Gating in Sweden: Dwelling on-the move behind walls

Authors: Karin Grundstrom*, Urban Studies, Malmo University
Topics: Urban Geography
Keywords: Gating, gated communities, Sweden, segregation, housing
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/12/2018
Start / End Time: 5:20 PM / 7:00 PM
Room: Galerie 6, Marriott, 2nd Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Although Swedish cities do not have the equivalent of the U.S gated community, this paper argues that gating does exist in Sweden. Based on interviews, mapping, documentation and cartography, the paper shows that Swedish gating is a dispersed form of gating that creates enclaves of blocks and housing complexes - spread throughout the entire cityscape. One of the most debated, and most exclusive forms of gating is the ‘residential hotel’. This is a form of housing which is located in already privileged urban districts and is well connected to speedy digital and physical infrastructure. In contrast to previous research that tend to study either the club goods form the inside of the gates or the negative consequences outside the gates, this paper takes a dialectical stance and argues that the space created in residential hotel is one that is simultaneously hyper-sedentarist and hyper-mobile. Residents can choose to live both extremely locally through services and in house facilities and to travel for shorter or longer periods of time, since hired staff takes care of the security, communication and maintenance. This phenomenon of gating is entirely new to Sweden, and risks drastically changing planning ideals as well as planning practice; what service and amenities should and/or are provided by municipalities (which has been the traditional politics) or through the private sector. The research also adds to the international debate on gating through the conceptualisation of an urban and dispersed form of gating.

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