Pressures affecting the built environment

Component
Summary
Grade
Very high impact High impact Low impact Very low impact
Confidence
In Grade In Trend
Comparability
To previous years

Land continues to be developed on the fringe, placing significant pressure on land for agriculture and environmental significance

Year(s): 
2016
2
Deteriorating
Confidence (in grade): 
Adequate
Confidence (in trend): 
Adequate
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Somewhat comparable

Increasing population is placing significant pressures on the land required for Australian cities, including agricultural land and other land of significant environmental value.

Year(s): 
2011
2
Deteriorating
Confidence (in grade): 
Adequate
Confidence (in trend): 
Adequate
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Not assessed

Per-person car use continues to decrease, and public transport use has increased, but traffic congestion continues to increase in growing cities because of population growth

Year(s): 
2016
2
Deteriorating
Confidence (in grade): 
Adequate
Confidence (in trend): 
Adequate
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Somewhat comparable

Traffic congestion will continue to increase in major cities as a result of population and economic growth, unless recent trends of reduced car use continue

Year(s): 
2011
2
Deteriorating
Confidence (in grade): 
Adequate
Confidence (in trend): 
Adequate
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Not assessed

Air and water quality is generally good and meet relevant guidelines. However, where they fail, they have a high impact on populations and communities

Year(s): 
2016
2
Stable
Confidence (in grade): 
Limited
Confidence (in trend): 
Limited
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Somewhat comparable

Although pollution levels in Australia's cities are generally satisfactory, measures may not be in place to mitigate increased emissions resulting from population and economic growth.

Year(s): 
2011
2
Stable
Confidence (in grade): 
Limited
Confidence (in trend): 
Limited
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Not assessed

Australian consumption rates are high, and continue to place pressure on water and energy resources. However, elements of energy and water consumption within the built environment have slowed in recent years, and amount of waste to landfill has decreased

Year(s): 
2016
1
Stable
Confidence (in grade): 
Adequate
Confidence (in trend): 
Adequate
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Somewhat comparable

Increasing consumption continues to place pressure on environmental resources, although there is some evidence that increases in the use of water and energy may be slowing. Waste generation, however, is continuing to grow faster than population

Year(s): 
2011
1
Deteriorating
Confidence (in grade): 
Adequate
Confidence (in trend): 
Limited
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Not assessed

In recent years, heatwaves, floods, fires and storms have occurred more frequently in many cities, and the frequency of these events is expected to increase

Year(s): 
2016
1
Deteriorating
Confidence (in grade): 
Adequate
Confidence (in trend): 
Adequate
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Somewhat comparable

Climate change is likely to lead to an increasing frequency of extreme weather events that affect the built environment

Year(s): 
2011
2
Deteriorating
Confidence (in grade): 
Adequate
Confidence (in trend): 
Adequate
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Not assessed

Sea levels are expected to continue to rise, and these changes place pressure on coastal locations and infrastructure. When the sea encroaches further onto the land, space for development is reduced

Year(s): 
2016
3
Deteriorating
Confidence (in grade): 
Somewhat adequate
Confidence (in trend): 
Somewhat adequate
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Somewhat comparable

Climate change is likely to lead to higher sea levels, leading to increased inundation of coastal areas in the built environment

Year(s): 
2011
3
Deteriorating
Confidence (in grade): 
Adequate
Confidence (in trend): 
Adequate
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Not assessed
Coleman S (2016). Built environment: Pressures affecting the built environment. In: Australia state of the environment 2016, Australian Government Department of the Environment and Energy, Canberra, https://soe.environment.gov.au/assessment-summary-102-pressures-affecting-built-environment, DOI 10.4226/94/58b65a5037ed8