|Ph.D Student||Frankel-Cohen Iris|
|Subject||Gated Communities - between Regulation and Exclusion|
A Cross-National Comparative Analysis
|Department||Department of Architecture and Town Planning||Supervisor||Professor Emeritus Rachelle Alterman|
This research focuses on residential developments known as Gated Communities (GCs). The trend is fast growing globally, but varies significantly across countries in prevalence and manifestations. Although the GC phenomenon has attracted a lot of academic attention, few researchers have examined the legal context of GCs and have provided a comparative perspective. This research hopes to fill this gap and intends to stimulate further research.
The aim of this research is to shed light on the phenomenon of GCs in different countries, focusing on the interaction of law and the exclusion GCs entail in practice. We seek to highlight the exclusionary potential that seemingly "neutral" regulation may have. Exclusion, in this context, refers to the exclusion of potential residents and to the restriction of the public's right of way. This question is examined comparatively, cross-nationally, in what we call the "mid-range" countries: those where the phenomenon is not at the extremes and where policies have tried to limit GC. We selected England, Australia (New South Wales), Ireland and Israel.
A two-part generic conceptual framework is developed to analyze and assess GCs comparatively: A categorization of the various fields of law that underlie the capacity to establish GCs; and a classification of the means of exclusion in GCs in practice. Each part of the framework is operationalized with a scale to enable assessment of degree of exclusion. We also address potential contextual variables embedded in each local context that may affect the potential interrelations between law and exclusion.
The research approach is largely qualitative, comprised of three methods: legal review, case study research, and comparative research. The legal review analyses fields of law relevant to GCs. The case study research examines several projects reputed to be GCs in a major city in each of research countries. We selected projects built during the 1990s in order to see how they operate today. The findings for each country are then analyzed according to the conceptual framework and assessed by means of the two scales. We then proceed to a cross -national comparison that enables us to address our research question.
Our findings support the contention that the research countries are "mid-range" countries. They also show that, unlike many GCs in the USA, these countries do not practice explicit selection of residents. Exclusion relates mainly to the public's right of way. Most of our case studies that were planned or built during the 1990s, are mildly to very exclusionary. However, the findings point out also a shift of the regulation relevant to exclusion from the 1990s to these days. Our findings indicate a shift from neutral regulation to regulation that mildly opposes exclusion. The research also indicates some contextual variables that may affect the development of GCs. Yet, our exploratory research only scratches this issue's surface. We hope that this research will stimulus further comparative research across the globe that will provide a better understanding of the interrelation between law and GCs and further explore the effect of contextual variables.