Balanced Urban Development: Options and Strategies for Liveable Cities

Volume 72 of the series Water Science and Technology Library pp 29-43

Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.


Nimbyism and Nature: Whose Backyard Is It Anyway?

  • Jennifer ScottAffiliated withKu-ring-gai Council Email author 
  • , Marnie KikkenAffiliated withKu-ring-gai Council
  • , Michelle RoseAffiliated withKu-ring-gai Council
  • , Penny ColyerAffiliated withKu-ring-gai Council


The Ku-ring-gai community have long expressed a strong desire to keep their suburbs green. When asked, most people comment that they moved to the area to live in a bushland setting. Given this enduring set of values, it is interesting that Council spends a great deal of time fielding complaints from residents about nature’s miscreants, those birds, animals and plants that fail to respect property boundaries or intrude into the lives of residents in the bushland interface areas. This paper examines one such dilemma challenging public land managers; when people and nature come into conflict. The issue in question is that of a long standing flying fox camp in Ku-ring-gai and the problems arising from the close proximity of these animals to local residents. It is a debate that has passionate proponents on both sides.

The flying fox management issue provides an insight into the juxtaposition between people who want to live close to nature but on strictly human terms. The strategies proposed to keep the peace between the residents and the champions of the flying fox is an instructive environmental management example that is likely to become increasingly common as pressure on the remaining natural resources in urban areas continues to rise.


Suburbs Bushland Nature Land manager Environmental management