The rise of gated housing estates in Ghana: Empirical insights from three communities in metropolitan Accra

Abstract

In metropolitan Accra, Ghana’s economic and administrative hub, the global phenomenon of the gated housing estate is burgeoning, representing a substantial part of the new housing market. It has a recent history dating back only to the neoliberal era of the mid-1990s. Because it is a new phenomenon in Ghana very little is known about the motivations and contentment of residents, interactions within and outside the gates, and perceptions toward gated residents. This paper takes the first step by providing empirical insights from three communities (Manet Court, Devtraco Villas, and Regimanuel Estate) located in Metropolitan Accra. The data suggest that perceived concern for security is the primary motivation for the residents to live in these communities. Contrary to findings of other studies, the current research reveals that there are appreciable levels of interaction among the residents in these communities, although such interaction exists purely on the economic level, with gated housing estates providing a considerable level of low-income employment opportunities to surrounding residents. The paper concludes by identifying some of the key urban planning challenges that have so far accompanied gated housing development.

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Acknowledgments

We would like to thank three anonymous referees for their helpful remarks. We are also grateful to Emily Ofosu who made useful comments on the earlier draft of the paper.

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Correspondence to Godwin Arku.

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Asiedu, A.B., Arku, G. The rise of gated housing estates in Ghana: Empirical insights from three communities in metropolitan Accra. J Hous and the Built Environ 24, 227–247 (2009). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10901-009-9146-0

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Keywords

  • Gated housing estates
  • Liberalization policies
  • Metropolitan Accra
  • Ghana