NCERT Class 7 Geography Chapter 7: Human Environment – Settlement, Transport & Communication Complete Notes Part 1 (For CBSE, ICSE, IAS, NET, NRA 2022)

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Human Environment – Settlement, Transport & Communication


  • Where people build homes
  • Earlier on trees & caves
  • Then permanent house
  • Mainly near rivers, fertile areas, water
  • Slowly became larger

Now what are basically settlement? Settlements are the places where people build home now these could be of various types, previously people used to live on trees or they used to live on in caves then started the trend for kachha houses and finally there was a trend for pucca house or a permanent house.

Now where these permanent houses started that՚s the most important question, let՚s start with the map of India. You have the Ganga river that was flowing through here and you had the desert areas which were here now if I ask you a simple question were it is more likely that people would settle your obvious answer would definitely be along the river track because you have more agriculture you have a kind of way for transportation are moving from one place to another so and so forth, that means the rivers, fertile areas and water sources were the main areas where settlements stared.

If we talk about historical aspect you have the Harappa civilization that started and along Indus Valley then you have the Mesopotamian civilization in Iraq and Iran then you have Nile valley civilization that started in the regions of Egypt in Africa, so all these were the areas where you settlements that started so settlement primarily started near and around the water sources and availability of water.

Once there was one settlement that started at a place they were nearby settlements which were driven or which were supported by that settlement as a results that settlement area started to grow bigger and bigger. it is growing so the settlements that started are slowly and gradually becoming larger. Now what are the types of settlement?

Types of Settlement

  • Temporary: Occupied for short period of time – Forests, Deserts, Mountains – Hunting, Gathering, Shifting Cultivation, Transhumance (Seasonal movement of people)
  • Permanent:

First classification that we will talk about today is a kind of permanent settlement and temporary settlement. Permanent settlement that means houses could be built of cement breaks concrete so you have a kind of permanent permanency in the settlement behaviour that is fixed or that is immovable.

However on the other hand you have temporary settlements which are occupied for a short duration of time such settlements exist in forests deserts and mountains the main people who are engaged in such activities are people who are hunting and gathering food then you have people involved in shifting cultivation.

Transhumance this is a kind of interesting phenomena what happens in the mountain regions you have kind of nomadic tribes which move from the base of the mountain to the hilltops and this seasonal movement of people is known as Transhumance. So what they do during the summer months they climb upon a mountain during the winters when it is very cold on the mountain top they move to the mountain valley region. There is continuous movement up and down the hill based on the seasonal changes and that is known as Transhumance.

  • Rural: Compact (Closely Built) or Scattered (Extensive)
  • Scattered in Hills
  • Extensive forests
  • Slanting Roof: Rainy areas
  • Stilts: Accumulation of Water in Rains
  • Hot Areas: Thick mud wall with Thatched Roofs
  • Urban: Towns (Small) , Cities (Large)

Now based in location again classify the settlement either as rural settlement which exits in villages or an urban settlement now in urban settlement can be in small centers, which are known as town or in large centers which are known as cities. Further large centers would be known as metropolitans all conurbations when you have a kind of merger of more than one towns so that is what urban settlement is.

Now what is rural settlement? Rural settlement can either be compact which is closely arranged, where it can be closely arranged it could be closely arranged around say a water source or well or a lake in the rural area. It could be extensive where it is scattered that means you have a kind of whole lot of semi-arid plot that is there and you have kind of houses here and there so that՚s a kind of scattered settlement. Settlements either be compact or scattered now scattered are usually found in hilly areas desert areas or forest areas.

Now based on the environment or climatic condition there are various kinds of roofs that are seen so in the areas where you have heavy rainfall you have kind of slanting roofs that are seen in the region where you have lot of water accumulation at the base you would have roads which you would have the house that would start and such houses which are built on poles are known as stilts houses because they prevent the water that is being accumulated down to move into the house in the areas which are very hot you would have thick mud wall and roof that would reduce the amount of sunlight and heat that is being that comes in to the house so hot areas usually have thick mud wall houses. Now moving on to the transportation.


  • Means by which people and goods move
  • Earlier – Walked and Animals Carried Goods (Donkeys, Mules, Camels & Bullocks; S. America – Llamas; Tibet - Yaks)
  • Later – Invention of Wheel
  • Roadways
  • Railways
  • Airways
  • Waterways

What do we understand by transportation in simple terms I can say movement of people or goods from place A to B would be transportation. Transportation can occurs by 4 ways, it occurs by roadways, railways, Airways and waterways this four are the common ways of transportation. Now before these waves were devised what was that primitive ways in which people transport moved from one place to another earlier people either used to walk or they used to carry goods on the back of animals say on the back of Donkeys, Mules, Camels & Bullocks in the temperate and the tropical regions if I talk about south America it was Llamas, if I talk about Tibet it was on the back of Yaks that they used to carry goods from one place to another slowly and gradually with more of inventions there was an important invention that took place that was invention of wheel. Once wheel was invented it become faster to move from one place to another and based on that you have the four basic transport ways that will further discuss. Now start with roadways.

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