IOBYs – Can Greed be Good?

This is a great example of Newton’s Third Law of Motion in practice – ‘for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction’. So what’s the opposite of a NIMBY [Not In My Back Yard]?

There is a new kind of community movement emerging in the US – a bottom up brick-by-brick transformation by the people and families in their own neighbourhoods. They are ‘IOBYs’ – In Our Back Yard.


IOBY is all about a local community saying ‘yes, we want this to happen in our back yard’ – we want to crowd-fund and crowd-resource our own land restoration projects, our own planting projects, our own community development projects. We want to pay for this ourselves, do the work ourselves, and take care of each other. We want cleaner and safer streets, more fresh air, more greenery, safer and healthier food for our kids.

This is community building at its finest – from the people up. Perhaps we’re glimpsing our city of the future – pre-industrial village support networked with the coolest fruits from cyberspace?

The IOBY site is well worth some time – full of cool ideas and projects, and in a way a good primer on how real community engagement should work as part of city building.

And of course Green can be Good – what’s wrong with wanting more of the stuff that binds us together and makes us healthier?


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