From Academic Kids

NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard) is an acronym denoting the opposition by local residents to construction of intrusive facilities, which are often intended primarily to serve people living far away: such as new roads or rail lines, power plants, waste storage facilities or the like; or those intended to serve "undesirable" people locally, such as drug rehabilitation centers, halfway houses and the like. Other concerns expressed include increased traffic due to apartment buildings, occluded views, or loss of open space or parks. Such opposition typically comes from homeowners who fear that such developments will cause the resale value of their real estate to fall.

This term has been applied to people in Britain in the 19th century when the canal system was being built, who complained about the route of canals because of the disruption caused by the navvies who built them.

Generally people who express NIMBY sentiments acknowledge the need for the facilities, while arguing that they "just don't want them nearby". For example, most Americans agree that long distance electric power transmission lines are necessary, yet hardly anyone wants to live within sight of them - whether due to concerns for their safety or just because they look "ugly".

Some skyscraper aficionados use the term NIMBY for anyone who hates any kind of tall building or wants them torn down or restricted.

Extreme NIMBYism would be where someone moves into an area, and then complains about things like a small airfield that has been there for decades before they moved in, and all their neighbours have happily lived with. In some cases, at least in American law, the alleged source of the nuisance cannot raise "you came to the nuisance" as a defense. However, laws protecting the rights of landowners to continue their usage of their land regardless of new neighbors have been passed in many areas (usually to protect the rights of family farms to continue to operate.)

Since NIMBY attitudes arise due to people's perception of receiving no benefit despite having to bear a burden, such as living next to a power plant, a possible solution might be to compensate people for living near undesirable things. For example, everyone living within a certain range of a powerplant or high-tension wires could receive a significant discount on the price of their electricity. This would make it desirable to live near power plants, at least for some people. Given sufficient compensation, some communities might even solicit power companies to build plants in their area.

NIABY is used to describe the Not in Anyone's Back Yard philosophy.

See also

he:NIMBY nl:NIMBY ja:NIMBY fi:Nimby


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