Tuesday, August 24, 2010
In the land use community the NIMBY concept--"not in my back yard"--is a nearly omnipresent factor in development issues, comprehensive planning, regionalism, and other law and policy issues. I'd even say that NIMBY might be the land-use concept that has been the most widely established in popular culture. For a twist on the concept, Foreign Policy magazine has an article by Sylvie Stein called The YIMBYs: Five places saying "yes, in my backyard" to the nasty stuff that no one else wants.
The FP article is about national policies (rather than local land use decisions) to engage in economic activities that are unpopular elsewhere, such as opium growing (Tasmania), nuclear waste (Russia), offshore drilling (Mexico), trash (Ghana), and prisons (Netherlands). But I thought it would still be interesting for us to contemplate the concept of the YIMBY. And it wouldn't be too surprising, especially in a down economy, if the YIMBY factor started to emerge in local politics. It could be strictly for economics/jobs/tax base, or perhaps even as a sort of upside-down Tiebout model where localities compete for the economic benefits of activities traditionally shunned by NIMBYs and residents follow. Have any of you seen something that could be described as a local YIMBY?