Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

btoy

Thoughts on Gated Communites

Recommended Posts

I came accross this today, I have not been keeping up with Columbia so if this is already posted in this thread I apologize.

The Village @ Riverwalk

Riverwalk%20Site%20Plan_Sold.jpg

Club%20House.jpg

From the Choose Auction Website:

"Reside in the perfect Downtown location, The Village at Riverwalk, a gated community on the banks of the Congaree River where you will enjoy:

w Miles of paved riverside trails

w Spots to fish or kayak along the river

w Riverfront Courtyard and Cabana

w Low Maintenance Lifestyle

w Secure Gated Access

w City Location...City Convenience

w Awe Inspiring views of the city skyline

On the weekends you can venture down to the amphitheater or relax while the music drifts to your back porch...Plus you're still just a short bike ride for The Vista's restaurants, shops, museums, and all that Downtown Columbia has to offer."

color%20rendering%20final.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


My thought is that its gated because the neighborhood across the street from there is not the best (not that its bad) and that is the only way to get people to pay the exhorbitant prices the are likely charging for these townhouess.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is such a poor use of prime real estate. Its too bad the city of West Columbia let this proceed. Gated communities don't belong in central urban areas, bad, bad idea... Hope this doesn't begin a trend for in-town residential development, it will be one very quick way of robbing Columbia's central core of any urban vitality.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Gated is fine... don't let it bug ya so much... families with kids especially like it because it has a reasonable expectation of keeping the Jeffrey Dahmers of this world from having easy access to the munchkins.

They gotta think about access from the river if they wanna be thorough, though... some of those predators can PADDLE, I betcha!

:huh::rofl::cry::ph34r:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This think is also being built in West Columbia. I suspect their zoning laws are very different from Columbia's. The Columbia side of the River will be lined with a better style of development. Think CanalSide. I would like to see Cayce and West Cola be more proactive in that regard.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I hate gated communities...they are way too elitist.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I don't live in one, but if I did, it would probably be for the security provided... and it would have nothing to do with elitism. You seem to have a disdain for people who realize that the world we live in has some very scary people in it and choose to live where there is much less of a chance of one of these people breaking into their home.

Do you have kids?

I realize there are people who think of themselves as elite or whatever and have an unhealthy superior attitude who may buy in a gated subdivision or community, but I don't think you can or should judge everyone who lives in one the way you seem to be doing. You don't know the people who live there.

You seem to have sort of a reverse elitism... which isn't good, either.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The issue I have with current residential development in the Vista is that much of it seems to be gated, which is a horrible, horrible idea in an urban area.  Large swaths of gated residential development is one sure way of killing any hope of an active street life.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

"Active street life"? Define that and explain why it is something that is so highly desirable and why gated is so detrimental to it. I guess people who choose to live in an urban setting should have to endure panhandlers walking off the street onto their front porch or back patio asking for spare change.

There is going to be gated residential development as long as there is panhandling and crime.

So y'all better get used to seeing fences and gates. Good grief... fences, gates, and walls are the first signs of civilization... ask any archaeologist.

EDIT: The quote in this post is not found in this thread -Spartan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You may say gated residential development is misguided, but you're ignoring the fact that a lot of people who'd be willing to buy and live in urban Columbia will want the security. Developers know this and will build accordingly. If non-gated residential ends up being done, fine... but don't blast a developer who tries it, then changes it to gated because he has residents begging for it after there are a few incidents of crackheads running up and robbing and/or shooting residents getting in their car in the development's parking area. Or even just panhandling on the property.

Also, I think it's overly assumptive and very fallacious to think that people living in gated urban areas don't want to get involved in their community and won't care what happens next door or nearby... if they weren't attracted to living where they can walk to work and/or restaurants, shops, and entertainment, they would be looking elsewhere for a place to live.

Security/crime is an issue everywhere... so you shouldn't be saying that residents don't have to worry about "bad people" at all in the suburbs. Do you read the paper or watch news on TV?

Don't be surprised if you see fences and gates up around the Olympia Mill development at some point, either. I know of a similar development in Atlanta near Little Five Points that is very successful and has a long waiting list... and it's gated... and probably wouldn't be nearly as successful if it weren't.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
You may say gated residential development is misguided, but you're ignoring the fact that a lot of people who'd be willing to buy and live in urban Columbia will want the security.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Active street life"?  Define that and explain why it is something that is so highly desirable and why gated is so detrimental to it.  I guess people who choose to live in an urban setting should have to endure panhandlers walking off the street onto their front porch or back patio asking for spare change.

There is going to be gated residential development as long as there is panhandling and crime.

So y'all better get used to seeing fences and gates.  Good grief... fences, gates, and walls are the first signs of civilization... ask any archaeologist.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Gated means insolated. People live inside gates and fences and such for protection. Ventruing outside is scary. Also, it is bad for the area. A good urban design would encourage the pedestrian to interact with his surrounding neighborhood and would incorporate the building into its surrounding context.

Take the Vista Commons. A fantastic location. But none of the entrances face the street. They all face the driveway thing in the middle. Plus, the whole thing is gated off so that there is only one way in and two ways out. This goes for cars and people too. There is no encouragement to stroll up to the Vista, unless its Carolina Wings.

There will be gated developments so long as people continue to believe that an urban development is just defined by its location, and not by its design. What you have there in West Columbia, my friends, its a suburban style development under the guise of urbanity.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We have two excellent conversations going on about gated communities, this will combine the two.

EDIT: you may want to read back in case you missed a post or two.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't care for gated communities. I don't believe people should isolate themselves from the surrounding environment. If they are too prevalent, they result in dead neighborhoods.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My personal preference leans against gated communities, but I understand some of the dynamics encouraging them in some developments. Again my preference is a _personal_ one.

It's important to remember that gated communities aren't necessarily that new in urban settings. In Chicago, there are many pre-WWII apartment buildngs, particularly "U-shapes" ones, with gates on them, plus the ubiquitious "buzz me in" secured entry system. Also, we can wail about gates, but they aren't much functionally different from a doorman for an Upper East Side Manhattan high-rise. We don't hear too many complaints about that, do we?

Although I don't always like it, there is a "necessary evil" component to (newer) urban residential developments that requires some secured, limited access mechanism, especially if you want to lure large numbers of people who are used to suburban environments. "Gated" isn't necessarily a suburban concept. Actually, I see less reason for gated communities out in the 'burbs since I think it's more about the perception of crime rather than real crime (at least of the nasty, more violent varieties).

However, there is a good point that the new, gated urban communities reflect somewhat of an importation of a suburban world-view into the city - in that it enourages a more atomized social environment, especially if the residences, whether condos/apartments or houses, face inward. This is not an easy circle to square, especially in Columbia where there is genuinely high crime rate compared to other cities. I'm not 100% sold on the whole planning mantra of "eyes on the street", because in reality, when planners/architects have designed urban/architectural "features" like porches, shallow-setback neighborhoods, it hasn't changed people's behaviors (you still see the blue glow of TV's in such neighborhoods). I've warmed a bit to the "defensible space" theories, like minimizing criminal escape routes - this doesn't mean I support retrofitting city grid streets with cul-de-sacs (which has happened to an extent in Chicago due to Mayor Daley), but they do have interesting thoughts on how to plan safe neighborhoods (I saw an article on "defensible space" and public housing complexes one - it made a lot of sense to me).

So I decry mass importation of suburban mentalities into the city, but I also recognize there is a very real public safety issue that needs to be addressed. The one thing I don't like are new developments that on the surface look like dense urban environments, but when you scratch the surface, they reveal pretty suburban tastes, rather than organic, eclectic urban ecologies. A good example is Ballston in Arlington, Virginia near Washington, DC. Lot's of high-rise condos and office buildings (enough to dwarf all of downtown Columbia), but essentially a tall suburban mall surrounded by suburban-raised yuppies who work for big six/five/whatever consulting firms, etc. Even parts of Wicker Park in Chicago are becoming like that. But that's another topic.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My personal preference leans against gated communities, but I understand some of the dynamics encouraging them in some developments.  Again my preference is a _personal_ one.

It's important to remember that gated communities aren't necessarily that new in urban settings.  In Chicago, there are many pre-WWII apartment buildngs, particularly "U-shapes" ones, with gates on them, plus the ubiquitious "buzz me in" secured entry system.  Also, we can wail about gates, but they aren't much functionally different from a doorman for an Upper East Side Manhattan high-rise.  We don't hear too many complaints about that, do we?

Although I don't always like it, there is a "necessary evil" component to (newer) urban residential developments that requires some secured, limited access mechanism, especially if you want to lure large numbers of people who are used to suburban environments.  "Gated" isn't necessarily a suburban concept.  Actually, I see less reason for gated communities out in the 'burbs since I think it's more about the perception of crime rather than real crime (at least of the nasty, more violent varieties). 

However, there is a good point that the new, gated urban communities reflect somewhat of an importation of a suburban world-view into the city - in that it enourages a more atomized social environment, especially if the residences, whether condos/apartments or houses, face inward.  This is not an easy circle to square, especially in Columbia where there is genuinely high crime rate compared to other cities.  I'm not 100% sold on the whole planning mantra of "eyes on the street", because in reality, when planners/architects have designed urban/architectural "features" like porches, shallow-setback neighborhoods, it hasn't changed people's behaviors (you still see the blue glow of TV's in such neighborhoods).  I've warmed a bit to the "defensible space" theories, like minimizing criminal escape routes - this doesn't mean I support retrofitting city grid streets with cul-de-sacs (which has happened to an extent in Chicago due to Mayor Daley), but they do have interesting thoughts on how to plan safe neighborhoods (I saw an article on "defensible space" and public housing complexes one - it made a lot of sense to me).

So I decry mass importation of suburban mentalities into the city, but I also recognize there is a very real public safety issue that needs to be addressed.  The one thing I don't like are new developments that on the surface look like dense urban environments, but when you scratch the surface, they reveal pretty suburban tastes, rather than organic, eclectic urban ecologies.  A good example is Ballston in Arlington, Virginia near Washington, DC.  Lot's of high-rise condos and office buildings (enough to dwarf all of downtown Columbia), but essentially a tall suburban mall surrounded by suburban-raised yuppies who work for big six/five/whatever consulting firms, etc.  Even parts of Wicker Park in Chicago are becoming like that.  But that's another topic.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Actually, there is a key difference in what you are saying, and this development in West Cola- cars. This place obviously caters to cars, and to me ir represents a suburban gated community, but just slightly denser. It caters to cars. Now, obviously in Columbia cars are a necessity and must go somewhere, but my question is why not extend the grid system and have angular parking or something. There are lots of ways this place could fit in better with its surroundings.

The buzz in feature that you mention is a security feature that is much different. You still don't want people wandering around inside your house/building, so I take no issue with that.

If you dont want to live near lots of other people and interact with them, then an urban setting is not for you. Unless of course its the Village at Riverwalk.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Actually, there is a key difference in what you are saying, and this development in West Cola- cars. This place obviously caters to cars, and to me ir represents a suburban gated community, but just slightly denser. It caters to cars. Now, obviously in Columbia cars are a necessity and must go somewhere, but my question is why not extend the grid system and have angular parking or something. There are lots of ways this place could fit in better with its surroundings.

The buzz in feature that you mention is a security feature that is much different. You still don't want people wandering around inside your house/building, so I take no issue with that.

If you dont want to live near lots of other people and interact with them, then an urban setting is not for you. Unless of course its the Village at Riverwalk.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Spartan - in this specific case, you're probably right. The buzz-in feature doesn't significantly affect urban _form_. This West Cola development is oviously , something that avoids or breaks up the surrounding urban pattern. At the very least, as you said, they should have extended the urban street grid (inexcusable in this part of town, I think), and they still could have made some "gated"-like functionality.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I suppose my problem with the development is not with the fact that it's a gated community--my problem is with the location, period. I used to live in University Commons, down the street from the site, and I loved the peaceful nature of the riverwalk location. Now when I visit, I just feel like part of the riverwalk is..well...naked. It's not in keeping with my idea of the park, which is an "oasis" of sorts in the middle of this urban area. I hope this doesn't become the trend for riverside development down there.

Also, I wonder how many people this development is expected to bring in, and what that means for traffic flow on Alexander Road. It doesn't exactly have the easiest intersection to get through (Alexander @ Meeting St./Sunset Blvd.).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Currently, I'm in the middle of a GREAT read (The Failures of Integration: How Race and Class are Undermining the American Dream by Sheryll Cashin; it is highly recommended) which has a small section on gated communities in the chapter entitled, "Institutionalized Separatism":

Finally, developers have also been instrumental in creating a cultural phenomenon that enables the secession of the affluent, and even the not so affluent, from the socioeconomic "other": the gated community. Gated communities play into the worst psychology animating our separatist tendencies: fear. One marketing brochure for the Stonebriar gated community in a suburb north of Dallas attests to this psychology. It calls upon prospective residents to imagine a "perfect place to live...outside the pandemonium of the city" where one could "return to simpler times, when you knew you were secure within the boundaries of your own neighborhood...where children could play unattended and be safe after dark." Gated communities--like their cousins, neighborhoods bound together by a fee-collecting, covenant-enforcing home-owner's association--are most common in new suburban communities. Both types of communities are highly homogeneous by race and class and are most common in those parts of the country where foreign immigration has been highest. They have proliferated in states like Florida and California and are also emerging in some unexpected, nondiverse places. Close observers of the gated community phenomenon report that seven states that experienced an unprecedented wave of foreign immigrants in the 1980's simultaneously encountered significant white out-migration. Many of the states to which whites are fleeing have experienced a rapid increase in gated communities. These researchers conclude that "gated areas...represent a concrete metaphor for the closing of gates against immigrants and minorities and the poverty, crime and social instabilities in society at large." They offer a physical manifestation of a psychic process of differentiation and distancing from the "other." Whether a new suburban community is physically walled or just separated by distance and bound by private ties, fear is an animating impetus. One suburban resident poignantly testified to this attitude:

"See, you have to understand the fundamental feeling in suburbia is fear, let's face it. The basic emotional feeling is fear. Fear of blacks, fear of physical harm, fear of their kids being subjected to drugs, which are identified as a black problem, fear of all the urban ills. They feel by moving to the suburbs they've run away from it, in fact they haven't, in reality they haven't, but in their own mind's eye they've moved away from the problem."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.