The phrase built environment refers to the man-made surroundings that provide the setting for human activity from the large-scale civic surroundings.
In landscape architecture, the built environment is identified as opposed to the natural environment. Such places like Central Park may have the look, feel, and nourishing quality of natural surroundings while being completely artificial and "built", thus blurring the line between the two.
In urban planning, the phrase connotes the idea that a large percentage of the human environment is manmade, and these artificial surroundings are so extensive and cohesive that they function as organisms in the consumption of resources, disposal of wastes, and facilitation of productive enterprise within its bounds.
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