In Jarly’s blog, she demonstrated that neighbourhood design in urban communities is closely linked to our everyday life. And then she pointed that due to new policy from Chinese government, China’s urban construction has changed a lot in a way of seemingly grand but unsustainable direction. There are always super tall buildings, large blocks and closed neighbourhood with fenced walls etc. And people can not find themselves under such environment because everything is just same.
And then she talked about the gated community or enclosure community in China. Firstly, this is not the unique thing in China, and the origin of gated community has a deep connection between different social levels and the losing of security. In some cities such as Estado de São Paulo in Brazil or Cape Town in South Africa, the main reason why there are gated communities is that local residence are afraid of violence and conflict. These security staffs with real ammo and 24 hours CCTV cameras could give people a sense of safety. And on the other hand, these people who have higher incomes are more interested in gated communities because they are concerning about their personal information and welling to reserve high quality of serves. At first, the gated community only exit in some care house and countryside clubs, but with the development of society, it’s common to find them in normal places. We can’t deny that the gated community can give people a sense of safety. For example, the locations of American communities always far away from the public transport stations and the function within community is easy and sample. The route is always long and narrow to expose these strangers.
From left to right: high imcome level, medium income level, city centre network
However in Jarly’s blog, she said that the gated community can also cause some problems such as traffic problem. The gated community always large in the city centre, sometimes people have to find another way to across it rather than just walk in it because of the enclosure which can often lead traffic jam. Furthermore, a pedestrian friendly community is more accessible to an ageing friendly neighbourhood, to considering the ageing society. Overall, she thought the advantages of open neighbourhood is much more than disadvantages of it.
Miao Xu and Zhen Yang, 2009, Design history of China’s gated cities and neighbourhood: Prototype and evolution, Urban Design International 14 (2), pp. 99-117
Street and the Shaping of Town and Cities (New York: McGraw Hill, 1997)