Gated communities as club goods: segregation or social cohesion?

Manzi, Tony and Smith-Bowers, Bill (2005) Gated communities as club goods: segregation or social cohesion? Housing Studies, 20 (2). pp. 345-359. ISSN 0267-3037


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Gated communities are normally presented in highly negative terms, based on the common assumption that they contribute to social segregation. In contrast to received wisdom this paper argues that the theory of club goods can be used to understand gating as a response to both real and perceived issues of crime, vandalism and anti-social behaviour. We suggest that gating can help to foster social cohesion by involving a wide spectrum of communities and income groups to: reduce crime, protect parked vehicles, increase safety and enhance the local environment by preventing unsolicited entry. The paper explores through two case studies, how communities struggling with neighbourhood problems including crime are using gating as a way of improving their environment rather than abandoning poorer areas of the city to find a safer home in more residentially segregated better off neighbourhoods. If housing and planning policy makers are to take seriously a commitment to resident democracy and local participation, such concerns should not be dismissed out of hand as examples of 'isolationism' or 'particularistic consumerist interests'.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Online ISSN 1466-1810
Uncontrolled Keywords: Gated communities, residential segregation, club goods
Subjects: University of Westminster > Architecture and the Built Environment > Architecture and the Built Environment, School of (No longer in use)
Depositing User: Users 4 not found.
Date Deposited: 24 Nov 2005
Last Modified: 11 Aug 2010 14:30

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