NIMBY And The Modern, Mean-Spirited, Often Enormous Back Yard

Over the Garden Wall photo by Gemma Grace is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0
What unspeakable horrors lurk and bedevil us beyond the garden wall?

This Affordable Housing Action blog has adopted the notion of neighbourhoods that span continents and oceans in a global megacity, where we may be able to benefit by peering over distant fences to find help from faraway neighbours who are not so different from ourselves.

By contrast NIMBY — Not In My Back Yard — expresses the anxieties, frustrations, fears, even hatreds that bubble to the surface when someone apparently different expects, threatens, dares to move close: the bogeyman who would live beyond the wall at the bottom of the garden.

A recent article in the New York Times explores how the NIMBY garden wall has over time expanded outwards to engulf neighbourhoods and beyond, with home dwellers assuming the right to impose their likes, dislikes and prejudices upon others who may live, or wish to live, some kilometres or miles away. How ‘Not in My Backyard’ Became ‘Not in My Neighborhood’


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