15 Acronyms Every Urbanist Should Know

alphabet soup 15 Acronyms Every Urbanist Should Know

Photo Credit: Wainwright on Flickr

Like any speciality, urbanists (particularly urban planners) have developed their own language.  A central part of this language is the alphabet soup of acronym.

Urban Acronyms

Here is a list  of 10 of the most popular acronyms used by urbanists, planners and developers to describe their clients, adversaries or projects.

  1. BED: Bleed ‘em Dry—a common tactic used by planners to “fix” a project they don’t like.
  2. CAVE [people]: Citizens Against Virtually Everything
  3. CRAVE[rs]: Citizens Radically Against Virtually Everything
  4. DIFF: Do It For Free
  5. DBTD: Death By a Thousand Days—another common tactic used by planners to “fix” a project they don’t like.
  6. DBTN: Death By a Thousand Nicks—yet another common tactic used by planners to “fix” a project they don’t like. Related to BED.
  7. DUDE: Developer Under Delusions of Entitlement
  8. KISS: Keep it Simple Stupid
  9. LULU: Locally Unwanted Land Use
  10. MIGA: Make It Go Away
  11. MISE: Move It Somewhere Else
  12. NIMBY: Not in my backyard—stay tuned for a special post on the various spinoffs of this popular acronym.
  13. RUID: Review Until It Dies
  14. SLAPP: Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation
  15. WIIFM: What’s in it for me?

For a hilarious example of many of these acronyms in action, check out PlanetizensThe Three Local Builders: A Modern Fairy Tale in Plannerese.

Your Turn

What is your favourite urban planning related acronym?

Yuri Artibise

Yuri Artibise is an experienced policy analyst, community engagement practitioner and social media specialist. I have a Master of Public Administration degree with over 10 years of public policy research, analysis, and advocacy experience.