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Urban Infrastructure

Gated communities and how they affect life quality

Publication date: 07-05-2024, Read time: 4 min

Gated communities are becoming more common, and they can really change how people live. The quality of life in a place depends on things like how safe it is, how nice the environment is, and what services are available. Gated communities can improve these things by creating nice, safe spaces with good services, especially in places that didn't have them before.

In many cities, especially in poorer countries, gated communities have become popular since the 1990s. They're seen as a way for richer and middle-class people to get better homes and a better life.

Looking at Accra, Ghan

In Accra, more and more people are interested in living in gated communities, especially those in the middle class. They see it as a way to show off their status and to live in a safer, nicer place. City planners and developers also like gated communities because they think they're a smart way to provide services to everyone in the city.

Over the last decade, we studied how gated communities are changing quality of life in Abokobi, a suburb of Accra. We looked at two different gated communities and how quality of life changed before and after they were built.

Better life thanks to gated communities?

We found that quality of life in Abokobi got better after the gated communities were built, but not everything was perfect. Some things, like access to parks and good drainage, actually got worse. But overall, people in Abokobi felt more connected to each other and to the city. They had easier access to things like shops and services, which made them feel more at home. Plus, the gated communities created job opportunities for locals, like construction work and selling goods.

Gated communities also made life easier in practical ways. Private developers took care of things like water and garbage collection, which meant the city could spend its money on other things. Property values went up, which helped the city make more money through taxes and provided funds for better services.

But there were downsides too. Not everyone could afford to live in gated communities, so some people had to leave when rents went up. This could lead to a loss of community spirit and social problems.

What can be done? 

Our study suggests that city planners should make rules for gated communities to make sure they benefit everyone. For example, developers could be required to provide public spaces that everyone can use, not just people in the gated community. This could help people from different backgrounds come together and enjoy outdoor activities, reducing social divisions.

We also suggest that cities find ways to control housing prices to make sure everyone can afford to live there. This might mean building cheaper housing or offering subsidies to people who need them.

Overall, our study shows that gated communities can bring good things to neighborhoods, but it's important to make sure they don't leave anyone behind. By planning carefully, cities can make sure everyone benefits from these changes and create a more sustainable future for everyone.

Urban Infrastructure
Last edited: 07-05-2024

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