Survey: Recession Weakens ‘NIMBY’ Resistance to New Development Projects

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Although a weak economy is forcing a grudging acceptance of new projects in many communities, three out four Americans still say, ‘Not In MY Backyard!’, according to the Saint Index.

Even as the level of new development and construction has fallen to historic lows nationally, a recent study suggests that recession-stung Americans appear to be more willing to support new commercial projects in their communities. That would be a rare retrenchment from the prevailing NIMBY (Not in My Backyard) attitude toward growth coined as a catchy acronym some 30 years ago, Randyl Drummer writes for the Costar Group.

A recent survey by the Hingham, MA-based Saint Consulting Grou, found that more than two-thirds (68%) of those it sureveyed said they are more likely to support new projects in their hometown in light of current economic conditions, up nearly 10% from a year ago. The 2010 Saint Index survey of U.S. attitudes about real estate projects and development found that opposition continued to wane and support increased for a range of commercial projects, including power plants and major retail projects such as superstores, malls, large department stores and home improvement centers — compared with attitudes measured during more prosperous times five years ago.

In addition to the survey results, Costar explores how levels of cooperation between local governments, citizens and commercial development interests in Southern California vary widely depending on the project and the jurisdiction.

For Costar’s full report, click here.

For more information about the Saint Index, click here.

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