gated & private communities

project overview

The Canadian Gated Communities Research Project, directed by Dr. Jill Grant at Dalhousie University, was funded by a grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council. The study (conducted between 2002 and 2006) examined how community planning policy and practice in Canada was responding to the potential for and the reality of gated communities – that is, residential areas with private streets that are access-controlled at the entry.

The scope was pan-Canadian. We surveyed a sample of cities and included a detailed study of regions where gated communities are most common. In the course of the work we completed an inventory of gated projects, identified some of the factors contributing to the popularity of enclaves, considered the implications of gating, and began to examine the proliferation of private streets in new suburban areas. Our research uses the following definition of gated communities:

Gated communities are housing developments on private roads that are closed to general traffic by a gate across the primary access. These developments may be surrounded by fences, walls or other natural barriers that further limit public access.

A more detailed overview of our study of gated communities in Canada is available here as a pdf.