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Gated Communities: Sprawl and Social Segregation in Southern California

Abstract : Gated communities, which are walled and gated residential neighbourhoods, represent a form of urbanism where public spaces are privatised. In the US, they represent a substantial part of the new housing market, especially in the recently urbanised areas. They have thus become a symbol of metropolitan fragmentation. This paper focuses on how local governments consider them as a valuable source of revenue because suburbanisation costs are paid by the private developers and the final homebuyer, and how this form of public-private partnership in the provision of urban infrastructure ultimately increases local segregation. An empirical study in the Los Angeles region aims to evaluate this impact on socio-economic and ethnic patterns using factorial analysis (dissimilarity indices). As a result, the sprawl of gated communities increases segregation. Very significant socio-economic dissimilarities are found to be associated with the enclosure, thus defining very homogeneous territories, especially on income and age criteria. However, gated communities are located in ethnic buffer zones and stress an exclusion that is structured at a municipal scale.
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Submitted on : Monday, March 27, 2006 - 12:04:58 PM
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Renaud Le Goix. Gated Communities: Sprawl and Social Segregation in Southern California. Housing Studies, Taylor & Francis (Routledge), 2005, 20 (2), pp.323-343. ⟨10.1080/026730303042000331808⟩. ⟨halshs-00004576⟩



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