Transforming community towards a sustainable future in the Okanagan and beyond.

The global crisis is now being reversed by a progressive shift in lifestyle values and economic thinking, bringing hope for a successful transition to a “new earth”. An exciting restructuring of community is already being demonstrated by thousands of new energy-efficient buildings, ecovillage projects, town centre regenerations and other sustainability initiatives. Green pioneers are gaining momentum in creating new forms of urban and rural development that foster economic localization and food self-reliance, utilize innovative technologies, and protect important ecological features and functions.  Here in the Okanagan valley this translates as initiatives ranging from air quality studies and the green building movement to efforts to protect our dwindling agricultural land and water resources.

Many of the world’s emerging sustainable communities also seek to enhance quality of life and promote social equity and diversity, so people of all ages, abilities and backgrounds can live, work and play together. These citizens have restored their sense of place and community identity. With less emphasis on material accumulation, they typically enjoy lifelong learning and engage in ethical enterprises, wellness activities and cultural pursuits. New neighbourhood designs incorporate some shared uses and a healthier balance of social connection and personal space.

Avalon has taken these positive trends to another level by creating an all-encompassing SHIFT Sustainability Framework and Community Planning Principles that transform the way we see ourselves and the world around us. We define the SHIFT Framework as being: Sustainable, Harmonic, Integrated, Feasible and Transformative. Our project management and consulting services have applied our SHIFT-certified process and methodology to many aspects of community development, such as: integrated sustainability plans, ecovillage development projects, green building systems and infrastructure, organic farming, environmental stewardship and landscaping.

Over the years, the Avalon Alliance and its subsidiary Avalon Ecovillage Development Corp. have been working on a comprehensive proposal for Avalon World Centre and Sustainability District in Kelowna, BC. This vision of a green campus village with watershed conservation zones has been designed to help transition the Okanagan valley towards sustainability, and inspire the formation of a global network of model ecovillage communities.  We envision that Avalon World Centre and these SHIFT-certified satellite projects will include extraordinary “living-learning” facilities for both residents and visitors.

Avalon's professional Green Design-Build Guild offers project management, consulting services, research and training programs to the public and private sectors in North American, First Nations and global outreach contexts. Over the years we have been forming a local and international network of leading green sub-trades, suppliers and technology partners, so we can reach more landowners, organizations and communities worldwide. Our exciting services are described in more detail under the Sustainable Development portal of our new website.