Research and Publications

New paper on NIMBYism in JHBE co-authored by Dorina Pojani

We explore the participation levels of NIMBY (‘Not In My Backyard’) proponents versus other voices at public hearings San Francisco, a city with an exceptionally dire housing crisis. Once very diverse, radical, and bohemian, San Francisco has become the most expensive city in the US, which caters to a wealthy minority—heavily connected to the tech industries of the neighboring Silicon Valley. Taking a qualitative approach, we review videos of planning commission meetings between 2018 and 2019 in San Francisco in which housing development proposals are considered. We find that NIMBYism continues to dominate the dialog at public hearings on development proposals. Planning meetings appear to be dominated by older, white, and financially stable residents, and this is a major (though not sole) barrier to the city’s social mix.