Environmental Information

The phrase built environment refers to the man-made surroundings that provide the setting for human activity, ranging in scale from personal shelter to neighborhoods to the large-scale civic surroundings.

The term is widely used to describe the interdisciplinary field of study which addresses the design, construction, management and use of these man-made surroundings and their relationship to the human activities which take place within them over time. The field is generally not regarded as a traditional academic discipline in its own right, but as a "field of application" which draws upon the individual disciplines of economics, law, public policy, management, design, technology, and environmental sustainability.

In architecture and environmental psychology, the phrase is a useful acknowledgment that the majority of the urban environment already exists, that a small fraction of buildings constructed annually, even in the industrialized world, are designed by architects, and that users of the built environment encounter issues that cross the traditional professional boundaries between urban planners, traffic engineers, zoning authorities, architects, interior designers, industrial designers, etc.

Wikipedia, Environmental, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Built_environment (as of Apr 1, 2010)

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