Maybe you have noticed new home or condominium building in your neighbourhood. A new restaurant or shop opens down the street. Are you wondering is my neighbourhood going to become overcrowded? Why can’t my neighbourhood stay the way it always has?
Regina has always been, and should be, an innovative and forward-looking city that is diverse and inclusive. We need to create opportunities to respect our indigenous and immigrant culture and history, while creating opportunity for those communities to thrive. We also need to ensure Regina is welcoming to all new and potential residents.
So, where should newcomers and our children and grandchildren live if we all say, “Not in My Back Yard” or what is often referred to as NIMBYism. Understandably NIMBYism is brought on by concern of increased traffic, lowering property values and for some fear of ‘unwanted new residents’, but in truth it is the fear of the unknown that brings on NIMBYism.
We can all say ‘I don’t like things the way they are’ and at the same time resist change, but where does that really get us? The reality is over time your neighbourhood is going to change. This is for two reasons:
- In 2013 the City of Regina adopted a new Official Community Plan (OCP) that will direct 30% of the growth of our community into the existing City and neighbourhoods. The OCP demands that development uses less land to accommodate more people and jobs.As Regina continues to grow, the OCP anticipates a population of 300,000 somewhere around 2035. Where will all these people live if not in our backyard.
- Neighbourhoods evolve and have a natural lifecycle. Young families grow up, kids move away and households become smaller. When a community is 40 years old, a smaller older population makes it difficult for business to thrive in the neighbourhood and for municipal government to fund amenities and services.
We all want our neighbourhoods to thrive. Development and neighbourhood renewal helps that happen. In Regina, our communities are slowly becoming more densely populated and sustainable each year. We are also creating a variety of choices for new home buyers. When neighbourhoods grow and intensify they support more amenities like shops and restaurants. This creates more jobs so people can work close to where they live.
All of this leads to property values increasing and municipal government can collect more property tax which it can then invest in parks and invest in transit and infrastructure. It also means more revenue for the City to maintain and care for what is already there.
Living in a community under construction isn’t easy. It is important to remember that Regina is growing because it is attracting people and business and that’s a good thing. As Regina grows and our neighbourhoods evolve we can accommodate more neighbours and make sure people have a place to live.
Help Keep Regina Growing and Welcoming. When you see your neighbourhood intensifying and developing say ‘Yes In My Back Yard’. Go from NIMBY to YIMBY.