Avant-Garde: An Advocate for Sustainable Community Planning

By Katelyn Ivers | Editorial, Urban Design

My name is Katelyn Ivers, and I’ve always been told that I “march to the beat of a different drum.” Ever since I was a child, I’ve had differing priorities, feelings, and goals than my peers. I’m one of three children of a fairly conservative family, which, if you ask them, I have always seemed quite bold and have made it very clear that I have different opinions than my parents. Even though they often think my young age makes me blissfully ignorant of today’s problems, I think their lack of awareness on current global issues outweighs my lack of experience in the “real world.” My defiance and unique personality in stark comparison of my parents’ may seem to have caused chaos and arguments throughout my life (though it did somewhat), but my parents could not be more proud of my individuality. My mom described me as “avant-garde,” which, after looking up, I realized that word was the one expression I want to remember when living my life. Marching to the beat of a different drum and challenging the “norm” in today’s society I would consider to be a gift, not a flaw.

I’m from a small suburb outside of Worcester, Massachusetts, but I plan to move out west after graduation from the University of New Hampshire. I’m a type-one diabetic, which has given me a new positive outlook on the value of every single day I am alive. I can’t wait to be a part of this team and learn from my fellow PowerHouse Growers contributors. My twin nephews, who are almost one year old, are my greatest inspiration and continue to make me smile daily. Part of my motivation to study environmental science is to make sure that they enjoy the same quality of life in the future that I do today.

My nephews, William and Alexander, are my greatest motivators to do good in this world.

My nephews, William and Alexander, are my greatest motivators to do good in this world.

I’m a strong-minded and passionate undergrad at the University of New Hampshire where I study Environmental Conservation & Sustainability and Community Planning. As soon as I entered UNH, I knew this program was the right one for me. I’ve been enthusiastic each year to pick new classes and discover newfound interests that I can take with me into the next steps of my life and, hopefully, successfully share with the world.

My main interests within the environmental field include community planning, green design, environmental law, sustainable agriculture, renewable energy, climate change mitigation and adaptation, and animal rights.

I would consider myself both an environmental and social advocate. I believe that sustainability is achieved when the environment, economy, people’s health and rights, education, and food production are stable and even flourishing for the next generations. Post-graduation, I plan on attending law school to obtain a joint-degree in Environmental Law and a Masters Degree in Urban and Regional Planning.

Feature Image: Sustainable communities like Dockside Green in Victoria, BC offer a healthy foundation for future generations. Image via

About The Author

Katelyn is an undergraduate student at the University of New Hampshire studying Environmental Conservation & Sustainability and Community Planning. Her passions are green urban design and planning, sustainable energy, green real estate, ecotourism, and environmental policy. She hopes to obtain a Masters degree in Urban and Regional Planning.