In its modern form, a gated communities is a form of residential community or housing estate containing strictly controlled entrances for pedestrians, bicycles, and automobiles, and often characterized by a closed perimeter of walls and fences.
Gated communities usually consist of small residential streets and include various shared amenities.
For smaller communities this may be only a park or other common area.
For larger communities, it may be possible for residents to stay within the community for most daily activities.
Gated communities are a type of common interest development, but are distinct from intentional communities.
Given that gated communities are spatially a type of enclave, Setha M. Low, among other anthropologists, has argued that they have a negative effect on the net social capital of the broader community outside the gated community.
Some gated communities, usually called guard-gated communities, are staffed by private security guards and are often home to high-value properties, and/or are set up as retirement villages.
Some gated communities are secure enough to resemble fortresses and are intended as such.
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