Should NIMBYs Decide a City's Future?

As much-needed residential development projects in Boston prepare to seek their necessary approvals, George Thrush explores how a plague of "refusenicks" threaten to cost the city its competitive edge.

Thrush describes a convoluted approvals process in Boston that requires "every large-scale development proposal be approved by a citizens' advisory committee" to which "only committed anti-development gadflies show up."

As Thrush argues, in this system, only the high-end projects with deep pockets are able to commit to the lengthy and uncertain process, while "affordable projects that run on a tighter margin get killed by the protracted review process."

"Crazy as it sounds, in one of the nation's largest cities, a few local characters who regularly show up at public meetings somehow have the power to completely derail major projects. This has to change. If it doesn't, Boston could lose its competitive edge."

Full Story: Why Must a Few Lonely Cranks Decide the Future of Boston's Buildings?

Comments

Prepare for the AICP* Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $245

Essential Readings in Urban Planning

Planning on taking the AICP* Exam? Register for Planetizen's AICP * Exam Preparation Course to save $25.

Brand new! Urban Grid City Collection

Each city has its own unique story. Commemorate where you came from or where you want to go.
$40-50

Create Your Own Paper Block City

Urban Fold is an all-inclusive kit that allows anyone to build the city of their dreams with a few simple folds.
$24.95