Urban Natural Homes April 15, 2015

Urban Natural Homes–What’s in a Name?


You may have noticed the recent name change to Urban Natural Homes. Why the change? Well the fact is that most of us living in the greater Seattle area are living in an urban environment. Historically, the word “urban” has been used almost in opposition to the word “natural”. Since the industrial revolution our cities have forged ahead in the name of progress with barely a thought for the natural world around us…but the times, they are a changin’!

The fierce debates being rallied in our country over environmental issues indicates that balance is finally being sought between mankind’s progress and the natural environment. And nowhere is this balance more needed than in our urban environments. Those of us in the Pacific Northwest’s urban areas are perhaps in a more unique situation… as we have an abundance of natural elements at our fingertips—waterways, trees, mountains, beaches—making it hard to ignore the natural world around us. Many of us are even drawn here for that reason. I am definitely one of those people, and while I have come to love all that the city has to offer, my innate inclinations consistently drive me towards exploring ways to live more in tune with nature, while still living in an urban environment.

Finding this balance in our homes and in our communities is important, and it raises all kinds of questions, such as:

  • What kind of housing makes the most sense in a more dense urban environment — condos, townhomes or single family homes?
  • Why does buying a pre-existing home (rather than a complete tear down and rebuild) make more sense?
  • Can I remodel to suit my needs? What kinds of recycled materials are available for remodels?
  • What energy sources and systems make the most sense?
  • How does the current hot topic of “walkability” fit in?
  • How do we protect and advocate for parks and natural spaces in an urban environment?
  • What kinds of gardening methods should I be using in my area?
  • How should I go about responsibly upgrading my home if I’m thinking about selling?

These are just a sampling of the types of questions that continue to intrigue me and that I am dedicated to in my exploration of Urban Natural Homes.