NIMBY is short for "Not In My Back Yard." I.e. it is rejecting something being built nearby. It is a negative term implying that the reasons for the opposition are selfish and not in the community interest.

It often relates to a form of development which needs to be built somewhere, but is perceived to affect property values or make life difficult in some way. Examples of such development could be medium and high density housing development, or a halfway house for mental ill people, or treatment center for drug addicts, wind turbines, transport routes or nodes, or waste treatment facilities.

NIMBY or not?[edit | edit source]

In cases where the opponent makes a case against the very existence of the development anywhere, it may be difficult to know whether it is a case of NIMBYism or genuine, principled opposition. The suggestion of viable alternatives is an essential part of genuine opposition, although their viability will become a matter of debate.

In any case, the opponent of the development clearly has concerns, and dismissing them as a NIMBY will not help to engage constructively. Active listening is important, seeking to express their concerns ("You feel that...") before addressing them and before expressing the concerns of the pro-development side, is important to seeking a genuine resolution. With effort on all sides. this process may result in a more satisfactory outcome for everyone.

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