Planning challenges associated with the growth of gated communities in the Kingston Metropolitan Area, Jamaica

Authors: Robert Kinlocke*, University of the West Indies, Mona
Topics: Planning Geography, Urban Geography, Land Use
Keywords: gated communities, urban development, cohesion
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/13/2018
Start / End Time: 10:00 AM / 11:40 AM
Room: Napoleon C2, Sheraton 3rd Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

Urban change in the Kingston Metropolitan Area (KMA) has been extensively associated with increases in the number of gated communities. While these structures might represent a pragmatic housing solution with regard to the use of space and the provision of collectively consumed amenities, the consequences of this growth have been often overlooked. This paper presents an examination of some of the present and potential challenges associated with the proliferation of these residential structures in the KMA with particular focus on the extent to which this growth simultaneously counters and contributes to sustainable urban development. A mixed methods approach, involving a complimentary combination of questionnaire survey, interviews, textual analysis and observation, was used to derive information on landscape changes and the associated implications. The results indicate that increasing numbers of gated developments may intensify fear of crime in the ambient neighbourhood while increasing socio-spatial fragmentation and reducing neighbourhood cohesion. Associated population increases also result in increased traffic congestion and greater pressures on public infrastructure such as sewage systems. While some impacts may be positioned as positive, such as the increasing investment in nearby business districts, infrastructural change precipitated by increased capital flows has contributed to the displacement of marginalised groups.

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