Urban Fortresses: Gated communities as a reaction to crime


One of the consequences of the state’s inability to protect the life and property of all its citizens—especially in developing countries—is the formation of private alternatives to crime prevention and control. Gated communities, or enclosed neighbourhoods, are one such popular alternative. This article compares the phenomenon of gated communities in two developing countries: South Africa and Brazil. Both countries are plagued by violent crime and share key human development indicators. The article also explores key issues that have been raised around gated communities in both countries. Gated communities can contribute to spatial fragmentation in urban areas, and reflect increased polarisation, fragmentation and diminished solidarity within society. By excluding other urban residents and people from surrounding neighbourhoods, gated communities can contribute to social exclusion, inhibiting the construction of social networks that form the basis of social and economic activities.

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Publication Type Journal Article
Year 2002
Author(s) Landman K, Schönteich M
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