Header image blocks

Turning North Glenora into a YIMBY Community

|

In Andrew Gregory’s blog post about his community’s journey to a YIMBY attitude, he chronicles the steps towards changing attitudes in one of Edmonton’s oldest neighbourhoods. North Glenora has a long-standing history, and as Right at Home Housing Society set their shovels to work to build its latest property at the old Westmount Presbyterian Church site, it was not met without opposition. Andrew states there are eight steps towards creating a YIMBY attitude:

1) Establish Shared Objectives

“Having this shared understanding in place up front gave us a touchstone when discussions got heated or when shortcuts began to look appealing.”

2) Openness 

“It’s amazing what you can learn when you ask questions and are prepared to listen.”

3)Transparency

“We took careful notes of everything that was said and agreed to in the meetings, and followed up by sending detailed minutes to all participants so that they could review them, make any comments or changes, and then approve.”

4) Neutrality, Diversity and Inclusion

“One of the strengths of our committee was that it contained a diversity of voices from the community – neutral, supportive and opposed.”

“…we would only speak on behalf of what we believed to be the best interest of the community…”

5) Courage

“To address the fear of affordable housing we decided to take it head on…unblinking and in as emotionless a way as possible.  We realised that these concerns were valid and that the community deserved the right to ask them…and to hear the developer’s answers.”

6) Respect

“We respected WPC’s right to execute their vision for the property while asserting our rights as neighbours to be consulted on something that would directly affect us.”

7) Leaps of Faith

“We asked WPC and their partners to take a leap up-front to involve the community in their plans…risking delays, confrontation and hundreds of man-hours.  Once the engagement was complete and the development plan submitted North Glenora had to take a leap…to trust that the developer would deliver on their promises.”

8) Fruits of Our Labour

“Peter Amerongen from Habitat Studio described all of the different ways that resident input had been incorporated into the materials and design of the building. Cameron Macdonald of Right at Home Society shared that they would pursue a mixed-income model and described how the new drive aisle had been redesigned in order to address safety concerns.  They both went on to answer every question raised by the community…well prepared and confident that they understood our perspective.”

“We agreed that our shared understanding was hard fought, but, as in life, things that are worthwhile are rarely easy.”

Westmount Presbytarian Church and Townhome Rendering in North Glenora Community
Westmount Presbyterian Church and Town-home Rendering

We are grateful for North Glenora community resident, Andrew Gregory’s perspective and support for our ongoing project. We hope to continue to work on our relationship with North Glenora Community, and to prove to its residents why being a YIMBY is so valuable.

If you’d like to be a YIMBY or get information about what our organization is trying to achieve, sign up on our site today!

 

Back to Blog