YIMBY (‘yes in my backyard’) is the call for a reinterpretation of the NIMBY (‘not in my backyard’) syndrome, conventionally defined as public opposition to unwanted facilities that are seen as unpleasant or potentially dangerous in the specific neighborhood.

NIMBY illustrates resistance to unwanted land uses as a part of structural problems of community that is conflicting with certain demands. According to NIMBY, development is acceptable as long as it doesn’t directly affect the personal space. Sometimes it evolves into more hardline opposition of citizens against any type of development. The claimed reasons against development vary from environmental degradation, transportation congestion, loss of community feel to increases in crime. Consequently, as NIMBYism manages to stop many locally unwanted land uses, it is labeled as a threat to effective problem solving.

On the other side, YIMBY is a counterargument to the NIMBY. It is a recent and less known phenomenon, grew out as an idea of advocating actions and building support for more choices for the local community. The key point of YIMBYism is having a conversation about what changes would be best for the community.

In Scandinavia YIMBY arose in support of affordable housing in neighborhoods where property was too expensive that people were forced to move elsewhere or live in unsuitable conditions. In the United States, YIMBY was rooted in acceptance of wind farms and other sustainable energy developments near homes but today there are wide-range of different pro-development agendas. Recent YIMBY projects use crowdsourcing as a platform to set up the project and find supporter who would pledge the action.

Additional links

Bike Share in New York: YIMBY vs. NIMBY

The Open University: YIMBY Generation, UK house-holders pioneering microgeration heat

YIMBY Sweden

The New York Times: “Sure, Build it in my Backyard” (Interview with creator of pro-development website)



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