Not in My Back Yard!

June 9, 1989

Report Outline
Special Focus


Two weeks ago, former first lady Nancy Reagan withdrew her support from a proposed drug treatment and research center in Los Angeles because of community opposition. Residents of the Lake View Terrace neighborhood had fought the project for more than a year, saying it would damage their property values and attract more crime and drugs to their streets. Frustrated planners and developers call this new kind of citizen power NIMBY, for Not In My Back Yard, and some think it has gone too far. Is citizen power truly hampering progress, or is it just adding a healthy dose of caution to the process of development?

Go to top


Whether it's a halfway house or a nuclear power plant, a landfill or a new highway, citizens are rising up to halt development project?. Although they may say their objections are fiscal or environmental, and many times they are, all too often their real concern is more personal: fear of falling property values.

The record of what has not been built in recent years is impressive. Ground for no new nuclear power plant has been broken since 1978. No large hazardous-waste facility has been sited since 1979. No large metropolitan airport has been built in more than 15 years. Controversies over new prisons have prevented their construction, and prisoners have had to be released from overcrowded facilities in some areas.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Urban Planning
Jun. 03, 2022  The Future of the City
Jun. 04, 2021  Rebuilding America's Infrastructure
Aug. 21, 2020  Economic Clustering
Nov. 01, 2019  Caregiving Crunch
Jul. 27, 2012  Smart Cities
Apr. 09, 2010  Earthquake Threat
Apr. 2009  Rapid Urbanization
Jun. 23, 2006  Downtown Renaissance Updated
May 28, 2004  Smart Growth
Oct. 03, 1997  Urban Sprawl in the West
Mar. 21, 1997  Civic Renewal
Oct. 13, 1995  Revitalizing the Cities
Jun. 09, 1989  Not in My Back Yard!
Apr. 28, 1989  Do Enterprise Zones Work?
Nov. 22, 1985  Supercities: Problems of Urban Growth
Jul. 23, 1982  Reagan and the Cities
Nov. 18, 1977  Saving America's Cities
Oct. 31, 1975  Neighborhood Control
Nov. 21, 1973  Future of the City
Feb. 07, 1973  Restrictions on Urban Growth
May 20, 1970  Urbanization of the Earth
Nov. 06, 1968  New Towns
Oct. 04, 1967  Private Enterprise in City Rebuilding
Feb. 10, 1965  Megalopolis: Promise and Problems
Mar. 04, 1964  City Beautiful
Aug. 21, 1963  Urban Renewal Under Fire
Jan. 21, 1959  Metropolitan Areas and the Federal Government
Jul. 30, 1958  Persistence of Slums
Dec. 09, 1953  Outspreading Cities
Nov. 22, 1952  Slum Clearance: 1932–1952
Jan. 14, 1937  Zoning of Urban and Rural Areas
Land Resources and Property Rights
Protest Movements
Regional Planning and Urbanization