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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] The YIMBY movement supports development of new housing in cities where housing costs have escalated to unaffordable levels, though it may also support public-interest projects like clean energy or alternative transport.[3][4][5] YIMBYs often seek rezoning that would allow more housing to be produced.[6] YIMBYs also sometimes seek the repurposing of obsolete buildings, such as malls, into housing.[7]

The YIMBY movement has been described as politically-agnostic with both left-leaning adherents who believe housing production is a social justice issue and free-market libertarian proponents who think the supply of housing should not be regulated by the government. YIMBYs agree on the principle that cities should be affordable and accessible for everyone, and the way to accomplish that is by building more housing.[8][9][10]: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.[11][12] The festival's organizer, Christina Zeidler, states that "YIMBYism is a community mindset that's open to change and development.[12]"


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.[13][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.[14]

United States[edit]

In 2011, Nikolai Fedak created a YIMBY news website that focuses on construction trends in New York City.[15] 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.[16]" Open New York, which began in 2017, is an activist group that writes op-eds and testifies in zoning-related hearings.[17] Curbed states that: "Its core philosophy mirrors that of other YIMBY—or yes in my backyard—groups in cities like San Francisco or Los Angeles, which advocate for doing away with exclusionary zoning, and combating the exclusionary sentiment of wealthy enclaves they believe prevents cities from becoming more equitable."[17] According to Ben Carlos Thypin, an organizer with Open New York, "In high-opportunity areas where people actually really want to live, the well-heeled, mostly white residents are able to use their perceived political power to stop the construction of basically anything," he says, adding that low-income communities don't share that ability to keep development at bay. "Philosophically, we think that the disproportionate share of the burden of growth has been borne by low income, minority or industrial neighborhoods for far too long," he says.[17]"

Since 2012, several YIMBY groups were established in the greater Boston area, including A Better Cambridge, started by Jesse Kanson-Benanav, as well as Walk Up Roslindale and Villages Newton.[18][19][20] 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.[21]"

Since 2014, in response to California's housing affordability crisis, several YIMBY groups were created 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.[22][23] 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.[22] 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."[23]"

In 2018, a newly-formed lobbying 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. The bill failed in committee.[24]:1 [25]:1 In 2019, California YIMBY sponsored Senate Bill 50, a follow-up to Senate Bill 827, which also did not successfully pass through committee.[26]

United Kingdom[edit]

London YIMBY was set up in 2016, publishing its first report with the Adam Smith Institute in 2017[27] which received national press coverage.[28] Its members advocate a policy termed 'Better Streets'. This proposal would allow residents of individual streets to vote by a two-thirds majority to pick a design code and allow extensions or replacement buildings of up to five or six stories, allowing suburban homes to be gradually replaced by mansion blocks. This flagship policy has achieved a degree of recognition, being endorsed by Liberal Democrat MP Sam Gyimah[29] and the current leader of the House of Commons Jacob Rees-Mogg.[30]

Other YIMBY groups have been set up in individual London boroughs and cities suffering similar housing shortages, such as Brighton, Bristol and Edinburgh.

Members of the British YIMBY movement have been critical of established planning organisations such as the Town and Country Planning Association and the Campaign to Protect Rural England, accusing them of pursuing policies that worsen Britains housing shortage.[31][32]

International conferences[edit]

In September 2018, the third annual Yes In My Backyard conference, named "YIMBYTown" occurred in Boston, hosted by that area's YIMBY community.[33] The first YIMBY conference was held in 2016 in Boulder, Colorado[34] 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.[35]" The second annual conference was held in the San Francisco Bay Area city of Oakland, California.[36] These conferences have attracted attendees from the United States, as well as some from Canada, England, Australia, and other countries.[37][10]


A study published in Urban Affairs Review found that five years after Chicago rezoned land around transit stops for denser development, there was an increase in housing prices in the re-zoned areas while there was no increase in housing supply. Said the author: "The short-term, local-level impacts of upzoning are higher property prices but no additional new housing construction.” The author also stated the need for more research to determine the long-term effects of rezoning on housing prices and production.[38][39][40]

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. ^ https://www.bostonglobe.com/opinion/2018/01/14/california-blow-your-lousy-zoning-laws/AcT0vOJCdArOJp3cBH9zmJ/story.html
  7. ^ https://www.mercurynews.com/2019/06/25/yimby-neo-liberal-fascists-comment-perceived-threats-spark-backlash-against-local-planning-commissioner/
  8. ^ 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.
  9. ^ 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.
  10. ^ 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.
  11. ^ "About – yimby".
  12. ^ a b De Franco, Luca (2010-11-12). "Head Space: Christina Zeidler, YIMBY festival organizer". Spacing. Archived from the original on 2017-10-20. Retrieved 2018-06-26.
  13. ^ 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.
  14. ^ 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.
  15. ^ 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.
  16. ^ Prakash, Nidhi (2014-07-29). "Nikolai Fedak, city polemicist". Politico. Archived from the original on 2017-03-30. Retrieved 2018-07-03.
  17. ^ a b c Raskin, Sam (September 17, 2018). "The YIMBY movement comes to New York City - Open New York, the city's first self-style YIMBY group, advocates for more housing in high-opportunity areas". Curbed. Archived from the original on 2019-02-03. Retrieved 2019-03-28.
  18. ^ 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.
  19. ^ 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.
  20. ^ 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.
  21. ^ 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.
  22. ^ 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.
  23. ^ 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.
  24. ^ 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.
  25. ^ 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.
  26. ^ https://sd25.senate.ca.gov/news/2019-05-16/senator-portantino’s-statement-sb-50
  27. ^ "London Yimby 2017 report" (PDF). Adam smith institute.
  28. ^ https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/aug/11/housing-shortage-nimbys-yes-in-my-backyard-yimby
  29. ^ https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2019/07/07/tories-really-want-provide-homes-need-do/
  30. ^ https://iea.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/Raising-the-Roof-FULL-Interactive.pdf
  31. ^ https://www.citymetric.com/fabric/which-four-letter-acronym-worse-housing-crisis-cpre-or-tcpa-4719
  32. ^ https://www.citymetric.com/fabric/when-did-cpre-start-hating-houses-4567
  33. ^ "YIMBYTown".
  34. ^ Groover, Heidi (2016-06-17). "The First-Ever YIMBY Conference Is Happening Right Now". The Stranger. Archived from the original on 2016-07-22. Retrieved 2018-07-04.
  35. ^ 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.
  36. ^ 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.
  37. ^ 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.
  38. ^ https://www.citylab.com/life/2019/01/zoning-reform-house-costs-urban-development-gentrification/581677/
  39. ^ https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1078087418824672?journalCode=uarb&
  40. ^ https://thefrisc.com/housing-arguments-over-sb-50-distort-my-upzoning-study-heres-how-to-get-zoning-changes-right-40daf85b74dc

External links[edit]