Meaning of Settlement

It called settlement to the act and the result of settling or settle. This verb, on the other hand, can refer to placing a construction in a place or to make something firm or stable.

At a general level, the site in which the establishment of a group of individuals occurs is known as settlement. A village and a city, in this framework, are human settlements. Currently, the most common use of the concept is linked to the process that develops to occupy and populate land.

In the past, when there were large areas of land without inhabitants, migrants often developed settlements. This is how the new towns arose that, little by little, began to grow in places that, until then, were uninhabited.

According to DigoPaul, the idea of ​​settlement is also used to name the occupation that occurs by force. It is said that the Europeans “discovered” America and began to develop settlements on the continent after the first voyage of Christopher Columbus (1492). However, these settlements were created out of the forceful conquest of lands long inhabited by local Aboriginal people.

The degree of violence that this land grab entailed goes far beyond the hand-to-hand confrontations or the physical or material injuries caused by the Europeans, since they destroyed cultures and buried them without any consideration or respect for the knowledge and beliefs that they crushed with their boots. Unfortunately, contempt for Aborigines is a problem that is still alive today.

Another frequent meaning of settlement is associated with the group of houses that, without legal authorization or planning, is established in a territory. These irregular settlements arise when deprived people and without economic resources do not have access to the constituted houses, a situation that forces them to build their houses where they can and with the materials to which they have access. The so-called emergency villas, shacks, favelas or cantegriles are informal settlements.

In the field of civil engineering, there is the concept of settlements in soils, which can be defined as mass compression or vertical deformation of the ground. This phenomenon can take place both up and down, and is made up of the following three components:

* immediate settlement: it occurs as a consequence of the elastic deformation of the soil. This type of settlement can be carried out on dry, wet or saturated soils, without affecting the humidity of the final result. The most suitable soils for observing this change are granular soils, and it is based on the foundations of the theory of elasticity, according to which linear elastic solids suffer deformations and also linear displacements if they are subjected to small deformations;

* consolidation settlement: this is the volume change that occurs in saturated cohesive soils as a result of expelling the water contained in its pores. The two types of soil covered by this group are clayey and saturated clayey, with fine gravel, and one of their most important factors is permeability, which must be low. Settlement by consolidation is a deformation that depends on time;

* Secondary compression settling: takes place as a result of the adjustment of the soil structure, and then there is no pore compression or stress. In its name the secondary word appears to refer to the fact that this compression occurs after a deformation, which implies a constant effective effort without modification in the amount of water in the pores. This kind of settlement is also time dependent.