Settlement functions

Most large settlements in MEDCs are multifunctional and perform a range of functions such as retail, education and industry.

When settlements first started to grow, most had only one distinct function, and others developed as the settlement grew.

Examples of functions

  • Port - the original function of cities such as Liverpool and Southampton. Both are still ports, but this function has diminished in importance and they are now multifunctional.
  • Market town - Watford was originally a market town, and although it still holds a regular market, it is now a thriving multifunctional centre.
  • Resort - Southport was a popular Victorian seaside resort, although it now has many functions and is a commuter settlement for Liverpool.
  • Natural resources in the area enabled Sheffield to develop as an important centre in the iron and steel industry. Although steel is still produced, its prominence has declined and Sheffield is a thriving multifunctional city.