There is great variety in settlement patterns among Nahua communities in the state of Mexico, which range from highly dispersed, formless agglomerates of houses to the lattice pattern characteristic of the colonial period. The former are found in the area of Texcoco, where the settlement pattern is closely linked to the irrigation system; this network determines the way streets and paths are laid out within the community. Here houses are next to cultivated terraces.
In the southern part of the Valley of Toluca, the settlement pattern is in the form of an aggregation of houses around a church. The villages are generally located in small valleys near a source of water and are surrounded by broad extensions of agricultural land dependent on seasonal rainfall. Pueblos (towns) laid out in the Spanish rectangular form are also found in the Valley of Toluca, especially in areas near the plains. This same rectangular settlement pattern is found in the lower part of the slopes of Popocatepetl and Iztaccihuatl.