After decades of belief in the principles that man has absolute dominion over nature, and thus, in the separation of natural and anthropic processes, humanity is at the beginning of a new era characterized by the search for a renewed pact between man and the environment. This search has yielded new terminology to indicate sustainable ways of transforming the anthropic environment: zero-energy development, bioclimatic architecture, eco-buildings and low carbon footprint. Apparently, this new linguistic phenomenon is symptomatic of two trends: firstly, of a sort of amnesia, in the sense that traditional architecture was already sustainable, not out of choice, but out of survival needs (via its ties to local climate and materials); and secondly, of an identity crisis among designers caused by the difficulty in finding specific boundaries for the discipline of architecture and urban design. Reflecting on these aspects and through the description of two recent projects, this article addresses the renewed interest in re-establishing an inseparable relationship between natural and anthropic processes. The goal is to elucidate a localized form of sustainability by recovering and upgrading traditional knowledge.