ABSTRACT:This paper represent the introductory study of gated enclaves in Bhopal. Bhopal initially developed as a gated city but lately developed as an integrated city. Until recently in 2000, the political developments and urbanization started to formalize the fabric of the city. Transport infrastructure developed and transformations in existing urban environment followed new formations in vacant land at the sub-urban boundaries of the city. The real estate market and developers initiated gated development and since then these are the trend of urban development of Bhopal. The development patterns of gated communities in many countries show that developers recognize the opportunity to sell safety and security to a niche market. But the objectives in Indian scenario changes due to ethnic groups, social status and urban governance. Against this background this paper will investigate the pattern of gated communities in western contest and what are the typologies of these communities, will also study similar aspect in Bhopal as a case example, and conclude the paper whether the communities present in Indian scenario are same as western patterns or else they form the different typology.


Urbanization leads to optimistic dynamism for transformation and the cities are guided predominantly to urban era. Cities craft economy, create opportunities for education and employment and a richer social and cultural life(Ravindra, 2012). It is also true that various forms of exclusion continue to marginalize large number of residents, depriving them access to many of the opportunities cities offer, in other words, the right to enjoy the ‘urban advantage.’ Urban growth has also come to be identified with poverty and slums(Jill Grant, Lindsey Mittelsteadt, 2004). Cities are dynamic in nature and have multiple layers added to it which makes it vulnerable for the individual. This vulnerability leads to the formation of community having similar characteristics.

In the late 20th century, an ancient urban form began to reappear in modern settlements (Judd, 1995; Morris, 1994).Gated communities are an important are the Common Interest Developments (CID), in these kind the concept of defensible space in the prime objective.Gates and barriers indicate the depth of security concerns contemporary cities must address crime, traffic, loss of sense of community and fear of mixing. They are planned and marked as spatially segregated environment. The communities have the resident’s ownership and control common areas or shared amenities.

The gated communities are defined by many experts differently;a gated community is a housing development on private roads closed to general traffic by a gate across the primary access. The developments may be surrounded by fences, walls, or other natural barriers.(Jill Grant, Lindsey Mittelsteadt, 2004)

….residential areas with restricted access in which normally public spaces are privatized. They are security developments with designated perimeters, usually walls or fences, and controlled entrances that are intended to prevent penetration by nonresidents. They include new developments and older areas retrofitted with gates and fences, and they are found from the inner cities to the exurbs and from the richest neighborhoods to the poorest. (Blakely, E.J., M.G. Snyder, 1998). Hence we can define it as anexclusive community with the shared amenities and facilities, fortified all around and have restricted entrance.


The gated communities are not the new phenomenon, historically the gated enclaves are built but the objectives were different. The gated developments of those eras were built for the security as a prime objective and then the social segregation. The fear from invaders or the natural calamity fear forces them to build the wall around the city. Similar is the case with Indian cities, they built gates around the settlement to protect themselves. In Indian context the racial and social discrimination is the prime demarcation and the reason for the gates. The forts and noble settlements are the kind of gated communities in India. Thus the system of walls and class division was deeply engaged in India. The heritage of this system can still be seen on the Indian landscape in the walled forts and mansions.


In 1800 the gated communities were initially built up in America. They were built to insulate themselves from the troublesome aspects of rapidly industrializing cities.Primarily they were integrated with larger civic space. But the gated development privatized these civic spaces for the communities residing. Later in 19th century more gated compounds were developed by members of East Coast and Hollywood for privacy, protection and prestige.

Till 1960-70 the only typologies of such developments were retired enclaves. Later in the 20th century fenced compound were built for privacy, protection and prestige. They were termed as uncommon places for uncommon man (Blakely, E.J., M.G. Snyder, 1998). The leisure was the first development for the urban middle class, and soon these typologies spread throughout the sub-urban development of many western cities. In developing countries cities are divided between wealthy and poor, gated communities provide another layer of comfort for city’s wealthy people. Nowadays the communities are not restricted to wealthy people, now every social class can access such kind of development with different degree of facilities provided.


The main features of these developments are:

  • These developments are separated by surrounding development by a barrier to human movement, usually in the form of wall or fences and entry or exit are under surveillance.
  • Privatized community space. All the public areas have been privatized and only the community resident can access such places and other are not allowed accessing the area.
  • Privatized civic responsibilities; police, communal services such as street maintenance, recreation and entertainment.
  • They are run by self-governing home owners associations or else developer itself.
  • Amenities available in a gated community depend on a number of factors including geographical location, demographic composition, community structure, and community fees collected.
  • They aim to avoid the spillovers of urban residential and industrial developments such as:

crime, increasing  through traffic, free-riding of the amenities, urban decay.

Blakely and Snyder in their book Fortress America describes 3 kind of gated communities





Prestige community

It is basically wealth and status oriented development andgates prevent the wealth from outside world.They don’t include common facilities and amenities. These are the fastest growing development form in western cities as the status symbol. Services such as gate guards add to the sense of exclusivity, these werefound more among the rising upper-middle class in developing world. Walls and gates are erected to determine crime, limit traffic or maintain property values. The gates are just to seclude them from the world and mark them as exclusive; the security is not a prime objective.
Gates are the main characteristics and this is the need of the community. Fear of crime and outsiders is the main objective of such development and that is the reason why they put up the gates. These may or may not be a planned development and later if resident felt the need for security the put up the gates all around. These enclaves strengthen the feeling and function of community.Most common in coastal secondary- home developments with mixed incomes and part and full time residents.Security Zone Community

Life style community

The development focuses on leisure activities with recreational facilities, common amenities and shared service core. These developments can follow certain theme for the development. The main features of these developments are country club, golf course, private beach or lake which gives them the sense of lifestyle. These are the development in sub-urban new townships to attract the residents living in cluttered cities. It may contain several thousand housing units incorporating residential, commercial, and retail activities within or nearby. The security measures here are concentrated to control issues rather than crime.


About the city

Bhopal is developed in 11th century and later redeveloped in 18th century by the Mughals. The city declared as a capital city 1956 and also a new industrial town BHEL was established in the north east. Due to this the employment option increases and the people start migrating to the city to grab the opportunity; this in return increases the housing demand in the city. Bhopal is the conglomeration of four different cities and not termed city as a whole but the people discriminate them from the area they are residing. It is also the form of gated development but the gates and walls are not tangible. 


The city of Bhopal in 18th century was re-established by Dost Mohambed Khan,  this is a typical historical Mughal development, with Fathegarh as a fort for the ruler and Sher-E-Khas as a city for nobles. The have a large civic space to gather there for public affairs, called as Iqbal Maidan. But as the city grew the walls were demolished in after the formation of capital in 1956. At that time the housing need increases due to the job opportunity, and hence government developed many colonies to reside his employee and so they developed colonies for private employees, but these communities were not gated but have virtual segregation of class as they form different quarters for different class officers. Figure 4: gated development in history, representing for for the ruler and walled city for nobles

They established LIG, MIG and HIG quarters for the bank officers and A to I type for government employees of different class. The Char Imli and Shivaji Nagar were the two major government resident development in new city, also they sale the plots to private owners and developed arera colony, which is the posh area of the city.
As the urbanization grew the city limit extend and the infrastructure developments give the developers an opportunity to develop the housing outside the city limits as the land prices are low and the municipal bye-laws are minimal outside the city limits. The infrastructure is low and the surroundings are barren and this is the initial reason for putting up gates around these developments, later is became the trend an d now every development has the walls and gates all around.GATED DEVELOPMENT IN EARLY 21ST CENTURY

 The prime reason for the success of these communities is that they are providing all the facilities which the uran gorvenace failed to provide like, water supplly, sewerage, electricity etc. all these are provided by these developers on private basis and people are ready to expense more to get these facilities as in city they have to suffer for these things because of the poor infrastructure and weak service.

Features of gated communities in Bhopal

  • They have the gate and fences all around.
  • Some communities are for specific as they are for special administrative officials.
  • All the amenities are shared by all the residents.
  • In newer development outside the city limits the leisure and recreation facilities are provided to the residents.
  • The enclaves within the city limits have security as a prime issue and they may or may not have the leisure facilities.
  • They have private associations to sort the daily problems of the society.
  • The newer developments have the mixed ratio of row houses, bungalow typology and apartments, with small commercial space.
  • It appeals to those who cannot rely on public regulations and political processes to protect their homes from unwanted people.


Bhopal have mainly 4 kind of gated pattern in the city, they are characterized by its facilities, size, amenities and the social status they prefer to.

  1. RBI Colony: It is a bank officer colony.
  2. Area Colony: It is the private plotted development.
  3. Maple Tree: It is the private development with apartment typology.
  4. JNNURM Housing: Housing for urban poor.

This is the housing development for the RBI officers and employees. This is within the city limits and has the shared facilities and amenities within the campus. The people belong to same work center and hence have same work background. The security check is must and outsiders are not allowed to access the area without the known person residing in the colony. The gardens are privatized and no outsiders are allowed to play in the garden. Restricted traffic movement and no city traffic can access the colony; there were 3 gates to access the colony.The colony have their own private club and guest house. The urban form merges with the city as all around the government development is their.


Area colony was initially developed as the plotted development without gates. Later due to exclusivity the gates were built, as it is the posh area of the city and many big residences were within the campus. There are different sectors in area colony and all the sectors have common club, but each sector does not have their own club, the green spaces here are not privatized and are accessible for the outsiders too, the security guard are  not at the gates for the check and city traffic can easily move within the campus.


It is the sub urban gated development with all the facilities and amenities provided within the campus and was marketed and the theme based garden; it have security check and wall all around, people are restricted to enter the society and green areas are privatized. The design is planned to enhance the lifestyle. They are the art apartment typology and have shared facilities.


In 2009 the JNNURM proposed the scheme for the housing for urban poor. The demolished the slum and rehabilitate them into the G+3 stories apartment with all the amenities, but there is no facilities and open areas for the people residing there, the boundary wall was put all around to seclude them from the city fabric. The high boundary wall, exclude them from the street and there is no interaction of the settlement with the street. They have common toilets and no other facilities are provided to these developments, streets are narrow and building is high, which forms the sense of enclosure.

To compare the enclaves a matrix in being formulated stating different features of gated development in western context and concluding wether the community is having same pattern or else they form the different typology.

Gates/fences Security guard Location Residents built up gates Parks based on some theme Swimming pool Club house Commercial area Social status Open spaces Remark
Arera colony Y N C Y N N N N H Y High society residences, the gates are just to make it more exclusive
Maple tree Y Y O N Y Y Y Y UM Y is the apartment typology with all integrated facilities
RBI colony Y Y C N N N N N GO Y Administrative officials apartment
JNNURM housing scheme Y N C N N N N N BPL Y Housing for urban poor, with no facilities and main features of gated enclaves.


  • ARERA COLONY – Is a prestige community where status is the prime requirement and security is secondary.
  • MAPLE TREE – Is the lifestyle community where all the facilities and amenities are shared by all.
  • RBI COLONY – Is constituting the new typology of gated community where people share common work zone and hence residing in the community. It is the forced community.
  • JNNURM HOUSING – too constitutes a new typology which is planned for urban poor without any facilities.


  • Greater availability of facilities and amenities with the enclave, reflect the greater social distance between the outside worlds.
  • The sub urban development in Bhopal has no interaction with the outside development whereas the community within the city allows partial connection to the outside society.
  • Class segregation leads to the social discrimination of urban poor.
  • The government failure in providing the public amenities leads to the formation of these enclaves which market there societies by this as a primary means.

  • References

    Blakely, E.J., M.G. Snyder. (1998). fortress America. MASSACHUSETTS, WASHINGTON D.C.: R.R. DONNELLEY & SONS Co. HARRISONBURG, VIRGINIA.

    Chris E McGoey, C. C. (2001). Gated Communities ACCESS CONTROL ISSUES.

    Jill Grant, Lindsey Mittelsteadt. (2004). Types of gated communities. Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design: VOLUME 31, 913-930.

    Ravindra, A. (2012, april 16). Bridging the gap between ghettos and gated communities. deccan herland.

    SCHÖNTEICH, KARINA LANDMAN & MARTIN. (2002). URBAN FORTRESSES: Gated communities as a reaction to crime. AFRICAN SECURITY REVIEW 11(4), 71-85.

    Wu, Fulong. (2005). Rediscovering the ‘Gate’ Under Market Transition:From Work-unit Compounds to Commodity Housing. Housing Studies, 235-254.



  1. First of all hats off to you!! Because I have typed in wordpress editor, I found it very less user friendly although I prepared article in MS word first then I paste them in this editor but it still creates problem. Now I am just trying to imagine how you put the lines above and below the abstract, bolded headings individually, Italic references, the great table, detailed background, in-depth case studies…I can imagine your immense efforts….please tell me how you manage to create this properly aligned table in this editor?

    Although I am not urban developer but as a curious engineer, I have read this research paper. I also worked on typology with one of my Russian friend (LinkedIn), but due to certain unavoidable reasons we stopped the project. I will share the story about my life after my PG at some other time. Now I am coming on your paper, when I read details about gated community suddenly picture of the integrated townships which scattered at different places in Bhopal came in my mind. One more thing the definition by prof. Jill Grant, you used, is very graspable.

    For creating a research paper the approach is always similar to storytelling. At first one has to provide short introduction and then background so as to introduce the reader about importance of the concept. You have followed this strategy efficiently in your paper but I think that if you place “Contemporary Gated Enclaves” as sub heading of “Background”, then it will give better rhythm.

    The language you used in this paper is very clear so it become easy for reader to relate this with their daily experiences and then it clearly creates the picture in readers mind just like “3 kind of gated communities”. You are absolutely right even the societies in different colonies charges around 10-12 thousand per annum or more for proving basic amenities like water, cleanliness, security guard etc. You have really done a deep research on details of amenities available at different colonies like RBI etc as shown in table.

    Overall I can say that you have prepared a wonderful research paper with eye catchy title by using detailed case studies along with descriptive table in easy to understandable language. It clearly shows your rigorous efforts. I wish to see more of your articles.

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