Need Continuing Education Credits? MEREDA’s 2017 Annual Spring Conference has them!

MEREDA’s Annual Spring Conference – ‘YIMBY’ism: YES in my Backyard – Why Development is Good

Construction Photo from Lucas Royalty Free

In recent years, many American cities and towns have witnessed a renaissance, with destination cities in particular seeing dramatically increased interest.  Typically, the impacts of such demand are felt on a regional scale.  From San Francisco to Portland and beyond, a degree of pressure corresponding to this renewed interest in city life has been placed on communities to build in unprecedented ways. With the rise in popularity of living in urban areas, opinions about how such places should develop are also increasing.

Recognizing the crippling effect of NIMBY, or “not in my backyard”, ways of thinking on housing prices, economic stability and general diversity of communities, some forward-thinking activists have begun to affirmatively make a case for growth and development.  

Coined “yes in my backyard”, or YIMBY, this movement is an overt counterargument to oppositional mindsets–and it’s gaining traction quickly.  In 2016, the first-ever YIMBY conference was held in Boulder Colorado, shining a national spotlight on an often-silent perspective that it’s actually good for cities to grow.  The movement encompasses a variety of vantage points which lead to this conclusion, from those grounded in environmental concerns to social equality and housing prices, and is far from an industry-led lobbying effort.  As such, YIMBYism may represent the beginnings of a fundamental shift in the way a broad range of Americans thinks about growth and its associated elements.

MEREDA is pleased to welcome Jesse Kanson-Benanav -a Boston-area pioneer in the YIMBY movement who has been instrumental as a leader on the front lines of this potential sea change in the conversation about development-for a discussion about its present status and implications for the future.  His perspective will be augmented by a panel of local professionals who will anchor this national trend in local context.  Attendees can expect to gain insight into the near future of community conversations about development, and what it means for the real estate industry more broadly.

Join us on May 18th for what is sure to be an eye-opening and informational event!

Meet our Local Experts:

  • Moderator: Elizabeth Boepple, BCM Environmental & Land Law
  • Jim Brady, Brady Enterprises
  • Jeff Levine, City of Portland
  • Dana Totman, Avesta Housing
  • Patrick Venne, Redwood Development Consulting


Thursday, May 18, 2017

Registration | Exhibits:   

12:00 PM – 1:00 PM


1:00 PM – 5:00 PM


5:00 PM – 6:00 PM

DoubleTree by Hilton

363 Maine Mall Road, South Portland, ME


Registration Fees before May 11th* (per person):

  • Members: $85.00
  • Non-Members: $105.00
  • Non-Profit Rate: $55.00
  • Students: FREE**
  • Municipal Officials & Employees: FREE**
  • Legislators & Agency Employees: FREE**

* Prices increase by $15 after May 11th

** MEREDA is pleased to provide subsidized admission for students and municipal officials. Call MEREDA at (207) 874-0801 for details.


This course has been approved for 3.00 hours of Broker, Legal, Architect and Appraiser Continuing Education Credits.

For more information or to register, please visit

MEREDA’s Annual Spring Conference is sponsored by NBT Bank, PDT Architects, ReVision Energy, AAA Energy Co., Pierce Atwood, Mainebiz, Onyx Owl, Sevee & Maher Engineers, People’s United Bank and Verrill Dana

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