Justice/Policy Tie-In To Lecture 20: Land Use/Land Cover Change

Hey Snerds,

The entire time during lecture 20 all I could think about was my environmental justice class I took last year in undergrad. So I wanted to share a few concepts related to land use change & the policy implications there of.

I would love to see what some of the EPP or Justice track members would like to say about this topic as well :-) Enjoy & Happy studying!

Locally Unwanted Land Uses (LULUs) are land uses that are seen as having detrimental effects to a neighboring area. LULUs may be necessary for a community (solid waste facility, low-income housing projects, prisons, etc.) but few people want to live near them with their perceived or actual externalities.

Syndrome behaviors regarding environmental justice happen when citizens are affected, or think they’re going to be affected by environmental hazards and politicians take action in order to respond to the citizens’ concerns. Examples of syndrome behavior include NIMBY, NIMTOO, NIMEY, PIITBY and WIMBY.

NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard) is usually observed in more politically and economically affluent communities in response to environmental hazards. This is a proactive approach to stop developers that the community thinks is threatening them. The residents in the more affluent communities have time, money and knowledge to have a successful NIMBY campaign. When these communities succeed in their NIMBY campaigns, developers move on to other locations with less opposition, usually in minority and low-income areas.

NIMTOO (Not In My Term Of Office) is a response from politicians when they get caught in the middle of a struggle between industries’ concerned about inadequate disposal facilities for environmental hazards and citizens’ concerns about the health threat from these hazards. Because of how controversial these decisions are, politicians pass laws and create delays for the implementation of regulations during their terms of office. This is to ensure that they are not associated with whatever the hazard may be (usually nuclear waste storage). This contributes to environmental injustices because while politicians are avoiding action on these important and potentially dangerous issues, the current and possibly harmful practices are continuing.

NIMEY (Not In My Election Year) is very similar to NIMTOO because it also focuses on political goals. Instead of how one’s term is perceived, as in NIMTOO, NIMEY focuses on being reelected to office. This causes politicians to be preoccupied with the short-run consequences of elections.

PIITBY (Put It In Their Back Yard) is a political compromise. Solutions associated with environmental injustices often forces officials to achieve a compromise at the expense of people who are not represented in negotiations. This usually results in placing environmental hazards in minority, low-income or politically weak communities.

WIMBY (Why In My Back Yard) is most common in low-income, minority and other less-affluent communities where the other syndrome behaviors are less frequently exhibited. This is a reactive response, rather than proactive. These communities usually do not have the resources or contacts to initiate or sustain proactive behavior for a successful NIMBY campaign. They also do not have the contacts in government and industry necessary to become involved during preplanning and planning stages that precede crucial environmental policy and management decisions (White 2003). This has created a knowledge and information gap in low-income and minority communities about environmental hazards. These communities learn of the serious threat of environmental hazards only after facilities are operational.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License