Just Who Are Those Folks Wielding Spears On Neighbourhood Battlements?

A set of cartoon-like faces, most expressing annoyance or anger.
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What do we know about residents who actively defend their neighbourhoods from the disruption of change — for example, a proposal for a tall public housing building to be built nearby? Many are by now aware that most of these people can be described by the term NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard).

By contrast, very few are usually generous enough towards incomers to be described as YIMBY (Yes in My Back Yard). Then there are those who claim to belong to a YIMBY movement but have essentially co-opted the term. They belong to a business and political movement encompassing real estate agents, housing developers, politicians and others with no particular interest in the health and welfare of a neighbourhood except as it furthers business interests. By and large, they are quite happy to help wheel a Trojan Horse, or perhaps we might call it a Trojan Highrise, through the gates and into the neighbourhood.

Can we break down neighbourhood defenders further? Who are they? Old? Male? Young? White? Black? We may have prejudices that suggest we know the answer, but has anyone studied it further? It should be useful information for individuals and activists who are looking for like-minded supporters when change threatens a neighbourhood.

In fact, just such a study has recently been done in San Francisco. Read more in the San Francisco Chronicle: Not just YIMBYs vs. NIMBYs: Chronicle poll breaks down S.F. housing attitudes by class, race and age