Preservation vs NIMBYism

Preserving history while embracing change.

Preservation vs NIMBYism
Green & White Grocery at Waller & E. 7th. Credit: Preservation Austin

One of the many frustrations of journalism is figuring out how to concisely describe a person or group of people's political position. Even in our increasingly polarized political climate, many people don't fit neatly into an ideological box and take offense when you apply a label to them that doesn't capture the nuances of their worldview.

There are other instances when people get annoyed because a term that they do embrace is being applied to others with whom they don't align.

Hence an email I got a couple weeks ago from Lindsey Derrington, the executive director of Preservation Austin, the 70-year-old advocacy group for historic preservation. Derrington objected to my use of the term "preservationist" to describe anti-growth or anti-density types. One can cherish and protect architectural landmarks without being a NIMBY, she said.