Long-term development patterns of peripheral desert settlements Academic Article uri icon


  • The desert, whose hot and dry climate is generally unsuitable for fanning without importing water, was traditionally considered an unfavorable place for human habitation. Although deserts encompass more than one-third of the world’s land mass (Maddock 1977), there are few historic and pre-historic urban settlements in desert areas. In recent years, however, the pace of desert urbanization has changed; a number of urban settlements in desert regions across the globe were either established or received a significant growth impetus. Examples include Phoenix and Tucson, Arizona; Be’er Sheva and Eilat in Israel; Pilbara in Western Australia; Ashgabat and Mary in Turkmenistan.

publication date

  • January 1, 1999