Human Settlements Theme Report
Australia State of the Environment Report 2001 (Theme Report)
Lead Author: Professor Peter W. Newton, CSIRO Building, Construction and Engineering, Authors
Published by CSIRO on behalf of the Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2001
ISBN 0 643 06747 7
State of Environment Reporting on Human Settlements is evolving its unique conceptual framework and approach for examining the environmental, social and economic implications of the manner in which the Australian human settlement system operates. I am indebted to my colleagues on the 1996 SoE report, Professor Peter Newman (Murdoch University) and Dr Bob Birrell (Monash University), who were part of the intellectual environment where the Extended Urban Metabolism Model was conceived as a guiding conceptual framework for SoE reporting on human settlements.
More recently, discussions with Barney Foran (CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems) have led to greater focus on urban stocks than heretofore; Professor David Yencken (University of Melbourne) suggested separation of urban liveability into its human well-being and environmental quality components; and Professor Peter Cullen (University of Canberra) encouraged the view of stormwater, wastewater and solid wastes as key urban resources. The structure of this report reflect these insights.
The content and substance of this report are due in large part to the specialist knowledge contributed by the co-authors: Scott Baum and Bob Stimson (population, housing and settlement), Kuldeep Bhatia (environmental health; with Andrew Phillips), Stephen Brown (indoor air quality), Scott Cameron (food), Barney Foran (stocks and scenarios; with Franzi Poldy), Tim Grant (materials; with Dominique Hess), Swee Mak (solid and hazardous waste; with Kwesi Sagoe-Crentsil), Paul Memmott (Indigenous population and settlement; with Mark Moran), Grace Mitchell (water), Alan Pears (energy), Nariida Smith (transport and noise), Selwyn Tucker (energy and housing), and David Yencken (urban design). Significant research and editing assistance was provided by Kirsty Neate and Cathy Bowditch.
In addition, important contributions have been made by: Professor Russell Blong (Macquarie University) and John Schneider (AGSO) on geohazards; Professor Peter McDonald (ANU) and Professor Graeme Hugo (University of Adelaide) on demographics; Associate Professor Maryann Wulff (Monash University) on housing; and Phil McKenzie (ACER) on human capital.
This report has also benefitted substantially from the constructive comments of two review panels:
- the expert reference panel - Professor Valerie Brown (University of Western Sydney), Professor Richard Eckersley (ANU), Bob Harrison (ABS), Professor Stuart Hill (University of Western Sydney), Professor Graeme Hugo (University of Adelaide), Andrew Speers (CSIRO Urban Water Technologies), and Victoria Henry (Air Toxics Branch, Environment Australia), and
- the peer review panel - Professor Ian Lowe (Griffith University), Professor Janis Birkland (University of Canberra), and Professor Peter Droege (University of Sydney).
I bear full responsibility, however, for what appears in the final version of this report.
There are two substantive areas that remain to be successfully addressed by SoE reporting. The first is to move the document from an SoE report to an `ESD report'. From one which is less of a scorecard on `what is', including implications of pursuing a `business as usual' path, to an alternative document which addresses what could be done or what needs to be done in presenting alternative futures, preferred visions of sustainable development. The second is to produce a spatial information system, underpinned by the emerging discipline of sustainability science, where the complex web of causal linkages and connections characteristic of urban systems are capable of being explored in order to better understand future rates and paths of change. The technology platform of Internet and GIS capable of delivering some of the objectives listed above is rapidly developing (refer to Data Gaps section of this report) and should be available for the 2006 report. The creation of a network of researchers linked to Federal and State Environment Departments within the framework of a Cooperative Research Centre for SoE/ESD Reporting is, perhaps, the only means by which the growing expectations surrounding sustainable development can be realised.
Professor Peter W. Newton
Theme Author, SoE Human Settlements
ISBN 0 643 06747 7.
ISBN 0 643 06754 X (8 v.)
ISBN 0 643 06755 8 (7 v.)
1. Human ecology - Australia. 2. Human settlements - Australia.
3. Environmental monitoring - Australia
I. Newton, P. W. (Peter Wesley), 1948-.
II. Davies, Alexander.
III. Australia. Environment
Australia. (Series : Australia state of the environment 2001).
Commonwealth of Australia 2001
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Cover photo: Pink Lake near Meningie, South Australia John P Baker
For bibliographic purposes, this report may be cited as:
Newton, P.W., Baum, S., Bhatia, K., Brown, S.K., Cameron, A.S., Foran, B., Grant, T., Mak, S.L., Memmott, P.C., Mitchell, V.G., Neate, K.L., Pears, A., Smith, N., Stimson, R.J., Tucker, S.N. and Yencken, D., 2001. Human Settlements , Australia State of the Environment Report 2001 (Theme Report), CSIRO Publishing on behalf of the Department of the Environment and Heritage, Canberra.
The 2001 Human Settlements theme report is one of seven produced for the Australian State of the Environment Committee which form the basis of the report Australia State of the Environment 2001. Theme reports for the remaining themes: Biodiversity; Atmosphere; Land; Inland Waters; Coasts and Oceans; and Natural and Cultural Heritage are available in print from CSIRO PUBLISHING and on the web at: http://www.ea.gov.au/soe/
Note: Some of the images in this report may be more easily read in colour. In those cases, readers are referred to the full-colour PDF or web versions which are available online at: http://www.ea.gov.au/soe/
Cover and text design by James Kelly.
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