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Fear of crime beyond the walls: Effects of gated communities in neighbouring public spaces. The case of the Greater Metropolitan Area of Costa Rica

Barrantes Chaves, Karla; (2021) Fear of crime beyond the walls: Effects of gated communities in neighbouring public spaces. The case of the Greater Metropolitan Area of Costa Rica. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

This thesis explores the distribution of fear of crime in neighbourhoods next to gated communities, and their variants, by considering poverty levels and elements of the built environment. Fear of crime is a constant concern in Latin America and gated communities have been spreading rapidly as they are seen as 'shelters' against crime. They are typically walled or fenced, with private security and surveillance devices; their externalities are commonly associated with spatial segregation, socio-economic effects and alterations of the urban fabric. However, there is still a lack of empirical data about the effect of gated communities on the fear of crime at their peripheries. This thesis addresses that research gap by investigating the urban area of Costa Rica (GAM). The research design is a qualitative approach based on eight case studies. These are neighbourhoods bordering gated communities within the GAM and represent a diverse range of poverty. In each neighbourhood, a walking interview was carried out with community members; it was tracked by GPS and audio recorded. Additionally, there were focus groups, observations and in-depth interviews. A set of maps were produced by georeferencing people's comments through qualitative software and GIS. The core of the empirical data was analysed mostly through thematic analysis by a comparative structure of the eight case studies. The findings suggest that the physical presence of gated communities produces an emotional response in people living outside their gates, which is fuelled by features of the built environment, residential segregation and inequalities. This research found that non-gated residents in high and middle poverty feel anxious about gated residents, and self-reported intensity of fear increases next to gated communities’ edges in almost all poverty ranges. It suggests that fear of crime might also operate in the opposite direction, from neighbouring areas to gated communities.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Fear of crime beyond the walls: Effects of gated communities in neighbouring public spaces. The case of the Greater Metropolitan Area of Costa Rica
Event: UCL
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author 2021. Original content in this thesis is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0) Licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/). Any third-party copyright material present remains the property of its respective owner(s) and is licensed under its existing terms. Access may initially be restricted at the author’s request.
Keywords: Gated communities, Fear of crime, Fear outside gated communities, talk's track maps, intensity of fear maps, residential segregation, Costa Rica, Fear of crime methods, Fear of crime outside gated communities, gated community
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment > Bartlett School Env, Energy and Resources
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10128120
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