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QIMBY is an acronym for Quality in My Back Yard. It is a suggested alternative term for NIMBY, Not In My Back Yard, emphasizing support for nearby development which is done well. 

The earliest use found is on Twitter in 2012, by planner Petra Dalunde in Stockholm. [Dalunde 2012]. There, she attributes the term Martin Rörby

The term is known to many via planner Brent Toderian, in interview in Vox, 2017:  [Roberts 2017]: 

"There are NIMBYs everywhere. Density is never easy. Change is never easy. We have a bias towards the status quo and we tend to weigh loss more heavily than gain. That is human nature."

"To me, NIMBY is not a pejorative. It means people are saying, “that thing — we don’t want it in our backyard, in our neighborhood.” There’s nothing inherently bad about that. Sometimes it’s a reasonable point! I don’t want an abattoir in my backyard. I don’t want a concrete-batching plant in my backyard. There are things we don’t want in our backyard, and when you combine that with human nature, almost anything in your backyard that you don’t currently have is going to be a challenge.

"So I don’t begrudge NIMBYs. I value them. I listen carefully and I learn what they’re afraid of, why they say no. Often I will learn how to do yes better and address their fears, or at least mitigate them."

"I think we need to train our politicians on how to work with the NIMBY mindset and do the right thing in its context. Doing a “yes,” but a better yes, educated by NIMBY fear."

"I’ll often point to existing buildings and say, “If I thought that’s what I was going to get as a community, I’d be against it too.” The city has to be able to virtually guarantee the quality of the outcome from the urban design, livability, multimodal perspective. And a lot of cities have not set up the culture, the structure, the capacity, the training, or the tools to deliver quality. So when NIMBYs express a fear of change over density, they’re often right."

"I sometimes have as much concern about the YIMBY [Yes In My Backyard] movement as I do about the NIMBY movement. I don’t buy an absolute not-in-my-backyard, but I also don’t buy the argument that we should get rid of our zoning codes and have at it, build as much as we can. Both of those are the extreme."


See also 

Glossary entries for 

  • AIMBY - Already In My Back Yard
  • BANANA - Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere 
  • LULU - Locally Unwanted Land Use
  • NIABY - Not In Anyone's Back Yard