YIMBY movement

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poster from Abundant Housing Vancouver


from Wikipedia (English) entry YIMBY

YIMBY is an acronym for Yes In My Back Yard, a pro-development movement in contrast and opposition to the NIMBY ("Not in My Back Yard") phenomenon. Typically the YIMBY movement supports development of new housing in cities where rental costs have escalated to unaffordable levels, though it may also support public-interest projects such as the installation of clean energy sources like wind turbines. In the United States, early leaders of the YIMBY movement include Sonja Trauss (of SFBARF) in San Francisco and Nikolai Fedak in New York. The first ever Yes In My Backyard conference was held in Boulder, Colorado, in June 2016.

Wikipedia (Swedish): YIMBY;  and translated to English:

"Yimby is an acronym for the English phrase Yes in my backyard , which is a counter reaction to the Nimby phenomenon, Not in my backyard . The term "Yimby" is linked to urban planning , which means that one is fundamentally positive about changes in its vicinity.

"Yimby is also an independent political party network, founded in Stockholm in 2007, which advocates physical development, densification and promotion of urban environment , and occurs in, among other things, Gothenburg , Oslo , Stockholm and Uppsala. The network criticizes several of the ideas that dominated urban development, especially during the second half of the 20th century, such as the spreading of the city, car dependence and the so-called " neighborhood planning ", which meant that areas were planned as individual communities, rather than as parts of the larger city. The network also criticizes parts of the environmental movement and argues that a principle of resistance to densification and expansion of the city's urban forms is blocking the problem of exploration and dispersal of the city, which requires large natural areas and complicates the ability to build efficient public transport solutions . The network has also repeatedly criticized the lack of real parks in Stockholm, while there are many impediments in the form of unused green spaces."

The Oxford English Dictionary's definition of "NIMBY": 

“A person who objects to the siting of something perceived as unpleasant or hazardous in their own neighborhood, especially while raising no such objections to similar developments elsewhere.”


The earliest usage of "YIMBY" we've found so far is from a waste industry journal, concerning the placement of treatment plants: "Getting to YIMBY: Yes in My Backyard." by Elizabeth Kiser, World Wastes 35, no. 12 (December 1992): 38-41.  The first organization to explicitly use 'YIMBY' in its name was YIMBY Stockholm, founded in 2007. 

The term NIMBY is generally perjorative or critical, implying that the opponent may want or need the outcome of the proposed development -- for example, a new school, medical facility, or rail line -- but want the benefit while shifting any nuisance burdens to others. It is rarely [ever? anyone have any examples? -ed] used as a self-description. 

In earlier usage, the 'NIMBY' concept was perhaps more commonly applied to opponents of developments with some relatively well-defined, perceived nuisance threat: for example, a services center for the homeless, or a commercial facility that might substantially increase vehicle traffic. In the case of controversies over new housing development -- often a key concern of US YIMBY groups today -- the positions which YIMBY groups are advocating against often have a notable variety of stated or suspected motivations. For example, development resistance might be ascribed to protecting or raising home values, environmental protection, concerns for overloading infrastructure or schools, transportation or traffic issues, quality of life issues, a bargaining strategy to win concessions or community-group funding or tax revenues from developer, opposing gentrification, supporting gentrification, preventing greater diversity of residents, preserving greater diversity of residents, and so on.  

[Contrariwise, one might perhaps also say, development support might be ascribed to a notable variety of motivations..  developer profit, or reducing developer profit (i.e. expand development until marginal profitability is zero, or even push to overbuild and flood the market and lose money). Or opening and revitalizing the city, or invading and appropriating the city. and so on *sigh*]. 


YIMBY organizations

see: YIMBY organizations directory.





See also