YIMBY: Austinites Pushing for Urbanization


By Sam Sumpter

It’s no secret that Austin’s rapid growth has been met with some serious apprehension and, in many cases, even outright opposition. Whether it’s the loud complaints cued by the every “Coming soon!” condo sign, t-shirts proclaiming “Defend Red River,” or petitions geared to save Austin institutions from shuttering their doors, many Austinites are making it clear that this growth—or, rather, the accompanying consequences—are unwelcome. In fact, these days, it seems we’re less focused on keeping Austin weird and more concerned with just keeping Austin…Austin.

However, whether we like it or not, the city is growing (every morning while you’re eating your breakfast tacos, 100+ new residents are moving in), and there’s an emerging, increasingly vocal group that believes that, rather than fight the change, we need to embrace urbanization. And they’ve coined the term YIMBY (“yes in my backyard”). The Austin-American Statesman reports that some urbanists have adopted this verbiage in hopes to clearly convey their beliefs and approach. “What you get with (an urbanist approach) is restaurants, efficient public transportation, walkable neighborhoods, more affordable housing, businesses with universal appeal,” Brian Gannon, one such urbanist, told the Statesman. “YIMBY means, if you work with developers, you can get what you want — as long as you get it in writing.”

In other words, it’s a term that is being implemented to accompany a political viewpoint and to express how many urbanists are looking at—and attempting to work with—growth and change.

For more information on and information related to YIMBY and how it relates to Austin growth and policy, follow @ATXyimby on Twitter.

Photo by Nicholas Henderson/Flickr CC
See the original here.

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