How the rise of sustainability and ‘naturehood’ impacts real estate


By: AZ Big Media 

In today’s luxury real estate market, the industry is embracing sustainability, welcomed by designers, architects, landscapers and homebuyers alike. In luxury homes, one’s best self is captured and exemplified. The new core ideas of luxury real estate are eco-friendliness and sustainability. In today’s society, aspirational living is combined with environmental consciousness, giving rise to the concept of the “naturehood” and “agrihood.” Our growing awareness of our responsibility towards the planet is largely responsible for this change. As a result, consumer behavior has changed towards simplified and organic lifestyles and living.

What is a naturehood and agrihood?

Defined by any green space or nature nearby a neighborhood,  a naturehood acknowledges the growing disconnect between society and nature, and the barriers that prevent people from connecting with it. There are a number of factors contributing to this, such as distance, inequitable distribution of green space, lack of knowledge, cost, lack of equipment, cultural perceptions of nature spaces, and racialization. It should be a right to spend time in nature, but instead it is a privilege. “For one not to disturb the land, its natural grade and vegetation; perhaps use footings to preserve mother earth for generations to come.” says Frank Aazami,  Brand Ambassador, principal of the Private Client Group at Russ Lyon Sotheby’s International Realty, Scottsdale.

We’ve seen naturehood’s scattered throughout Arizona in recent years, Silverleaf in North Scottsdale is seen as a luxury naturehood with 4,600 acres dedicated to open space and an expansive trail system that meanders through the McDowell Mountains in the heart of the Sonoran Desert. 

An agrihood, similar to a naturehood is a planned community that integrates agriculture into a residential neighborhood. We see this in Agritopia in Gilbert, where the neighborhood is surrounded by 11 acres of urban farm land designed to encourage agrarianism. 

What is the goal of an agrihood? “Build neighborhoods where every neighbor participates in planting, harvesting and preserving; focus on sustainability.” says Aazami. 

Can you give me an example or two of a naturehood or agrihood in your area? 

“I can share renderings of what it should look like: Perhaps built to last 40-50 years rather than a typical 10 year mindset concert. Foldable, slidable and disappearing walls and doors, transforming the use of a single space into many more, depending on the time of the day, season and function(s).” says Aazami. How and when did nature become a luxury amenity? “When organic food became more expensive to obtain; I recall when out-of season crops would cost more to purchase. We have lost the sense of seasonability.” says Aazami.

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