Department of Geography, Islamic Azad University of Shahr_e_Rey Branch, Tehran, Iran
Department of Geography, University of Isfahan, Isfahan, Iran
Geographical bases have significant function in human settlements in terms of distribution and sustainability. This
study attempted to provide an insight into the role of geographical bases in rural settlement distribution in arid areas.
Accordingly, this study was done in the rural area of Khour-Biabanak, Naein city in Esfahan province. The
methodology was that of a correlative research, to realize the study objectives through analysis of field, library and
documentary information. Generally speaking, geographical bases fall into two main categories; natural and human,
with a number of variables. This study applied 49 variables classified according to natural, economic, social and
infrastructure related themes. Some natural and infrastructure bases such as water resources and road networks are
assumed as important in terms of rural settlement distribution. However, the findings of this study reveal that some
human based factors, such as the ratio of working people to total population and number of job opportunities, had a
greater role in distribution and sustainability of rural settlements in arid areas. Other factors, including size of
population, number of households and number of secondary schools were also significant variables that influenced
service ranking in rural settlements in arid areas. The study concludes that such factors need to be given due
consideration in planning for rural development in arid areas.