From macro-level policies to microlevel practices: Changing global economic landscapes and the proliferation of middle-class gated communities in Mexico

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In recent decades, gated communities for affluent groups have gained academic attention worldwide. However, in nations with large inequalities such as Mexico, which are also affected by issues of insecurity, corruption, and violence, these enclaves have become more common for middle-income groups. Their existence is usually associated with the search for prestige and exclusivity, along with fear of crime and violence. However, this article focuses on other structural conditions that contribute to the proliferation of these fortified spaces, such as the connections between global economic forces and the changes in national planning, financial, and housing policies since the 1990s. Since then, Mexican peripheries have become more fragmented and disconnected and gated communities have proliferated. This discussion takes place in a context of global polarisation, both in the Global North and South, in which planners have been urged to respond to issues of growing fear, inequality, and violence. This article addresses the contradictions of polarisation, because some Mexicans are defending the right to build walls to protect from insecurity, while there is also social condemnation of the proposed wall by President Trump. The discussion about macro-economic policies in the development of middle-class gated communities in Mexico is helpful in identifying the future risks and challenges that may come from the normalisation of exclusionary places.
Transactions of the Association of European Schools of Planning; Volume 3 / Issue 2 / December 2019; page 141-154
Gated communities, Mexico, inequality, urban fragmentation, contradictions
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