Built environment

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Clean and safe Healthy and biologically diverse Productive

Cities, towns and greenspace staus and trend, low confidence in assessmentCities, towns and greenspace

Historic environment status and trend, high confidence in assessmentHistoric environment

Cities, towns and greenspace, no assessment Cities, towns and greenspace

Waste status and trend, high confidence in assessmentWaste

There are detailed descriptions of these topics in the built environment chapter.

A detailed description of this topic is being prepared.

There is a detailed description of this topic in the resources chapter.

We are justifiably proud of Scotland’s cities and towns and their architectural and historic importance. They attract large numbers of visitors and enrich the lives of the people of Scotland.

Social inequalities exist in our towns and cities; in some areas, access to good-quality greenspace is available, whereas some areas of deprivation have derelict or insufficient greenspace, that does not deliver its potential health and amenity benefits.

There are problems associated with air quality and noise across our towns and cities, and localised problems associated with odour.

Most people are happy with the condition of their neighbourhood although there are significant numbers of urban areas in which big improvements could be made to residents' quality of life.


Scotland’s economy is dependent upon a range of non-renewable materials and in the longer term these will be used up. These materials include plastics and some metals.

Other materials may be present in large quantities but their extraction, transport and processing have large energy demands.

Scotland landfills less than half of the waste it did ten years ago. At present, approximately 40% of household waste is composted or recycled.

Improving the way in which we handle waste material is an important environmental and economic objective.