VI. Conclusion

The human and the natural coexist in Seattle and Spokane today, just as they have in the past. Cities, suburbs, and countryside are part of a complex, evolving environments that tie humans and their creations to the processes of nature. Planning, commerce, and recreation are only a few of the many human activities that tie people to the natural world in cities, whether in the Pacific Northwest or elsewhere in the world. 

Here, where nature seems to occupy a special place in our regional state of mind, we tend to see our cities as separate from the outdoors.  We work and live in the city while we relax and play in the countryside. This is a misleading assumption. The histories of this region and the health of its communities, natural and human, rest upon the development of its cities.  Seattle and Spokane have always been urban by nature. Studying each city’s environmental history is but one way to understand what makes this region so special—a place where cities and nature have always coexisted, often uncomfortably, over time.

Main Section II Section III Section IV Section V Section VII Section VIII Section IX Section X
Center for the Study of the Pacific Northwest