When humans are colonizing a new planet, what are the considerations that need to be made for settlement placement and development?
For this particular question, let's consider the following assumptions:
- The colonized planet will be self sufficient; i.e. it won't just be a planet that's exploited for its resources. It won't have any contact with Earth.
- The atmosphere of the planet is breathable but does require some initial terraforming effort to actually make it long term livable; i.e. settlers will have to live for at least the first few decades inside domes or protected environment, though can work outside those.
My attempt at the considerations are those:
Natural defensibility is not a primary concern for placement, or a concern at all. Humanity is united and even if war was to break out, technology would easily allow to ignore the defensive advantages of rivers and mountains.
Closeness to water is probably the most important factor: perhaps oceans more so than rivers. Salty water can be desalinized and ocean access enables much easier transportation of resources both from resource gathering places and to the locations of new settlements.
Inland settlements will be rare and probably associated with some sort of mining and, again, would favor rivers.
Energy production would mostly be nuclear, with plants constructed well outside the domed cities.
Most of the population would be inside mega-cities, which should provide transport to the work places (such as mines, farmlands etc.). Bigger factories/farmlands would possibly sprout small suburbs.
What other considerations should I make? What are the most important resources for a colonizing humanity? Besides resources, what would be the concern for placing and how would does cities grow?