By Dom Nozzi
December 11, 2018
Cities across the US – particularly cities such as Boulder, Colorado – have seen a significant rise in citizens aggressively fighting to stop growth. Terms such as NIMBY or No-Growther describe such people.
What are the origins of this movement?
I believe an important source originates with the car-happy world we have created, which is a self-perpetuating downward spiral in which a growing number of people find themselves obligated to be so car dependent. Cars consume a huge amount of space, which leads to significant inconvenience when other motorists are in one’s vicinity. You and your neighbors are jostling for elbow room with each of you owning and trying to maneuver a very large metal box. Therefore, such a lifestyle inevitably compels most such people to fight to either stop growth or at least minimize density and building height.
Because their car consumes so much space, motorists are also compelled to demand that the human scale in their community be replaced by an unsafe, unpleasant car scale (ie, oversized roads and parking lots). In other words, a great many people in a car-oriented society become their own worst enemies. They also tend to become enemies of what makes cities wonderful (compactness, sociability, slower speeds).
My question is this: Why do people who dislike cities choose to live in a city?