, education etc. hold speciality as cultural exhibitor. Since ancient times Varanasi, Mecca, Jerusalem and Vatican City are famous as religious places. Kota, Aligarh, VallabhVidyanagar, Visnagar, Modasa etc. are educational centres. 

(4) Industrial Centre : Cities have developed in mining and manufacturing sectors. Kalgoorlie, Dhanbad and Khetari are mining centres. Kanpur and Rajkot are manufacturing centres. Some cities have developed due to industries, e.g. Jamshedpur, Kanpur, Durgapur, Pittsburgh, Modinagar, Ankleshwar and Morbi. 

Problems of urbanization

The process of urbanization became faster in India after the Independence. Urbanization has left a long lasting impact on rural and urban centres. The process of urbanization is becoming faster in the world. Maximum urbanization in the world is seen in America, Europe, Australia. This fast growing urbanization has created certain problems. Illegal hutments and slums have come into existence due to urbanization. Wherever such settlements have emerged in the world, the urban life there has been very painful. Today, more than 60 crore people live an unsafe life in the cities. In developing countries, the adequate labour force in rural area is lost due to the modern urbanization. There are hardly any questions regarding housing, pollution, drainage etc. in rural area. Against it, the responsibility about housing, transportation, health and public facilities in an urban centre rests with the administration which cannot be fulfilled completely. As a result, problems of pollution, traffic, anti-social activities 

etc. arise. The qualitative life in villages and cities have degraded. Only one third houses in Africa have the facility of drinking water. In most of the cities in developing countries, some people live on a footpath or in the houses of very low quality. In India, one citizen out of four lives in illegal housing in the cities which have a population of 1 million or more. There is a constant increase in this figure. Illegal settlement is an integral part of a settlement where very poor people live. They are unable to even purchase their own house. So they live on unoccupied private or public land. These settlements include self made, irregular huts made traditionally. People living in illegal settlements, have very low income. They are mostly migrants. But some of them are living there since two or three generations. In the illegal settlements, even the minimum services and facilities are not available. So there is a dearth of water, cleanliness, electricity, roads, gutters (drainage), schools, health 

centres and markets etc.
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