chapter  2
21 Pages

The Built Environment and Sustainable Development

The built environment provides us all with the most direct, frequent and unavoidable images and experiences of everyday life. The presence or absence of buildings, the geometry of spaces, the human scale of architecture and relationships between spaces and buildings and deeply felt feelings of security, fulfilment, gregariousness and community all take their cue from the shape, form and quality of the bu it environment. In this chapter we will argue that the built environment is a product and an amalgam of physical structures, the absence of such structures, the avaiabiiity of open spaces and the relationships between spaces and between buidings and spaces. The quality of the bu it environment in its widest possible meaning is determined by the quality of the spaces between buidings and the opportunities for creative interaction with others in the spaces that separate buidings and give cities their distinctive qualities. The bu it environment can also be used to describe rural areas particularly in the sense that rural areas increasingly function as part of what geographers used to cai die "non״ place urban realm5.The non-place urban realm concept describes a lifestyle where the emphasis is on high levels of mobiity, long distance interactions by physical and electronic means and a relative lack of involvement in the detai of daiy life in the village, hamlet or settlement where 6home5 is temporarily located. These lifestyle factors blur rural-urban distinctions just as shopping patterns and working arrangements blur them.