The dynamics of residential choise and the role of natural resources in decisions to buy and built housing are examined. Working within two rapidly urbanizing counties in the Detroit region. Interviews with residential developers, government officials, and environmentalists ; questionnaires and focus group interxiews with recent homebuyers are used to answer several questions including : what factors guide developers in the purchase and development of land for new housing ? have these factors changed over time ? Do homebuyers in outlying areas seek natural environments and other poen space when looking for a place to live ? What are the perceived social, environnmental and economic benefits that homebuyers derive from nature ? and what do home owners see as changes in the natural resources around them in the near and distant future , Findings contribute to our understanding of processes used by various actors in creating livable and sustainable communities.