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Privatized spaces have become an increasingly dominant urban trend over the past 30 years, radically altering the use of space in the city as well as the nature of urban society. From Los Angeles to Rio de Janeiro and Johannesburg, an archetype of militarized space, with electrified fences, impenetrable walls, and armed security guards, has developed, protecting and securing residential, commercial, and corporate zones from the dangerous outside world. Concurrently, the label gated community has gained popularity in academic, policy, and popular discourse, employed to describe and critique this urban trend, although the historical roots and regional variations of the phenomenon are far older and broader than the American label suggests.


Gated communities are traditionally defined by their physical attributes: a perimeter enclosure (e.g., electrified fence, ...

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