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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