Can the YIMBY Movement Succeed in the Suburbs

"Yes In My Suburb" at Ecomoderism 2022

The burgeoning urbanist movement has argued forcefully that YIMBY, or “yes in my backyard,” is not just a housing affordability agenda but a climate agenda. Denser, cheaper housing enables more people to occupy less land, making more efficient use of infrastructure and supply chains while reducing pollution associated with commuting and allowing greater access to public transit. At times, the YIMBY movement veers into active antipathy towards suburbs, exurbs, and personal vehicles. Is this the inevitable equilibrium for pro-housing, pro-transit advocacy? Might it be the case that some people will prefer cars and suburbs even in a future where exclusionary zoning is abolished? And could the YIMBY movement even take root in the suburbs, away from the dense, housing-starved corridors it thrives in today?


  • Jennifer Hernandez, Partner, Holland & Knight; Breakthrough Institute Board Member
  • Jenny Schuetz, Senior Fellow, Brookings Metro
  • Judge Glock, Senior Director of Policy and Research, Cicero Institute
  • Jerusalem Demsas, Staff Writer, The Atlantic