In geography, a linear settlement is a (normally small to medium-sized) settlement or group of buildings that is formed in a long line. Many follow a transport route, such as a road, river, or canal, though some form due to physical restrictions, such coastlines, mountains, hills or valleys, as in the case of Victoria, Hong Kong. Linear settlements may have no obvious center, such as a road junction or green. Linear settlements have a long and narrow shape. In the case of settlements built along a route, the route probably predated the settlement and then the settlement grew up at some way station or feature, growing along the transport route. Often, it is only a single street with houses on either side of the road. Mileham, Norfolk, England is a good example of this. Later development may add side turnings and districts away from the original main street. Places such as Southport, England developed in this way.
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