5. Human settlements and the environment

5.1 Background

Human settlements and the environment

The term ‘human settlements’ refers to all the places where people live. Human settlements include cities such as Canberra, as well as towns and remote communities.

Human settlements are important environments. They are where most Australians spend the majority of their time. But human settlements put pressure on the rest of the environment. They use resources such as water, energy, land and materials, and release waste into the air, land and water.

This is why it is important to regularly monitor, measure and consider how we are affecting the environment. The 2019 ACT State of the Environment Report assesses the impacts of the ACT’s human settlements on the environment. The report examines the ACT’s ecological footprint, energy generation and consumption, solid waste generation and management, transport, water resources and water consumption.

Urban landscape, New Acton. Photo: Matthew Sherren Photography