Settlement systems: a world view
To provide a composite picture of global rural settlement is no easy matter, yet the detail of earlier discussions undoubtedly requires a broader context, a structure, which synthesises some at least of the picture. To achieve this, the final chapter will take three steps: settlement as the physical reflection of the social organisation of space will be treated historically in a first section; next, world socio-economic zones present by 1500 are assessed, together with the general thrust of subsequent changes; finally a classification of global settlement systems is given. Three final maps show settlement variations at the scale of the sub-continent, i.e. Europe, India and Africa.