Gated Communities: Fortresses of Fear or Freedom?


Gated Communities: Fortresses of Fear or Freedom?

Given ongoing high crime and poor service delivery, including constant water and electricity outages, the increase in gated communities isn’t going to stop soon, writes DARREN TAYLOR.

In June 2002, a young urban designer, fresh from completing a master’s degree in urban design and planning and employed at the Centre for Scientific and Industrial Research, presented a paper at the International Conference on Private Urban Governance in Mainz, Germany. 

Its title was: ‘Gated communities in South Africa: Building bridges or barriers?’

This is part of what Karina Landman told her audience: “Certain types of gated communities, due to their nature, size and location, are starting to contribute to urban sprawl, fragmentation and separation. They are creating physical barriers in many South African cities. As they increase in the future (both in numbers and size), so will their impact. This could have significant social repercussions, as was the case in Brazil, where fortified enclaves contributed to higher levels of inequality, fear, suspicion, as well as a feeling of vulnerability in those ‘outside’ the boundaries. ..

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