jueves, 19 de julio de 2012


This article discusses a phenomenon that is repeated too often in most Latin American cities, that of gated communities.
All this in order to raise awareness of the problem, which has disastrous consequences for urban life. Especially if we take into account that much of the urban growth of the city of Quito and other cities, is taking place in the form of this new urban typology.
Suburbanization of gated communities. 
In the United States of America, from the early 50's, began to appear scattered suburbs, becoming a dominant model of the second half of the twentieth century. We can find in these suburbs scattered Americans, the first manifestations of the type of gated community.
In Latin America this phenomenon has about two decades afternoon, in some cities a little earlier, in others a little later, and more or less the same order, first the appearance of scattered suburbs, and then, especially from the 90's a great tendency to the creation of gated communities.
In the case of Quito, the first developments of this type begin to appear in the eighties, with the character of elite estates, connected to large recreation and social club with tennis courts, field courses, swimming pools which can be accessed only by buying memberships. Such is the case of Urbanization County north of the city, now surrounded by neighborhoods of invasions, and the club's Urbanization Chillos in one of the fertile valleys to the east of the city. But really its peak begins to appear in the 90's, every year more strongly, with that in recent years, offers this type of development with some variations abound everywhere, especially in suburban areas, where it has become almost a prerequisite for the success of sales of real estate, with this condition.
Changes to the types of gated communities in the case of Quito, are: gated communities with country club social self, for upper and upper middle classes, [1] gated communities with large lots, area concentrated recreation, upper and upper middle class when they are near the city, middle and upper middle class if they are further away from the city, [2] with batch gated middle-middle class to upper middle gated lots with minimum lower-middle middle class. [3] 
Suburbanization has a root cause of the car, both because it represents the ease of mobility over long distances, and the effects of environmental pollution, noise, deterioration of public space to be delivered almost all of this for auto traffic and congestion, caused by this in the urban centers. Because of this, the elite, seeking to recover something lost quality of life, were opting for this type of housing away from urban centers, where they could acquire more tracts of land, to lower prices and away from the problems mentioned above. This gets the dispersion of the cities, but the serious problem of all is that most people who chose this way of life, continued to work in the big city, so that increased displacement, depending on the car more .  
Another cause of suburbanization are the villas and country clubs, initially as a second home or as known in our weekend house, where certain social class, could at least on weekends to make contact with the rural life. Gated communities, as seen in the historical record, have their origin in this model.
A third cause would be the high cost of land in the established centers, causing young couples looking for an alternative in the periphery.
And a fourth reason, and perhaps the most imposing is currently the seguirdad, because having an income restricted and gated guard security sold to buyers. Market studies indicate that real estate for the security aspect is the most sold. For this reason in the urban expansion area of ​​the city, this phenomenon is playing hard. Its major justification for security is enclosed, as shown by advertisements offering this type of housing. [4] 
In the study entitled "The City and the District recycled Closed: between resistance and escape", Maria Cecilia Arízaga, who is investigating the phenomenon of gated communities in Buenos Aires, conducts interviews with the social partners both individually, as group to capture the meaning that subjects give to live in the city and outside the city in a gated community. For the first stage of discussion group, used as motivational pictures and words cut from magazines printed countries. From these interviews we have this kind of response:
Need to class distinction.
 "This kind of life you can not do either, you have to have a particular entry ......"
Need for community.
 ".... You make a microclimate, as long as you have your privacy, you share constantly with people your own age, with the kids, there is always a concern common to join, not being the danger involved, to be sure one is more open ". "Turns to tradition, the style of home, life, becomes a tradition." "Around the neighborhood, back to talk to the neighbor."
Need for security.
 "What pushed me to come here was safety, I never had problems, thank God, but I lived there locked up ..."
Need to nature and quality of life.
 "When I go to the city can not stand, I come here and breathe green."
 Future chances.
 "I used to live in two rooms, now I have four, then I want the gallery and the pool, always forward and change."
But also the results of the interviews we can realize some consequences they bring, "you're stuck here without a car is like being in jail." 
From this brief analysis we can consider the following. If it is that causes are deficiencies that have the city, (insecurity, pollution, noise, lack of public space for recreation and community), will we emphasize that if we can avoid this problem solve?
The problems of gated communities.
We have seen a little of the history of gated communities, how this phenomenon occurs in Latin American cities, which are possible causes for this phenomenon is given, but we see what the problem is that they can generate.
We go from hypothesis. These are:
  • Gated communities, avoid aggravating the inter-class social segregation.
  • The cause gated urban fragmentation.
  • Gated kill the surrounding public space.
Gated communities, avoid the interrelations of class.
Maria Cecilia Arízaga raises the phenomenon as the passage of a city "dual" where coexist a rich city, with a marginal city, another model called "islands of wealth," where several sectors with all services, living islands of wealth surrounded by a marginal city devoid of them. His very condition of being closed, does that have restricted access, many of them with many amenities (private schools, satellite TV systems, private club, exclusive circulation magazines, prepaid medical systems, shopping center.) This and clearly indicates the isolation of a class.
Horacio Torres, the study entitled "Processes recent sociospatial fragmentation in Buenos Aires: the suburbanization of the elite", says the type of home that occurs in this type of development is between 180,000 and $ 400,000, regardless the cost of land, although there are cheaper but also over one million, which means that a family needs at least $ 4,500 monthly income, to access these wings minimum properties of gated communities. Words must belong to an upper middle class.
The links with other social classes become practically zero, thus aggravating social segregation. His contacts within the development are reduced almost to the few contacts they have with the servants, maids, gardeners, construction workers, security guards, etc.. Visitors must provide their data to enter. In the case of children reduced their external contact those who can do with their classmates, who are usually of the same social class, corresponding to high-cost private schools. This implies that in future, become more social breakdown.
This problem is so serious that it looks like Horacio Torres, most of the voices warning of the same come from academia, (mainly urban planners, sociologists and geographers), who see a bleak trend that would strengthen the fragmentation and segregation, "not only for those outside -" excluded "- but for those left inside-" trapped "."  
"If you have to leave your car garage with locked safe, then go to a mall parking guarded, then to a cinema that is within a shopping center and finally closed his neighborhood do not know who is free and who is in prison. People think they can be isolated in private complex but actually ends up being seized by a tight urban space and of society itself unwelcome. "Clarín, 16/02/1997, p. 20. D. Ulanovsky Sack, "People think they can be isolated in gated communities" (Report to the architect JM Borthagaray). 
The public space within the development becomes the exclusive use of its residents, so we have a conflict, including legal, as there is an appropriation, by a group of public space. As your income restricted by a booth, gates and security guards, streets, parks and plazas, are no longer public and its use is restricted to residents of the development. 
Urban fragmentation.
Clearly, the physical separation of the gated urban fabric. When large areas of many hectares, which are locked, the pedestrian connection from one point to another becomes too distant, so that makes the connection more natural than human beings have is walking. The traditional city was very clear this concept since the scale was that of people on foot. The blocks of up to 80 meters or 100 yards, we marked a rapid connection between direrentes parts of the city. Having long walls just over 300 meters, we are thinking of motorized connections and thus we aislándones between communities. There are cases where a person lives in a gated community and your friend lives in another gated community next door, and are geographically only 50 meters, but as they are closed and with one gateway, to visit, they must go a mile or more dead surrounded by walls. Logically, something that could be easily connected peatonalmente now is so complicated that it becomes necessary to use motorized transport.  
The problem is compounded when there develops a tendency to do this kind of developments in the same sector, which usually happens if Manta, on the road that goes to San Mateo, in Quito, on the way to Tanda, or large Cumbayá areas and the valley of Chillos, or the case of Calderon, in Guayaquil in Samborondón.    
The surrounding public space becomes dead and dangerous. The inhabitants of these gated communities may not use these safe outdoor areas, so it will become more dependent on the automobile. The links with the city become motorways, expressways, cars, shopping centers, office buildings, private schools. There is a clear urban fragmentation, difficult to attach physically.
Gated kill the surrounding public space 
A space, courtyard, square or street, is enriched and brought to life, when the adjacent interior spaces are related directly, through doors, windows, gates, exterior stairs, balconies, terraces, porches and other elements that make a connection between into life, with life abroad. By having only high walls around these spaces become insecure, so avoid using them and people will be dead space.   
Diego Hurtado.   
 October 2002. Updated in May 2012. 
Constantine P. Mawromatis Mobility in scattered suburbs and the new urbanism of the United States: Import from Chile thoughtless? Journal of Urbanism. University of Chile. Taken from the Internet.
Betsy Morales, Marcelo Robutti. Gated and Country Clubs. Research Institute in architecture and urbanism. Architects Association of Buenos Aires-District IV. Buenos Aires, March 1999. Taken from the Internet.
Horacio Torres A. Recent processes of socio-spatial fragmentation in Buenos Aires: the suburbanization of the elites. (CONICET; FADU-UBA). Taken from the Internet.
 "The city recycled and gated: between resistance and escape." Work area (desk): Culture and city. Maria Cecilia Arízaga. Fellow CONICET. IIGG workplace. Buenos Aires. Taken from the Internet. 
[1] Especially in the area Cumbayá Tumbaco, Tanda and Puembo.
[2] Valley Urbanizations Chillos Nayón, Pomasqui, Tumbaco and Cumbayá
[3] This type of development can be found in the area of ​​Calderon, northeast of the city in the south of the city, and in various parts of the city consolidated or consolidation.
 [4] We see in the real estate ads to promote this type of urbanization, the quality of security, exclusivity, and its green spaces and recreational facilities that dare to even be called "green." In the case of Quito, Calderon area and south of the city, these developments are only the "advantage" of security as attractive as that inside the lots are small and minimal equipment.

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