The density debate isn’t a new topic of conversation for Vancouver, but as we watch the discussions escalate over developments in our city and hear plans for an empty house taxes in the works, it renews a dialogue that is vital to our cities continued growth, one that is integral to rareEarth’s philosophy: urban transcendence.
Over the years, the concept of what a city should look like has changed drastically. As we move further into an era that promises more change, how we shape Vancouver needs to reflect a sustainable, innovative direction, one that focuses on inclusivity, accessibility, and community. These ideas, derivative of the “yes in my backyard” (YIMBY) movements, are a far cry from where cities were near 50 years ago, reminiscent of the “not in my backyard” (NIMBY) movement that is still pervasive today.
We have never been more connected to one another, thriving on new technology and developments that afford our communities creativity, innovation, and movement. We can create spaces that reflect our diverse communities and address the need to keep our city and community vibrant. So when we see developments like the Grandview Woodlands Community Plan or Boffo Kettle Project in talks, we take pride in the forward thinking discussions and actions taking place by developers in Vancouver.
The reality is that people will move to Vancouver whether homes are built for them or not; to be a part of the city, to be close to work, to feel included in community. So when we talk about urbanity, density, and the need for new developments, we’re talking about carving a space for all demographics that want inclusivity. These are our future leaders, innovators, and workforce, the urban transcendence we speak of, the key to maintaining the vibrancy of our city.
The more time that is taken to address concerns of maintaining a city’s “soul” or arguing over the height of proposed new buildings, the more we are in danger of losing our diversity. Protecting the architectural nature of a neighbourhood at the expensive of protecting the ability for young, diverse generations to live, work, and thrive will drive away growth.
The YIMBY movement is a reaction to unaffordable housing prices. It’s a response, a stance against the “no”, in NIMBY-ism, to those who oppose rental and multi-family buildings. Because the “no” ends up being zoning for higher priced, single family homes that only suits a small demographic, failing to represent an in demand market. A “yes” emphasizes affordable homes and addresses supportive, low-cost housing.
What it ends up being is a movement that says “yes” to your backyard. Because Vancouver developers already recognize that developments and vibrancy go hand in hand for our communities and their continued growth, taking a stance for the future of our collective opportunities, connectivity, and transcendence.