Monday, September 22, 2008

What is a NIMBY Part I

Cotswold Water parks - lonely treeImage by CowGummy via Flickr

Exactly what is a NIMBY?

Is it some strange little creature that only comes out at night? Well, no because the night brings out “those kind of people” although some NIMBY’s could be considered strange little creatures.

For the few that don’t know the term NIMBY it means Not In My Back Yard. They are the people who fight every proposal that comes down the pike crying foul that their peaceful little existence will be destroyed. The most outrageous claims will come out that will make people think the end of the world is coming and for those NIMBY’s it is.

You can look to Draper as a perfect example of what claims are made: “it will shake our homes”; “it will increase crime”; “it will bring those type of people”; “our property values will go down”; “it will destroy our peaceful neighborhood” and so on. Most NIMBY’s claims come out of either fear or downright ignorance.

NIMBYism has become more rampant in our society today as people become more isolated from others. These people get in their car drive the kids to school, drive to work, drive to the store, pick up the kids then drive them everywhere then drive home. All the homes in their neighborhood are about the same price range which means many of these people do not interact with people outside their economic status unless it is looking down at their fellow Wal-Mart shoppers or the janitors in their office building.

The isolation also creates a situation where people fear opinions different from their own which can manifest it self either by not wanting to associate with people from other political beliefs, religions, economic status and various other differnces. Just look at how people have become so polarized when it comes to political views and the mean spiritedness that comes with any political today. People do not want to listen to views different from their own because they know that they are right and people who think differently are wrong.

In the long run the major thing that NIMBY’s do is cause the cost of projects to go up while trying to stop projects that make since. They also create so much noise that often times the truly legitimate concerns get drowned out.

There is another type of NIMBY and that is the community activist NIMBY and I will discuss them soon.

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