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Les "Gated Communities" aux Etats-Unis. Morceaux de villes ou territoires à part entière ?

Abstract : Gated communities within the city in the US: Urban neighborhoods, or territories apart?

Gated communities, which are walled and gated residential neighborhoods, have become a common feature within the US metropolitan areas. Because security features and 24h guarded gates prevent from public access, these neighborhoods represent a form of urbanism where public space is being privatized. In the most recently urbanized areas, they represented an increasing part of the new homes market: they have thus become one of the symbols of the metropolitan fragmentation and of the increase of social segregation. They not only build an enclosure but they also operate a selection of residents, through restrictive covenants. Because they are managed as private corporations, and pushing for political and fiscal independence, they are leading to a project of partition that stresses social segregation.
The study is being developed in three steps, on the main field of Los Angeles. First of all, a historical definition of gated communities is proposed, describing them as a standardized suburban real-estate product. As gated communities are leading to a privatization of public space, the study of those enclaves must be placed within the broader reflection regarding the contemporary evolution of cities, especially the social patterns and urban patterns (polycentrism) produced by a generalized urban sprawl. In such a context, the nature of the social enclosure and its impact over other communities is then addressed. This impact is assessed through the relevant political and legal issues: the consequences of the fading boundaries between public and private management are discussed. Gated Communities are taking part to a trend of local political autonomies, in order to protect one's investment. The discontinuity, which is implied by the gating of the neighborhood, is then discussed as the specificity of the communities compared to the neighboring areas, through a study of the impact of gated communities over social and ethnic patterns, and the protection of property values.
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Contributor : Renaud Le Goix <>
Submitted on : Monday, January 12, 2004 - 9:47:08 AM
Last modification on : Tuesday, January 19, 2021 - 11:08:07 AM
Long-term archiving on: : Friday, April 2, 2010 - 7:59:45 PM


  • HAL Id : tel-00004141, version 1


Renaud Le Goix. Les "Gated Communities" aux Etats-Unis. Morceaux de villes ou territoires à part entière ?. Géographie. Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - Paris I, 2003. Français. ⟨tel-00004141⟩



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