Gaaah! IAHIMBY! (It’s All Happening In My Back Yard!)

butterfly perched among white flowers
Patterned photo by Sara is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0
The necessary growth of communities need not be a curse. Shared interest in butterflies links one long time resident with her new neighbours in a an affordable housing project located close by.

There is a remarkable worldwide agreement amongst Defenders of the Neighbourhood Faith. All sooner or later discover that they must erect verbal battlements around their modest homesteads and those of nearby residents in order to cry NIMBY to the heavens and/or municipal councils threatening to betray them.

NIMBY, as well known by now, stands for Not In My Back Yard, is a reaction to proposals to bring ‘incomers’ into the neighbourhood by changing restrictive zoning.

The world-wide agreement? NIMBYites everywhere are prepared to acknowledge that a housing crisis is upon us all, and that ‘incomers’ deserve a place to be housed. Just so long as they do their incoming in some other neighbourhood.

The other, broader topic of agreement is the remarkably similar NIMBY reasons that crop up over and over again in different cities, regions and countries. These include traffic congestion, illegal parking, and unique neighbourhood character (one of the best). For a broader exploration of NIMBY reasons ‘why not to’, you will find a healthy selection of of them in our Politics: NIMBY category.

Many of these repetitive NIMBY complaints and pleadings to city councils show up regularly in the press, from the greatest national papers, online news sites and blogs, right down to the smallest local publications, which are often best placed to feel the hurt of threatened neighbourhoods.

We hear a great deal of NIMBY, and rather less of YIMBY (Yes In My Back Yard), which is a broader political movement probably better entitled YIYBY (Yes In Your Back Yard).

And what of IAHIMY? You probably haven’t heard much yet, as we have only just coined the term. It stands for It’s All Happening In My Back Yard. Who is backing IAHIMBY? It seems only a few folks so far, but their numbers will surely grow, because municipalities facing a serious and growing affordable housing crisis are increasingly losing patience with NIMBY movements.

And so there is a growing need for IAHIMBY. This is a welcoming movement, groups of people making the best of a novel situation, both for the new neighbours and the longstanding ones who most likely do not wish to remain bitter and snarly for the rest of their lives.

And they do exist. Read more about one such movement and its ideas for smoothing the  arrival of incomers in The Cap Times: Neighbors, Developers Work To Welcome Affordable Housing Developments


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.