Urban environmental efficiency: Land use


Urban environmental efficiency refers to how well the built environment encourages the efficient use of natural resources—land, energy and water—and the re-use and/or recovery of waste. In this section, the changing ‘efficiency’ or ‘intensity’ over time is analysed, providing some context to the Increased consumption section.

Land use

As discussed in previous sections, the fringes of Australia’s larger urban centres continue to be developed at low residential densities, and the middle suburbs have not experienced significant changes in densities—although inner and central areas have grown significantly in recent times. Both the continuing fringe growth and the lack of middle suburb growth contribute to ongoing inefficiencies in land use, as well as environmental and transport inefficiencies. (See Increased urban footprint, Housing and Transport for discussions on land use that reflect efficiencies of land use.)

Coleman S (2016). Built environment: Urban environmental efficiency: Land use. In: Australia state of the environment 2016, Australian Government Department of the Environment and Energy, Canberra, https://soe.environment.gov.au/theme/built-environment/topic/2016/urban-environmental-efficiency-land-use, DOI 10.4226/94/58b65a5037ed8