Gating communities: An open perspective on gated living in cities

Type: Paper
Sponsor Groups:
Poster #:
Day: 4/12/2018
Start / End Time: 5:20 PM / 7:00 PM (Eastern Standard Time)
Room: Galerie 6, Marriott, 2nd Floor
Organizers: Simone Pekelsma, Arnoud Lagendijk
Chairs: Simone Pekelsma


Gated communities form a contested and much debated urban phenomenon. In academia, but also in both international and local policy circles and media, they have been extensively criticized and praised at the same time. Today, gated communities have not only taken on the shape of luxurious villa parks, but also come in the form of mixed-use mega-projects, mid-rise apartment blocks for middle class families or even social housing projects. The growing global diversification and spread of what could (potentially) be labelled as ‘gated communities’ gives rise to important questions not only related to these communities themselves, but also to the larger practice of gating and its impact on cities.

The (academic) debate on gated communities however, still tends to favor a rather one-dimensional focus. Gated communities are often considered to be either good or bad, promoting either segregation or integration, isolation or contact. In addition, much research on gated communities is rooted in a ‘critical’ approach that tends to utilize gated communities as symbols for the unforgiving, capitalized and financialized forces of neoliberalism. As such, gated communities are frequently portrayed as dystopian representations of the urban, leading to unhappy and segregated cities.

In the past few years, we have seen some important efforts to go beyond this binary debate on gated communities, with for example Bagaeen & Uduku (2015) criticizing “the flattening of gating into a single dominant meaning”, and widening the scope of research to also include wider, “more contemporary modes and methods of exclusion” (p. xix).

This session aims to further develop this critique and approach by discussing contributions that provide and stimulate a more open, analytical perspective on gated communities and urban gating, leaving room for context, multiplicity and perhaps even some more hopeful narratives. We welcome papers that provide:
• viewpoints and insights on gated communities in the broadest sense;
• explorations of new theoretical and methodological approaches towards gated communities and gating practices in cities;
• new, provoking thoughts on the future of gated communities and gated living in cities;
• case studies on gated communities presenting new perspectives and outcomes;
• comparative approaches revealing distinct ways housing strategies and practices infuse the development of gated communities in different territories.


Type Details Minutes Start Time
Presenter Luuk Slooter*, UGlobe - The Utrecht Centre for Global Challenges, Utrecht University, The Netherlands, Christian Kuitert, Radboud University, Nijmegen, The Netherlands, The Parallel State Experience: Citizenship in the Favelas and Gated Communities of Brazil 20 5:20 PM
Presenter Simone Pekelsma*, Radboud University Nijmegen, New relations of urban (dis)connection.The modern gated community in Istanbul as a transient hotel 20 5:40 PM
Presenter Arnoud Lagendijk*, Radboud University Nijmegen, Henk Van Houtum, Radboud University Netherlands, Simone Pekelsma, Radboud University Netherlands, Gated communities as assemblage beyond the gate: a constructive engagement 20 6:00 PM
Presenter Karin Grundstrom*, Urban Studies, Malmo University, Gating in Sweden: Dwelling on-the move behind walls 20 6:20 PM
Discussant Renaud Le Goix Université Paris Diderot 20 6:40 PM

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