In Panama Kalu Yala is The Ultimate Sustainable Community
By Amanda Sides firstname.lastname@example.org
Kalu Yala is a sustainable real estate development about to break ground one hour outside of Panama City, Panama, in a mountain valley near Cerro Azul. The community will produce 80% of its own food and 100% of its own energy. In doing so, Kalu Yala will reinvent the small town for the 21st century and introduce a more humane and environmentally responsible business model for developing real estate.
The secret to their sustainability is that it’s lifestyle driven: locally grown food, businesses owned by neighbors, green architecture, walkable neighborhoods, and an intelligent vibe aren’t just good for the environment — they are what we want in life.
To help them do so, they’ve engaged some of the best professionals in the world, from architects to engineers, and farmers to local economists. These include Stefanos Polyzoides, founding member of The Congress for New Urbanism and award winning author Michael Shuman.
To create this lifestyle, Kalu Yala are concentrating on best practices in sustainability for their own use. These can then be used to attract and educate visitors, creating the foundation for a holiday-town economy. By perfecting them, they have the chance to export these ideas and technologies to a world in need. This is how they’re going to build an economy to go with their lifestyle.
The big difference at Kalu Yala is that the town will be owned by the residents, instead of the absentee investors behind typical real estate deals. Finally, a real estate development can be built to serve the needs and values of its residents from the ground up. Founder and CEO Jimmy Stice says, “That way, the value citizens produce determines both their financial returns and their quality of life. Accountability finally pays, financially and personally. There’s a very healthy tension when everything is in your backyard.”