Dirty public goods are not necessarily public goods, in the technical sense that an act of consumption does not diminish their supply, but rather public projects assumed to be of net benefit to the population as a whole, but not to those living near them. Power stations and airports are among the most common examples: they leave what some political geographers call their ‘externality footprint’ on their neighbours. Naturally the neighbours of such projects are likely to show a NIMBY reaction. There has been considerable debate about the best decision‐making procedures for taking into account the interests of both gainers and losers in such issues. In this debate it is generally argued that existing procedures are fundamentally flawed.