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What Happens When A City Finds Its Voice?

BY THE URBAN DEVELOPER

Can you imagine a city where the silent majority find their voices and cry out “just build!”?

Well according to Wolter Consulting Group (WCG) Director Natalie Rayment it’s not just a dream.

Natalie recently attended the world’s first YIMBY conference with WCG senior planner, Mia Hickey, in Boulder Colorado and there is no doubt they are excited by what they have seen.

“There is a ground swell of urban activists with exactly this pro-housing, pro-density, pro-development message sweeping the globe,” Natalie said.

“Yes, in my backyard or YIMBY, is gaining momentum across the world as we saw at the YIMBY conference.”

Natalie said the face of the conference and opening keynote speaker, Sonja Trauss, who founded BARF (Bay Area Renters Federation) in San Francisco, was inspirational.

“Sonja is a community activist who is all about making life easier for developers by rolling back land use rules and regulations in a City facing an unprecedented housing affordability crisis,” Natalie said.

“She protests against the protesters who fight to stop new development, fighting back against cranky NIMBY homeowners and pointing out the irony in their campaigns.”

The New York Times said of Sonja, “the anger she has tapped into is real, reflecting a generational break that pits cranky homeowners and the political establishment against a cast of newcomers who are demanding the region make room for them too”.

“Sonja has become a voice for young people asking “What is my future in this City” and in doing so has gained world-wide attention and activated a new generation of pro-housing campaigners,” Natalie said.

“It was inspiring to see so many YIMBY groups establishing and succeeding across North America and Europe and awakening a collective voice that is pro-development.

“They’re also fed up by the naysayers against development who hide behind the ‘high moral ground’ charade and feed people’s fears about density and height.”

Natalie said it was time the anti-development lobby took a good look at the serious and growing affordability gap in Queensland.

“According to leading Brisbane analyst Matusik Property Insights, the affordability gap, or the difference between the average house price what the average person can borrow, has widened to almost $100,000 in Queensland,” Natalie said.

“Considering we are facing rising rents as well as some significant rate increases particularly in the South East, this affordability gap is only likely to worsen.

“What we and other YIMBY proponents are saying is, we need to have good, well considered and balanced development to ensure we arrest this growing problem.

“We were excited to have been in Boulder to represent the face of YIMBY in Australia, sharing experiences and learnings with a new generation of activists with this “Just Build” mantra; the opposite of the NIMBY stereotype.”

Wolter Consulting Group is the Corporate Partner of YIMBY Qld, established in February 2016 as a platform to change the conversation about development in Queensland.

YIMBY Qld is about sharing accurate information about planning and development, showcasing good development outcomes and leading a positive conversation about the benefits good development brings to our cities and towns.

It’s about supporting good development with positive submissions and advocating for more better and more flexible development regulations that facilitate and inspire good development outcomes.

YIMBY is a call to action to take back our cities from the vocal minority who spread fear and angst about development and instead celebrating a culture of Yes – Yes, in my backyard!

2016-12-17T13:17:11+00:00