What’s Psychology Got to Do with NIMBY? (with Wendy Sarkissian)

Exploring the Deeper Meanings of Community Resistance to Proposed Housing Density Increases

with DR. WENDY SARKISSIAN, Life Fellow, Planning Institute of Australia
Canadian-born Wendy Sarkissian has worked as a social planning consultant and academic in Australia since 1969. The author of eight books on community engagement, planning and housing, she is a Life Fellow of the Planning Institute of Australia. 
Wendy has worked in a great variety of planning contexts, including inner city and suburban community renewal, high-rise housing evaluation and innovative community engagement programs. Her engagement and thinking about the social aspects of housing has roots in her teaching at UC Berkeley in the late 1970s, her forty years of professional practice and her co-authoring (with Clare Cooper Marcus) of a classic book on the social aspects of housing design: Housing as if People Mattered (University of California, 1986). 
Now, in this lunchtime session, Wendy returns to her “psychological” roots to explore the social and psychological dimensions of housing, to ask what’s missing in higher density housing in North America and Australia and why NIMBYism might even be warranted in some cases. 
Offering her Homing Instinct model, Wendy proposes that if we are to design community engagement processes to address delicate, sensitive psychological issues about our core territories, we are going to have to start by showing a lot more love, care and emotional intelligence than we have in the past. 
Co-sponsored by the GSD Department of Urban Planning & Design

Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies

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