Bucolic suburbs, natural beauty, neighborly strife?
Lately, I’ve been obsessed with NIMBYism. It’s horrid (NIMBYism that is, not being obsessed by it). Not that it’s a recent phenomenon. It’s just that lately I’ve smelled some particularly nasty odors of it in my own community.
New Urbanism guru Andreas Duany has said: "People are intelligent in the abstract. They just get stupid when they talk about their own back yards."
NIMBYism rears its ugliness in both urban and rural places. Consider my blog a few weeks ago about civic entitlement in Toronto. Or Wendy Sarkissian’s about her rural community in Australia.
Somehow, though, NIMBYism has particular stench in suburban places. It fouls the air of civility among neighbors who should know better.
There is a great story about this by Seth Bauer of the Huffington Post you must read called American Suburbia vs the Planet.
We build homes with giant foyers because we have no public squares. We need media rooms because it's not easy or pleasant to drive to a multiplex theater, cross a parking lot through an ocean of cars, and pay a fortune for popcorn. We build bars in our basements because there are no neighborhood pubs. We have giant refrigerators and ever-growing storage needs because shopping is both far away and unpleasant (hello, Costco). The result? We heat and air-condition unused rooms in oversized unpleasant houses. And because our home bars and foyers are empty and our media experiences private, we're lonely, to boot.
Yes, that's it exactly.
Check out Bauer’s article in Huffington Post.