Where Pro-Development Groups Are Gaining Traction

The YIMBY movement seems to be gaining steam as more the country deals with growing housing prices and increasing numbers of people experiencing homelessness. Recent research reveals where pro-development forces are most likely to call home.

2 minute read

April 18, 2022, 12:00 PM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


California State Senator Scott Wiener (D) is among the U.S. politicians most visibly supporting pro-development policies. | Sheila Fitzgerald / Shutterstock

The past decade or so has seen a string of planning and zoning reforms, backed by a growing coalition of pro-development forces sometimes referred to as YIMBY groups. The political and cultural accomplishments of these pro-development groups are, in effect, reversing a century-long planning status quo that has mostly favored single-family zoning and automobile-oriented sprawl.

“The emergence of such visible and vocal pro-housing groups has become a defining feature in land use debates over the past several years—a counterbalance to long-standing homeowners who oppose new housing, often referred to as NIMBYs, for ‘Not In My Backyard,’” according to an article by Cassidy Pearson and Jenny Schuetz for Brookings.

The source article provides access and insight into a recent brief that documents where these YIMBY pro-development groups have gained the most prominence. The article suggests that more research into where, how, and why pro-housing groups emerge is relevant to economics, political science, sociology, and urban planning.

“More than 140 of these groups existed as of January 2022, although their size and activity level vary. Nearly 60% of states (29) have at least one active group, with the highest concentrations in California, Massachusetts, Texas, and Washington,” write Pearson and Schuetz. These groups tend to coalesce around local jurisdictions, and they are more common on the West Coast, according to the article.

More details on the findings and methodology are included in the source article, linked below.

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