Investigating the Built Environment

Sources of further information

The Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment provides free downloadable resources for studying the built environment

The Architecture Centre, Bristol

Support materials:

  • Digital camera
  • Maps
  • Images of the built environment
  • Magnifiers
  • Oral history
  • Measuring instruments
  • Bristol (Pevsner Architectural Guides: City Guides) by A. Foyle – ISBN 0300104421

Questions to ask

What is the built environment?

Discuss the importance of the built environment as part of an investigation by setting it in the context of other sources of historical evidence e.g. books, maps, images, film, and artefacts.

What kinds of information can be collected from the built environment?

  • Land use
  • People
  • Activities
  • Types of buildings
  • Use of buildings
  • Changes over time – redevelopment, re-use

How has the area changed? Use a variety of sources to compare and contrast.

  • Who has affected/influenced change?
  • What have they done?
  • Why have they done it?

What is the relationship between the built environment and the people who have used it/are using it? How and why has this changed over time?

Interactive map

Did you know?