Australia State of the Environment (SoE) 2006 is the third in a series of reports produced by the Department of Environment and Heritage. The report was tabled in Federal parliament by Minister Campbell in December 2006. This Note provides a summary of key points contained in the Human Settlements Report (Newton, 2006) one of eight Theme Commentaries that were commissioned as background to the SoE 2006 main report. All 2006 SoE documents are accessible at http://www.deh.gov.au/soe. Related national publications with a focus on sustainability are: Measures of Australia's Progress (2006), Australia's Environment: Issues and Trends (2006) and Triple Bottom Line Reporting in Australia (2003). This summary has been developed to highlight the key issues and challenges identified in the SoE 2006 Human Settlements Report that Australia's building design professionals face in relation to planning, design and managing the nation's built environment. It also identifies some practical strategies to address these issues based on the author's knowledge of the field. This Note should be read in conjunction with its predecessor (Newton, 2003).