Gated Communities: a Discussion of the Reasons and the Consequences of Housing Choices Towards Increasingly Secure or Fortified Spaces in Western Cities

Sue Barnes


Today’s capitalist markets proclaim gated communities to be safer, friendlier communities, as consumers yearn for private utopias. However, many issues including the privatisation of public space, social control, urban governance, social exclusion and social capital are of concern for those questioning this new phenomenon. Evidence suggests that the safe, caring gated community ideology is not only misleading but can also lead to the creation of landscapes of exclusion, loss of social capital and community tolerance, and increased social exclusion.


gated communities; social control; social exclusion; public space; urban governance; security

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