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.”
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