Futuribles Journal n° 243

Société, modes de vie - Territoires, réseaux

L'essor des villes fortifiées. À propos de Fortress America : Gated Communities in the United States


On the basis of the book by Edouard J. Blakely and Marie Gail Snyder Fortress America: Gated Communities in the United States, Gilbert Lazar describes the rise of the phenomenon of "gated communities". They are developing in the United States (20,000 according to the authors) in response to positive common interests and a desire to escape from urban problems (diversity of races, social classes, incomes, age and general sensations of insecurity...)
A succint typology of gated cities is presented along with a tentative explanation of a phenomenon which has started to appear in Europe. It seems to be initiated by people who want to get away and join forces around their income, age or the search for security. They organize and finance common services among themselves which traditionally belong to the public domain, extending even to private militia. What might be the consequences of this development? Gilbert Lazar concludes that Edouard Blakely and Marie Snyder have not probed this question deeply enough, for it challenges our way of thinking not only about urban development but also about social and political issues generally.

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