To a remarkable extent, students of location problems have fastened attention upon industrial and urban matters rather than upon agricultural and rural affairs. The preponderance of the former studies undoubtedly reflects the relative importance of the manufacturing and commercial sectors of the technically more advanced countries where most students of location matters have in the past resided. Perhaps it has also seemed that the locational problems posed by city life and factory employment are more amenable than those of the countryside to rigorous analysis.One of the objectives in planning is to reduce the amount of circulation necessary for the conduct of the normal business of living. Geographers have for long claimed an interest in the differences which exist between places and there is an increasing awareness among them that many observable variations of phenomena in space are attributable to relative locations rather than to the intrinsic qualities of the individual places. In many other fields of study and endeavour, such as economics and the organization of retail trade, the problems associated with distance and circulation are receiving increased attention; witness of this is given by studies of the influence of distance upon international trading patterns and the care taken in locating the large peri-urban shopping centres which are being built in the United States.This book will fill the gap. The account which follows does not purport to cover all aspects of, and factors affecting, rural settlement and land-use patterns of location: it is an essay in the logical development of a closely related set of ideas. From the analysis it is evident that certain themes recur at all scales of consideration and under very diverse conditions of the physical environment and of economic development. An attempt is made to examine some of the practical conclusions, which emerge from the argument.