NIMBYism and the Importance of Community Engagement
Play • 33 min

Our guest today is a city planner by trade and has valuable insights into NIMBYism (Not In My Backyard) and what is and isn’t working in terms of community engagement in the real estate development world. Karin Brandt is the CEO and Founder of coUrbanize and, in this episode, she schools us on the importance of community engagement and how technology has evolved the way developers are engaging with communities. We discover why the younger “asset-less class” is less inclined to get involved in local politics and how coUrbanize aims to change that, by getting more diverse community-representative voices on approvals boards throughout the US. Karin breaks down how increased community engagement benefits not only the community but real estate owners too and explains how best to address NMBYism fundamentally. Tune in to find out where developers and policy-makers are going wrong in their attempts to engage with communities and what needs to change as well as what can be learned from the homeless crisis in San Francisco. Key Points From This Episode:

  • The mission behind coUrbanize and what inspired Karin to start the company. 
  • Why community engagement is so essential in real estate development today. 
  • Challenges faced by developers when trying to engage with communities.
  • Why the younger “asset-less class” is less inclined to get involved in local politics.
  • How coUrbanize lowers the bar to participation and builds relationships within communities. 
  • Strategies developers should consider when engaging with communities. 
  • How technology has evolved the way developers are engaging with communities.
  • What NIMBYism is and how it relates to real estate development. 
  • Common reasons for NIMBYism and community opposition to development projects.
  • Examples of notable NIMBYism cases and their outcomes. 
  • The importance of data in getting board approvals for developments. 
  • Regulatory changes that could alleviate NIMBYism and streamline the development process.
  • The risk in development and the cost of delays from community opposition. 
  • How community engagement benefits real estate owners. 
  • What we can learn from the homeless crisis in San Francisco. 
  • How COVID brought into question the traditional way of carrying out community engagement.
  • The findings of Boston University’s study on neighborhood defenders. 
  • What Karin considers to be the best way to fundamentally address NIMBYism.
  • Examples of interesting community engagement approaches, globally. 
  • Karin predicts the evolution of community engagement. 
  • What should be included in the curricula for future city planners.


Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode: 

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