Although numerous UK and European opinion polls have indicated public support for more renewable energy, actual developments have often met with local opposition, typically described as "NIMBYism" (not in my backyard). Although the NIMBY concept has been used both to describe and explain local opposition, the perjorative nature of the concept has led some researchers to recommend that the concept be abandoned. An alternative explanation has been proposed, where so-called "NIMBY" responses are reconceived as place-protective actions, founded upon processes of place attachment and place identity. This chapter empirically explores this alternative perspective, drawing on mixed method data from a case study of a proposed offshore wind farm in North Wales, UK. Results indicated that place attachment negatively correlated with support for the wind farm. Analysis of place-related meanings and of perceived project impacts suggested that the project threatened place-related identities and attachments since it was objectified to 'fence in the bay', thereby closing off the horizon, damaging the distinctiveness and historical continuity of the place, as well as its ability to provide a restorative environment for visitors. The implications of the findings for theory and practice are explored.
Fencing in the bay? Place attachment, social representations of energy technologies and the protection of restorative environments
Title: Fencing in the bay? Place attachment, social representations of energy technologies and the protection of restorative environments
January 01, 2011
Book Title: Urban Diversities – Environmental and Social Issues
Published City: Cambridge
Publisher: Hogrefe Publishing
Devine-Wright, P. (2011). Fencing in the bay? Place attachment, social representations of energy technologies and the protection of restorative environments. Urban Diversities – Environmental and Social Issues (pp. 227-235). Cambridge: Hogrefe Publishing.