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YIMBY is an acronym for "Yes In My Back Yard," a pro-development movement in contrast and opposition to the NIMBY phenomenon.[1][2] Typically the YIMBY movement supports development of new housing in cities where rental costs have escalated to unaffordable levels, though it may also support public-interest projects such as the installation of clean energy sources like wind turbines.[3][4][5]

People who identify as YIMBY come from all over the political spectrum, from far left-wingers who believe in social justice, to free-market libertarians who feel that the supply of housing should not be regulated by the government (see Market urbanist); together they agree on the principle that cities should be affordable and accessible for everyone, and the way to accomplish that is by building more housing.[6][7][8]:1


In Toronto, Canada, a self-styled YIMBY movement was established in 2006 by community members in response to significant development proposals in the West Queen West area, and a YIMBY festival, launched the same year, has been held annually since.[9][10] The festival's organizer, Christina Zeidler, states that

YIMBYism is a community mindset that’s open to change and development.[10]


Yimby is an independent political party network founded in Stockholm in 2007, which advocates physical development, densification and promotion of urban environment. There are chapters in Stockholm, Gothenburg, and Uppsala.[11][citation needed] The group believes that the PBL (Plans and Constructions Act, from 1987) is a major impediment to any new construction, and should eliminated or dramatically reformed.[12]

United States[edit]

California - San Francisco Bay Area[edit]

Since 2014, in response to California's housing affordability crisis, several YIMBY groups have sprung up in the San Francisco Bay Area, including the San Francisco Bay Area Renters' Federation, headed by Sonja Trauss, as well as YIMBY Action, East Bay for Everyone, Palo Alto Forward, Catalyze SV, and CaRLA.[13][14] These groups lobby both locally and at the state level for increased housing production at all price levels, as well as using California's Housing Accountability Act ("the anti-NIMBY law") to sue cities when they attempt to block, restrict, or down-size housing development.[13] As The New York Times explains about Trauss' organization:

"Its platform is simple: Members want San Francisco and its suburbs to build more of every kind of housing. More subsidized affordable housing, more market-rate rentals, more high-end condominiums."[14]

In 2018, a newly-formed group named California YIMBY, which received $100,000 from Yelp CEO Jeremy Stoppelman, as well as $1 million from San Francisco tech company Stripe, lobbied for and joined over 100 Bay Area tech executives in supporting state senator Scott Wiener's California Senate Bill 827, which would have required cities to permit higher density housing near public transit stops, as well as eliminated minimum parking requirements for those developments.[15]:1 [16]:1

Massachusetts - Boston/Cambridge area[edit]

Since 2012, several YIMBY groups have sprouted in the greater Boston area, including A Better Cambridge, started by Jesse Kanson-Benanav, as well as Walk Up Roslindale and Villages Newton.[17][18][19] Kanson-Benanav's group argues that:

...more smart housing development is the only way to retain a middle class in pricey cities like Boston and Cambridge.[20]

New York - New York City[edit]

New York's leading YIMBY group is Open New York, an activist group that writes op-eds and testifies in zoning-related hearings. In addition, Nikolai Fedak has created a YIMBY news website that focuses on construction trends in New York City.[21] In an interview with Politico, he stated that:

“Zoning is the problem, not development in this city. I think people don’t really understand that,” he said.[22]

Although the Market Urbanism blog is not limited to New York City, many of its posts relate to that city.

International conferences[edit]

In September 2018, the third annual Yes In My Backyard conference, named "YIMBYTown" will occur in Boston, hosted by that area's YIMBY community.[23] The first YIMBY conference was held in 2016 in Boulder, Colorado[24] and hosted by a group that included Boulder's former mayor, Will Toor, who commented that:

It is clearer than ever that if we really care about solving big national issues like inequality and climate change, tackling the lack of housing in thriving urban areas, caused largely by local zoning restrictions, is key.[25]

The second annual conference was held in the San Francisco Bay Area city of Oakland, California.[26] These conferences have attracted attendees from the United States, as well as some from Canada, England, Australia, and other countries.[27][8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Semuels, Alana (5 July 2017). "From 'Not in My Backyard' to 'Yes in My Backyard'". The Atlantic. Archived from the original on 2018-03-25. Retrieved 5 July 2017.

    Out of a desire for more-equitable housing policy, some city dwellers have started allying with developers instead of opposing them.

  2. ^ "YIMBY". Retrieved 15 September 2016 – via The Free Dictionary.
  3. ^ Bateman, Chris (2015-09-09). "YIMBY Festival brings together Toronto's city-builders". Toronto Metro. Archived from the original on 2016-03-02. Retrieved 15 September 2016.
  4. ^ Kuntz, Tom (2009-08-17). "From Liberal NIMBY to Green YIMBY". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 2009-12-20. Retrieved 2018-07-31.

    There’s a growing recognition that opposition to growth — in Berkeley and Oakland, for example — contributed to environmentally unfriendly suburban and exurban sprawl, and that “infill development” — dense urban housing near mass transit — is now the way to go.

  5. ^ McCormick, Erin (2017-10-02). "Rise of the yimbys: the angry millennials with a radical housing solution". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 2017-11-07. Retrieved 2018-08-23.

    “The cause of our current shortage is 100% political,” wrote Trauss in 2015, in an internet post that helped her build an army of followers to speak at public hearings, send letters and drum up support for housing on the internet.

  6. ^ Barnett, Erica (2016-11-01). "Meet the YIMBYs, Seattleites in Support of Housing Density - A new movement is saying yes to urban density in all its forms". Seattle Magazine. Archived from the original on 2016-12-05. Retrieved 2018-07-05.

    Although they span the political spectrum, from far left social-justice activists to hard-core libertarian free marketeers, YIMBYs generally agree that cities should be accessible and affordable for everyone, whether they own a million-dollar mansion or rent a $900-a-month studio, and whether they work as a barista or just moved to Seattle for a new job at Amazon.

  7. ^ Beyer, Scott (2017-03-01). "Build, Baby, Build: A New Housing Movement's Unofficial Motto". Governing. Archived from the original on 2017-05-12. Retrieved 2018-07-05.

    And its prescriptions vary thanks to the different groups that inevitably come together under its banner, such as construction industry people seeking deregulation aligning with social justice advocates who want tenant protections and affordability set-asides. Despite their different backgrounds, YIMBYs, who tend to be young and lean liberal, unify around the broad idea of adding more housing.

  8. ^ a b Stephens, Josh (2016-06-21). ""YIMBY" Movement Heats Up in Boulder". Next City. Archived from the original on 2016-09-15. Retrieved 2018-07-31.
  9. ^ http://www.yimbytoronto.org/about
  10. ^ a b De Franco, Luca (2010-11-12). "Head Space: Christina Zeidler, YIMBY festival organizer". Spacing (magazine). Archived from the original on 2017-10-20. Retrieved 2018-06-26.
  11. ^ Ranen, Kaj (2014-10-06). "Europe's Most Successful Economy Is Way Too Good to Be True". Next City. Archived from the original on 2015-05-11. Retrieved 2018-06-24.

    ...Gustav Svärd, spokesperson for the progressive urban network YIMBY, which has more than 6,000 members. ... Gustav Svärd agrees that Stockholm has many positive things going on, and has witnessed a dramatic change among politicians since YIMBY was founded in 2007.

  12. ^ Ranen, Kaj (2014-10-06). "Europe's Most Successful Economy Is Way Too Good to Be True". Next City. Archived from the original on 2015-05-11. Retrieved 2018-06-24.

    Svärd wants to completely rethink the PBL structure. “The PBL was basically shaped to prevent new developments, and it makes it virtually impossible to create truly connected urban fabrics. We need to transform, or abolish, the PBL and create real urban plans for larger areas. At the moment, every single house has to go through a massive process of bureaucracy and appeals.”

  13. ^ a b Murphy, Katy (2017-11-12). "'Homes for human beings': Millennial-driven anti-NIMBY movement is winning with a simple message". San Jose Mercury News. Archived from the original on 2017-11-23. Retrieved 2018-06-14.
  14. ^ a b Dougherty, Conor (2016-04-16). "In Cramped and Costly Bay Area, Cries to Build, Baby, Build". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 2016-04-25. Retrieved 2018-07-02.
  15. ^ Pender, Kathleen (2018-04-19). "Yelp CEO calls on Google, Facebook to help housing crisis". San Francisco Chronicle. Archived from the original on 2018-04-28. Retrieved 2018-06-06.
  16. ^ Kendall, Marisa (2018-05-03). "Stripe gives $1 million to pro-development YIMBY group tackling Bay Area housing shortage". San Jose Mercury News. Archived from the original on 2018-06-09. Retrieved 2018-10-20.
  17. ^ Logan, Tim (2017-05-04). "Forget 'Not in my backyard,' YIMBY could be the new group on the rise". The Boston Globe. Archived from the original on 2017-05-15. Retrieved 2018-06-27.
  18. ^ Taber, Jake (2016-08-09). "YIMBY - Yes In My Back Yard - Takes a Stand Against Gentrification; Group advocates creating more affordable housing to meet demand for urban living". Metro.Us/Boston. Archived from the original on 2016-08-14. Retrieved 2018-06-27.
  19. ^ Kanson-Benanav, Jesse (2015-09-29). "Guest Column: How to keep Cambridge affordable". Cambridge Chronicle. Archived from the original on 2015-10-24. Retrieved 2018-06-28.
  20. ^ Logan, Tim (2016-06-24). "Jesse Kanson-Benanav: Community organizing, with a focus on housing". The Boston Globe. Archived from the original on 2016-06-25. Retrieved 2018-06-28.
  21. ^ Rosenblum, Constance (2014-04-04). "Sure, Build It in My Backyard". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 2014-10-20. Retrieved 2018-07-03.
  22. ^ Prakash, Nidhi (2014-07-29). "Nikolai Fedak, city polemicist". Politico. Archived from the original on 2017-03-30. Retrieved 2018-07-03.
  23. ^ "YIMBYTown".
  24. ^ Groover, Heidi (2016-06-17). "The First-Ever YIMBY Conference Is Happening Right Now". The Stranger (newspaper). Archived from the original on 2016-07-22. Retrieved 2018-07-04.
  25. ^ McPhate, Mike (2017-07-14). "California Today: A Spreading 'Yimby' Movement". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 2017-08-09. Retrieved 2018-07-19.
  26. ^ Keeling, Brock; Walker, Alissa (2017-07-20). "Can a grassroots movement fix urban housing shortages?". Curbed. Archived from the original on 2017-08-21. Retrieved 2018-07-19.
  27. ^ Bergthold, Garrett (2017-07-18). "YIMBYs Build Momentum at Conference 2017". Beyond Chron. Archived from the original on 2017-07-18. Retrieved 2018-07-19.

External links[edit]




United States[edit]

San Francisco Bay Area[edit]

Boulder/Denver area[edit]

Boston/Cambridge area[edit]

New York City[edit]

Open New York

Annual Conferences[edit]

International Directory of YIMBY groups[edit]