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NIMBY (“Not in my Back Yard”)

NIMBY (“Not In My Back Yard”) is an acronym describing opposition to something newly proposed for the neighborhood of the opponent. Synonyms include NIMBYism and the NIMBY syndrome. The opponents themselves are often referred to as NIMBYs, less often as NIMBYists. Understanding NIMBY dynamics can be important to communicators who want to understand public reactions to controversial planning decisions involving technology and environment.

Print use of NIMBY dates back only to 1980, when the term appeared in the Christian Science Monitor. By then it was already in widespread use at angry public meetings. The phrase NIMBY is intrinsically pejorative, keeping company with adjectives like irrational and selfish. Only proponents of a development refer to its opponents as NIMBYs. This entry, however, will use the term without ...

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