GUELPH POLITICAST #210 – On Development Part III: Why Not YIMBY?

An ongoing segment here on the Politicast involves taking a closer look at development issues, and this week’s timely entry of the series will look at the under-appreciated cousin of NIMBYism, YIMBYism! NIMBY, or “Not in MY Backyard,” dates back to the 80s, and has become a controversial term when it comes to growth in Ontario’s cities, but one group in Waterloo Region is now trying to turn the tables.

“Yes in My Backyard” is more than just a statement, it’s now an advocacy group out of Kitchener-Waterloo that’s seeking to be the opposite of the widely recognized NIMBY. They see NIMBYism as an impediment to the development of more affordable housing, and have taken it upon themselves to advocate for changes that will allow the construction of more housing, and more types of housing, which will hopefully address homelessness in Waterloo Region.

This episode of the show arrives a little over a week after a planning meeting of Guelph City Council where a 25-storey tower downtown, and another proposal for nearly 700-unit development in the west end, both got stern and full-throated opposition. It was for the usual reasons: more traffic, ugly buildings, ruining the character of the area. Only a few had the gall to make the point that many of these proposed units were intended for rentals, which is a market that desperately needs more capacity. That’s speaking the language of YIMBY!

On this week’s podcast we’re going to hear from YIMBY co-founder Martin Asling about the creation of Waterloo Region YIMBY, and what he thinks his group can do to promote affordable housing where others have failed. He also talka about the challenges of NIMBYism, and what talking points work best in trying to combat it. And he will discuss the roadblocks in the system, the goals of Waterloo Region YIMBY, and how sometimes, in planning, perfect becomes the enemy of the good.

So let’s talk about the proverbial backyard on this week’s Guelph Politicast!

To learn more about his group, Waterloo Region Yes In My Backyard, you can join their Facebook group here. If you would like to get involved, you can also follow WR-YIMBY on Meetup by clicking here.

The host for the Guelph Politicast is Podbean. Find more episodes of the Politicast here, or download them on your favourite podcast app at iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play, and Spotify.

Also, when you subscribe to the Guelph Politicast channel and you will also get an episode of Open Sources Guelph every Monday, and an episode of End Credits every Friday.

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