Segregated Communities

Economic segregation is scarcely new. In fact, zoning and city planning were designed in part to preserve the position of the privileged but segregated communities go farther in several respects.They create physical barriers to access. And they privatize community space, not merely individual space.Many of these communities also privatize civic responsibilities such as police protection and communal services such as schools, recreation, and entertainment.The new developments create a private world that shares little with its neighbors or the larger political system.This fragmentation undermines the very concept of community life.
The forting up phenomenon also has enormous consequences. By allowing some citizens to internalize and to exclude others from sharing in their economic privilege, it aims directly at the conceptual base of community and citizenship. The old notions of community mobility are torn apart by these changes in community patterns. What is the measure of nationhood when the divisions between neighborhoods require armed patrols and electric fencing to keep out other citizens? When public services and even local government are privatized, when the community of responsibility stops at the subdivision gates, what happens to the function and the very idea of democracy?
In a section ofFortified Enclaves: The New Urban Segregation?, Teresa P. R. Caldeira looks directly at the construction and development of segregated communities in Sao Paolo, Brazil and Los Angeles, California.For the purposes of this essay, I will use Caldeira’s essay to further understand the similar developments that are occurring in Manila, the capital of The Republic of the Philippines.
In Manila, segregated communities have been created with private streets. The public streets are hopelessly congested, but with a pass to the private villages one can successfully navigate the city. This leads to two cities functionally–the private city…

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