The vexed triangle: heritage, urban density, and community

Marking SA’s About Time history month

Two events with a focus on Adelaide and whether we can find a balance between development and heritage conservation, and between urban density and community aspirations.

Has South Australia given up on heritage?

Wednesday 8 May, 6pm Bradley Forum, UniSA City West campus

What is the state of SA heritage today and what is its place in a 21st century sustainable city? Join a forum where these questions will be probed by an informed panel, including Minister Ian Hunter and Deputy Leader of the Opposition, Vickie Chapman.

Chair: Professor Norman Etherington, President, National Trust of SA

Presented with the National Trust of SA.

Not in my backyard: Community responses to higher density living - is it all in the mind?

Wednesday 29 May, 6pm, Allan Scott Auditorium, UniSA City West campus

Why is there such strong community resistance to proposals for higher density housing in Adelaide’s neighbourhoods? Expert social planner Dr Wendy Sarkissian argues that we need a “more sensitive and emotionally intelligent” approach to urban planning.

More information is available from the Hawke Centre, University of South Australia.

Update: The presentation by Wendy Sarkissan is now available online.

"Our Association will be sending someone to hear this public lecture. We believe that governments are looking at ways of overcoming community resistance to housing densification and we need to be aware of all the arguments in this debate. It is our long-held belief that people have a better quality of life if they have adequate open space and gardens around their dwellings. Residents associations were formed from the 1970s as a result of governments imposing multi-storey walk-up flats on to garden suburbs. A huge back-lash arose in response to this government push. We are seeing a similar huge back-lash now as governments seek to impose higher multi-storey flats on to attractive low-density residential suburbs.

People should not be ashamed if someone accuses them of being a "NIMBY" (Not in My Backyard).
A few years ago a political party adopted the name "Not in My Backyard" for a New South Wales State election. Most people don't want an extra dwelling built in their backyard unless they want to pocket the money and then sell up. People have a right to stand up for their quality of life and the character of their neighbourhood. This is the very essence of democracy.

If anyone tells you that a NIMBY is a selfish person, remind them that NIMBIES do many good things
eg. go to war to defend their country, clean up waste in their local creek, run their Neighbourhood Watch group etc. The list goes on. "