Gated communities are 'residential living situations' comprising of single homes behind the walls and the gates with a high security. This does not include apartment houses which have been traditionally behind walls and gates and security.These gated communities are the ones that have all facilities built behind the walls and they are individual single homes. These are suburban single dwelling behind a security, many times, extensive and too complex. All these people are walling some thing in and walling some thing out, in the words of Ed Blackely1.Gated communities are not new. They have happened in 300 BC in England to defend against the invading Romans. Security was the main concern and to make available common facilities in one location leading to multiple advantages by locking themselves up in a gated community. And they also had tradesmen of all kinds to supplement all needs of the society.More in line with this question of why a wall before a wall was erected, has always been in the minds of the people and researchers. The issue of the walled community seems to have happened because of varied reasons3. Walling is done to keep some people inside while others out. This is a delineation of political boundaries originally; more an exercise of rights. The reasons why gated communities have been formed include the following:Gated communities have been springing up in America in a large scale over the last two decades primarily because of these basic reasons. This is also to keep out the changes both economical and social that is rapidly changing the cities people dwell in. By gating themselves in, people seem to find solace that they have set at rest the changes. And that it has ceased to affect them anymore.
How did it happen
Americans are opting to live behind the walls and behind the bars with an effective and active security measures that they put in place. This is necessitated by their perceived security lapse in an open community. This initially started with more and more people tending to get popular and famous because of the open communication systems sprouting all around. Such popularity also added to a continuous stream of interested people who were trying to emulate these popular personalities and their lives. An intrusion into the private lives of these people became something unstoppable. An open community could not stop such intrusions.
Once people in the popularity belt started doing it, they are the role models of many people and they are emulated by every Tom, Dick and Harry who is a somebody in the society. Therefore, the gated communities started having a larger following and today more than 19000 communities existed in US as of 1997 with more than 3.5 million households living in them and more than 8.5 million residents.
Let us take for example the Green Valley community, Seattle, and study the effects and the reasons for their success and the future path it is going to take. This analysis brings out the following advantages and disadvantages. At the end we also list the future options and how the communities are going to behave.
Advantages of being in a gated community
Major advantages of the gated community seems to stem out of the needs that they want it to meet