The phenomenon of gated communities is reportedly on the rise in the UnitedStates and elsewhere. Some estimate that as many as 4,000,000 people reside in walled-off gated communities (Egan ). Blakely and Snyder  estimate that therewere approximately 20,000 projects collectively containing 3,000,000 units in 1997. Inthese gated communities, homeowners typically own an undivided interest in streets andsidewalks in addition to their fee simple ownership of the land underneath their homes
.A homeowner’s association manages the common area, as in condominium ownership.McKenzie (1994) reviews the rise of these private “quasi-governments”. Regular, andoccasionally special, assessments are imposed on property owners to fund themaintenance of common areas. Services are typically contracted with municipalproviders outside of the gated area. At this cost, residents gain control of the streets intheir neighborhood and can restrict access, thereby reducing traffic, noise, and, possibly,crime.There are several possible ways gated communities might affect property values;the most commonly cited in the literature is security. The notion that gated communitiesmay reduce the incidence of crime, at least within the gated community itself, isconnected to the concept of “defensible space” developed by the urban planner OscarNewman (1972, 1980, 1992, 1995). According to Newman, much of whose early work was done in St. Louis, even across the street from the infamous Pruitt-Igoe publichousing project, a smaller scale row-house complex called Carr Square Village whereresidents had small yards, “remained trouble-free and fully occupied” throughout the
Low income, multifamily developments that are tenant occupied have also used gated arrangements tocontrol access and reduce crime but we do not focus on this topic here.