chapter  2
16 Pages

The Ideal of Resilient Systems and Questions of Continuity

The notion of ‘built environment’ has been in common use since the mid-1970s. It refers to the man-made landscapes that provide the setting for human activity, ranging from the large-scale urban entities to personal dwelling places. The term responds to the need of a multitude of actors and professions to nd a common framework for communication and elaboration.* The origin of the notion clearly resides in anthropological and behavioural studies about the inuence of form and space on the individual and on social behaviour (Rapoport, 1976). In more recent research, the built environment is understood as the result of a process of social construction (Lawrence and Low, 1990, p. 455). Developments in system ecology and environmental economics have led to denitions of the built environment formulated in relation to the ‘non-built’ environment, that is, the ecosphere, constituting a complex, dynamic, self-producing system.