Collective Versus Self-interests: What Is Behind NIMBY?

Shan Shan Chung*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in book/report/conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


“Not-in-my-backyard” (NIMBY) describes a social sentiment that opposes to the establishment of certain essential public facilities in the opposing group’s neighbourhood. These public facilities are therefore considered unwelcome facilities which become subjects of land controversies. Facilities that may be confronted by NIMBY include but do not limit to, clinics for the mentally ill, columbarium, wind turbines and various waste facilities, such as refuse transfer stations, waste and recycling depots, waste incinerators and landfills. In this chapter, the author will review the NIMBY phenomena on the extension of a major waste facility in Hong Kong, namely the South East New Territories (SENT) Landfill extension project proposed in 2013–14 in Hong Kong. Among the readily available textbook solutions, offering adequate financial compensation is likely the only effective means to get the vocal opponents agree to the establishment of the unwelcome facility in question, and this is unlikely to get government buy-in because of the inexplicable growth in the property market in Hong Kong in the recent decade. If yielding to the financial demand of the vocal opponents is not a feasible solution, then is there a way out to achieve good land governance in Hong Kong over the aspect of major waste facility siting? At the end of the chapter, the author will argue that the most effective solution to NIMBY in Hong Kong is to render a potentially unwelcomed facility a sustainability steered asset which can enhance property value and other social values for the local community.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLand and Housing Controversies in Hong Kong
Subtitle of host publicationPerspectives of Justice and Social Values
EditorsBetty Yung, Kam-Por Yu
PublisherSpringer Singapore
Number of pages23
ISBN (Electronic)9789811552663
ISBN (Print)9789811552656, 9789811552687
Publication statusPublished - 17 Jul 2020

Publication series

NameGovernance and Citizenship in Asia
ISSN (Print)2365-6255
ISSN (Electronic)2365-6263


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