A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from June 28, 2009
NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard)

"NIMBY” (Not In My Back Yard) has been cited in print since at least 1978, and went viral in 1980. The “NIMBY” term has been said to have been coined by Walton Rodger of Nuclear Safety Associates. A “NIMBYist” believes that something shouldn’t be placed near his or her home because it would degrade the quality of life.

“YIMBY" (Yes In My Back Yard)—the opposite of NIMBY—has been cited in print since at least 1988.


Wikipedia: NIMBY
NIMBY or Nimby is an acronym for Not In My Back Yard. The term is used pejoratively to describe a new development’s opposition by residents in its vicinity. The new project being opposed is generally considered a benefit for many but has negative side-effects on its close surroundings. As a result, residents nearby the immediate location would consider it undesirable and would generally prefer the building to be “elsewhere”. The term was coined in the 1980s by British politician Nicholas Ridley, who was Conservative Secretary of State for the Environment.

Projects likely to be opposed include incinerators, power plants and prisons, but far more commonly the concept is associated with obstruction and objections to transportation improvements and mobile telephone network masts.

Variations
NIMBY and its derivative terms NIMBYism, NIMBYs, and NIMBYists, refer implicitly to debates of development generally or to a specific case. As such, their use is inherently contentious. The Oxford English Dictionary identifies the acronym’s earliest use as being in 1980 in the Christian Science Monitor. The term is usually applied to opponents of a development, implying that they have narrow, selfish, or myopic views. Its use is often pejorative.

The term has been applied in debates over developments in various situations, including:

. when parties advocate infrastructure development such as new roads, light rail and metro lines, airports, power plants, electrical transmission lines, wastewater treatment plants, landfills, sewage outfalls or prison
. when parties build, operate, or advocate culturally unfamiliar functions, such as subsidized housing, halfway house, or homeless shelters
. when a government or private party advocates development of residential or commercial property.

Atomic Heritage Foundation
Walton A. Rodger was an American chemical and metallurgical engineer.

Rodger received a Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the University of Illinois. After that, he worked as a research associate during the Manhattan Project, first at the Metallurgical Laboratory in Chicago and the at Oak Ridge.

After the war, Rodger pioneered nuclear waste storage techniques. He designed nuclear and industrial waste facilities for the Argonne National Laboratory and then served as associate director of chemical engineering at the lab.

Rodger left Argonne in the early 1960s and founded Nuclear Safety Associates. He received the Robert E. Wilson Award in nuclear engineering in 1981.

Rodger died on February 28, 1988 in West Valley, NY at the age of 69.

Word Spy
NIMBY
(NIM.bee) acronym. A person who hopes or seeks to keep some dangerous or unpleasant feature out of his or her neighborhood.
—NIMBYism (NIM.bee.iz.um) n. The attitude of such a person.
(...)
Earliest Citation:
People are now thoroughly alert to the dangers of hazardous chemical wastes.The very thought of having even a secure landfill anywhere near them is anathema to most Americans today. It’s an attitude referred to in the trade as NIMBY — “not in my backyard.”
—Emilie Travel Livezey, “Hazardous waste,” The Christian Science Monitor, November 6, 1980

Merriam-Webster Dictionary
Main Entry: NIMBY
Pronunciation: \ˈnim-bē\
Function: noun
Etymology: not in my backyard
Date: 1980
: opposition to the locating of something considered undesirable (as a prison or incinerator) in one’s neighborhood
— NIMBY·ism \-ˌi-zəm\ noun

(Oxford English Dictionary)
Nimby, n.
orig. U.S. Freq. depreciative.
Plural Nimbies, Nimbys. Forms: 19- NIMBY, 19- Nimby, 19- nimby. [Acronym < the initial letters of not in my back yard.]
1. An attitude ascribed to persons who object to the siting of something they regard as detrimental or hazardous in their own neighbourhood, while by implication raising no such objections to similar developments elsewhere. Freq. attrib.
1980 Christian Sci. Monitor 6 Nov. B5/3 A secure landfill anywhere near them is anathema to most Americans today. It’s an attitude referred to in the trade as NIMBY‘—not in my backyard’.
1986 Times 30 Apr. 12/6 Wakeham has become a convert to the Nimby..principle. A chief whip who thinks that nuclear waste is too dangerous for his own constituency will find it hard to persuade other Tory MPs that it is safe for theirs.
2. A person holding such an attitude; an objector to local (esp. building) development.
1980 Forbes 22 Dec. 8 Home builders and city planners have a new name for an old enemy—the ‘Nimbys’..those who want no construction that might disturb the character and real estate value of their neighborhoods.
1984 N.Y. Times 5 Aug. (Long Island Weekly section) 10/4 [His] vow to block construction at that site has led to accusations..that the Assemblyman ‘is a “nimby”’.

OCLC WorldCat record
Nuclear waste disposal: not in my backyard
Author: I Bupp; Cambridge MA Harvard Univ
Edition/Format: Article Article : English
Publication: Technol. Rev. v80:5 (19780101): 64-72
Summary:
Public perception of the problems associated with nuclear waste disposal are not based so much on technological and economic considerations as on the unanswered question of how safe is safe enough. The Carter administration is seeking a consensus to support a retrievable, deep geologic repository, but interim measures are needed to handle the present spent-fuel storage problem. A range of management and disposal strategies is already available for low- and intermediate-level wastes, but each involves controversial trade-offs. Locating an acceptable site for storage has raised the most confusion and disagreement. Among the options discussed are geologic formations (salt or granite) in which the waste would be in either retrievable or non-retrievable form, polar ice sheets, or deep-sea disposal. Barriers to retrievable disposal resulting from the characteristics of the wasteform, the canisters used, and the geologic medium used for storage are reviewed. 18 references.

Google Books
Nuclear News
American Nuclear Society
Volume 21, Issues 7-10
1978
All this has led to what Rodger (Walton Rodger of Nuclear Safety Associates—ed.) calls the NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard) syndrome and to the parochial cries for veto rights over facility sitings.

16 October 1979, Martinsville (IN) Daily Reporter, pg. 2, col. 4:
(A letter about a landfill.—ed.)
N.I.M.B.Y.
Withhold Name Please
(Editor’s Note: It’ll be in somebody’s back yard.)

29 June 1980, Daily Press (Newport News, VA), “No One Wants Backyard Nuclear Dump” by Ernie Gates, pg. A1, col. 1:
Some call it the Nimby Syndrome.

That’s Nimby, as in “Not-in-my-back-yard,” which is where everybody wants to put a Virginia dumping grounds for low-level nuclear waste.

Google Books
August 1987, Atlantic Monthly, pg. 88:
A few years ago ANS (American Nuclear Society—ed.) stalwart Walton Rodger coined the acronym NIMBY . . . to describe the . . . syndrome that urges the immediate rejection of almost any large construction project in any local area.

OCLC WorldCat record
The Not-in-my-back-yard syndrome : a two-day symposium on public involvement in siting waste management facilities, 13-14 May 1983 : symposium proceedings
Author: Audrey Armour; York University (Toronto, Ont.). Faculty of Environmental Studies.
Publisher: Downsview, Ont. : Faculty of Environmental Studies, York University, 1984.
Edition/Format: Print book : Conference publication : English

OCLC WorldCat record
The “Not in my back yard” reaction : a search for solutions
Author: Miridian Films.; Film Ideas (Firm); University of Virginia. Institute for Environmental Negotiation.
Publisher: Riverwoods, Ill. : Distributed exclusively by Films Ideas, Inc., ©1986.
Edition/Format: VHS video : Beta : VHS tape : U-matic Visual material : English
Summary:
“Not in my back yard” (NIMBY) is the term used to describe neighborhood opposition to locally unwanted land uses (LULUs). Suggested for negotiation of disputes between citizens, developers and others is a tested method of negotiation headed by an impartial environmental mediator. Work on the negotiation method has been done at the Institute for Environmental Negotiation at the University of Vir

OCLC WorldCat record
The NIMBY Syndrome : Its Cause and Cure
Author: C P WOLF Affiliation: Director, Social Impact Assessment Center Box 2087 Canal Street Station New York, New York 10013-9998
Edition/Format: Article Article : English
Publication: Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, v502 n1 (July 1987): 216-229

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